THE GAME’S AFOOT…It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks. Intrigued by the man’s tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase ‘the House of Silk’: a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself’ With devilish plotting and excellent characterisation, bestselling author Anthony Horowitz delivers a first-rate Sherlock Holmes mystery for a modern readership whilst remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books. Sherlock Holmes is back with all the nuance, pace and powers of deduction that make him the world’s greatest and most celebrated detective.
I have read a few other novels featuring Holmes and Watson written by authors other than Conan Doyle, and enjoyed them, feeling the authors had done a pretty decent job. However Anthony Horowitz has beaten them all hands down! Reading House of Silk, I felt I was properly back in the company of Holmes and of course dear Watson, just as if I was reading ACD himself. I’d like to think Conan Doyle would approve heartily. There are some nice references back to famous Holmes stories, which should please all Holmes fans, and ensures that this story fits perfectly within the Holmes canon.
A fast paced multilayered plot – with a few surprises thrown in for good measure, this is a book perfect for long winter evenings. A brilliant sense of time and place, along with a credible Watson narrating, helps to give this novel such an authentic feel.
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A dense yellow fog descends upon London. Tricksters, thieves and murderers stalk their prey undetected. Lawlessness abounds but it is no match for the penetrating mind of Sherlock Holmes as he investigates the strangest of cases. A woman receives a gruesome package – two human ears in a box. A vital government secret is threatened with exposure. Miss Brenda Tregennis is found scared to death – could she really have died from fright alone? And when the stability of the country is threatend, Holmes’ unrivalled talents are called upon once again …
There are times when only certain types of books will do, when one is feeling in need of some consoling literary friend. At such times I often reach for Agatha Christie, although another old and comforting literary companion is Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
This fairly slight volume contains eight fascinating Holmes stories, each of them a fairly decent length, utterly perfect to curl up with on a chilly December evening. I adore the character of Holmes, it matches exactly the mood that Doyle creates so perfectly in each story. The tension and fear that lies beneath a rarefied Englishness, the dense fogs that swirl outside the windows of Baker Street, while a great mind is figuring out the unfathomable. In my personal favourite ‘The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot’ Holmes and Watson find themselves in a tiny Cornish village, where a woman has been apparently terrified to death, and two o her brothers left raving mad. In the final title story, a tale not narrated by Watson, the two old friends are brought back together some time after Holmes’ retirement, it is August 1914. Although rather different in tome to the preceding stories it is a nice quiet finale.
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It’s only the second day of 1924, but Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, find themselves embroiled in intrigue. It starts with a New Year’s visit from Holmes’s brother Mycroft, who comes bearing a strange package containing the papers of an English spy named Kimball O’Hara—the same Kimball known to the world through Kipling’s famed Kim. Inexplicably, O’Hara withdrew from the “Great Game” of espionage and now he has just as inexplicably disappeared. This is no.7 in the Mary Russell Series. It is 1924 and Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes are sent by an indisposed Mycroft Holmes to India, to search for Kimbar O Hara – the "Kim" of the famous Rudyard Kipling novel. Who is "as real as I am" says Sherlock Holmes to his surprised wife, Mary Russell is then forced to remember how to many people Sherlock Holmes remains a fictional character. O'Hara hasn't been heard of for 3 years. An expert in "The game" – British espionage, the operative is feared dead. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark on a perilous journey across India, which requires them to undertake several audacious disguises. They encounter a host of colourful characters, including a mad Maharajah and a naive young American flapper. Although not my favourite of the Mary Russell series, I did thoroughly enjoy it and the final third is certainly hard to put down.
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I was sent this book ( a lovely hardback edition) by the Librarything Early Reviewers programme. It seemed perfect for me as I love Sherlock Holmes. I know several writers have resurrected the great detective and written new stories about him, and although I have only read some of them, I love the idea that a character is so beloved and has become so mythologised that he never really goes away.
In this book there are seven new stories, stories apparently "discovered" recently which Watson considered too shocking for publication at the time. The events recorded in these stories range in date from 1882 to 1929. In them we meet: giants and dwarves, a silent valet, servants, masters, addicts and murderers. We discover the truth behind the death of Dorian Gray, and through the eyes of his great friend Dr John Watson how Sherlock Holmes met his own end in 1929. I thought these stories, and the characters stayed pretty well true to the original, and I hope Conan Doyle would approve.
I would love to share this book with bookcrossers – but I’m not going to : ) I have lost far too many bookring books to risk it. So if I find another copy – or maybe when it is out in paperback I will get a copy to do that with, but until then I am keeping this nice book and adding it to my increasing permanent collection.
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Amazon Editorial Review
Winner of the American Mystery Award for Best Novel of Romantic Suspense, and the Romantic Times BookClub Award for Best Historical Mystery
Miss Irene Adler, the beautiful American opera singer who once outwitted Sherlock Holmes, is here given an unexpected talent: she is a superb detective, as Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker can attest. Even Holmes himself must admit–albeit grudgingly–that she acquits herself competently.
