House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
I have read or listened in audiobook all the Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle canon. I really enjoy the Holmes and Watson partnership. Watson humanizes Holmes and the pacing and the writing of some of the Holmes stories are fun and very good. I admit some of the later stories seem a bit forced and Study in Scarlet is a bit odd at times, but all in all, I really like the Holmes stories and their adaptations.
House of Silk is the first novel authorized by the Conan Doyle estate. I think it’s a very good adaptation of the original novels. The characterization, the atmosphere and the plotting evoke the original stories. I enjoyed myself and I think casual Holmes fans would.
It’s not a particularly long novel, but there were a number of murders before hitting the climax and the denouement. It was quite dire at times for Holmes and Watson, but it made for addictive reading. I read this book quickly which is good because it was unrenewable and due the next day.
The only thing that is markedly different is that there is slightly more social commentary about the times and the climax is much darker than Conan Doyle would ever written. It’s not unrealistic per se, but the darkness of the plot revealed at the end is more common in modern books. I did not mind this because I could have seen this happening in Holmes’s setting but Doyle probably couldn’t have gotten it published in his time.
On a lighter note, I’ll end with quotation from the book said by Holmes reflecting on what he could do if he didn’t do detective work: “I have always had a fancy to keep bees.”
Read on January 16th, 2012.