But in matters of the heart she encounters difficulty. The Crown Prince of Bohemia–tall, blonde, and handsome–proves to be a cad. Will dashing barrister Godfrey Norton be able to convince Irene that not all handsome men are cut from the same broadcloth?
I love Sherlock Holmes stories, and I have enjoyed reading the series of books by Laurie R King about Mary Russell and an ageing Sherlock Holmes. So when I heard about this series I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Although I enjoyed the book – I was somewhat disappointed too. The characters of Irene Adler and Penelope Huxleigh are certainly well written characters, and their exploits entertaining. There is a marvelous parrot called Casanova, and some great adventures, for these two women who very much ahead of their time. Where I was disappointed however is in the fact the Holmes only makes the briefest of appearances – unlike the Laurie R King books where he is a faithfully recreated character worthy of Conan Doyle. Holmes is a constant presence however in the novel – without actually appearing alongside the other characters very often at all. Carole Nelson Douglas has done a marvelous job in adding to the Holmes Canon, and like Laurie R King – has done it in such a way as to make the Holmes legend even more real – as if he were a real person hiding behind Conan Doyle. I will look out for more books in this series – as I am very interested in finding out how it progresses and whether Holmes becomes a more significant character.
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Though theirs is a marriage of true equals, when Sherlock Holmes summons his wife and partner Mary Russell to the eerie scene of his most celebrated case, she abandons her Oxford studies to aid his investigation. But this time, on Dartmoor, there is more to the matter than a phantom hound. Sightings of a spectral coach carrying a long-dead noblewoman over the moonlit moor have heralded a mysterious death, the corpse surrounded by oversize paw prints. Here on this wild and foreboding moor, Russell and Holmes embark on a quest with few clues save a fanatic anthropologist, an ancestral portrait, a moorland witch, and a lowly–but most revealing–hedgehog. As Holmes and Russell anticipate, a rational explanation lies beneath the supernatural events–but one darker than they could have imagined. And one that could end their lives in this harsh and desolate land.
Another excellent installment of this series. This time, Laurie King has very cleverly used the Conan Doyle tale The Hound of the Baskervilles – as part of the back story – and this earlier Holmes story is referred to several times. In addition, she has also woven in an actual person from history – The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould – who was a rector, writer, antiquarian and folklorist living close to the moor and who died a few weeks after the time this story takes place. As she also (as in other novels in this series) refers to Conan Doyle as a chronicler of Holmes’s stories as well – Sherlock Holmes becomes more real than ever (no wonder there are those who confusingly believe he was). Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes make for a great partnership, and a good old escapist read too.
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About the Book
Compelling characters, scrupulous period detail and an absorbing, feminist-influenced mystery. August 23, 1923. The quiet in the Holmes household in Sussex is shaken when Dorothy Ruskin, an amateur archaeologist from the Holy Land, appears with a lovely inlaid box containing a scrap of ancient writing. But when Miss Ruskin is murdered in a staged automobile accident, the motive is unsure. Was she killed for the manuscript? Or for her involvement in the volatile politics of the Holy Land? Sherlock Holmes will do some of his most ambitious detecting to find out the cause of Miss Ruskins untimely death.
Another great mystery from the woman who has resurrected Sherlock Holmes for those of us who love him. Mary and Holmes have been married for two years, and while she is carrying on with her research, an ageing Holmes is bored again. When Dorothy Ruskin dies he eagerly dives straight into the case – which proves to be a different one from the one he and Russell first thought.
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Meet Mary Russell–young, witty, and with an intellect to rival that of the famous, yet aging, Sherlock Holmes. From the first time they meet, they are intrically linked together. Under Holmes’s tutelage, Russell embarks on a case involving a landowner’s mysterious fever and the kidnapping of an American senator’s daughter. Unlike Watson, Russell is on equal footing with Holmes and she even makes deductions that he fails to see. One case leads into another and Holmes’ life soon becomes endangered by an enigmatic and clever opponent. Holmes hasn’t met such a match since Moriarty, but this time around the aging detective has Russell by his side.
I loved this book. I am a huge Holmes fan – and so half expected to be disappointed by Laurie King’s representation of him. However I though the charcter was great – very faithful to the original – although maybe a tad mellower – possibly due to retirement and no cocaine I suppose – the relationship he develops with Mary Russel is lovely, and it was wonderful to meet up again with Watson and Mrs Hudson. It feels as if Laurie King has given us Sherlock Holmes back – and I think I will be reading many more of this series. I don’t generally read mystery type books – or rarely at least, but this made a really nice change.
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I love the stories of Sherlock Holmes – this book – one of a box set I bought recently, starts with Holmes return after three years during which time the world thought he was dead following the incident at the Reichenbach Falls which ended with the death of Moriarty.
These stories remain as readable and charming as ever. Great comfort reading. A nice collection to come home to each day – in what has been a long and tiring week.
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