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The House of Silk: The Bestselling Sherlock Holmes Novel Paperback – August 28, 2012
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Enthusiastically replicating the spirit, style, suspense and atmosphere of Conan Doyle's stories, this skilfully crafted homage is an irresistible read. -- Peter Kemp SUNDAY TIMES Horowitz has captured Holmes Heaven THE TIMES An exciting, well-crafted novel -- Andrew Lycett SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Bravo, then, Mr Horowitz. Let us hope that the famous dispatch box contains many more cases for him to unearth FINANCIAL TIMES A lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan, Anthony Horowitz is the perfect choice to pen the first new official mystery and what a triumph it is. While retaining faithfully the style of the originals, Horowitz's lively prose makes this exciting story just right for a new generation of fans -- Sarah Clarke BOOKSELLER A brilliant new Sherlock Holmes novel. The tone of voice is pitch perfect, the send of place and time spot on. I don't want to give too much away about the plot but there are clever twist and plenty of trademark Holmesian moments. I thoroughly enjoyed this -- Sue Scholes BOOKSELLER Horowitz plays a perfectly straight bat. This is a no-shit Sherlock GUARDIAN Brimming with informed enthusiasm, this skilfully crafted homage to Conan Doyle is so enjoyable that you're sorry when it fades away to the strains of Holmes playing his Stradivarius THE SUNDAY TIMES Anthony Horowitz's new Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk is superb - indeed, I would say it is better than any of Conan Doyle's own Holmes novels, which always feel padded out in comparison with the gripping short stories DAILY TELEGRAPH Yet another Sherlock Holmes imitation? The field is crowded but with one bound Horowitz - well known for his children's books and TV scripts - takes the lead, with his perfect mimicry of Conan Doyle's style and Dr Watson's tone of voice. There is a suitably baffling mystery and the great detective is on top form. It's very good; dare I say as good as the original? LITERARY REVIEW It seems improbable, if not impossible, but it's true! Holmes is back at his best INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY Perfectly paced, entirely unpredictable, edge-of-seat exciting and a total joy from start to finish. The more of it I read, the more I looked forward to basking in Holmes's deductive brilliance at the end: the solutions that are obvious once you know them but completely unguessable until you do. I am happy to report that all the required ingredients had been added; neither Holmes nor Horowitz let me down -- Sophie Hannah DAILY EXPRESS Horowitz infuses the novel with a superb eye for the detail of Victorian London but also a touching sense of melancholy, the book functioning as a subtle final coda to Holmes's adventures. Crucially, it also has a cracking plot and is a labyrinthine but eminently lucid page-turner METRO "As an exercise in literary pastiche the book is deeply impressive... He [Horowitz] also managed to produce an intricate and satisfying plot of which Conan Doyle would be proud and a book that drips with authentic period details." HERALD "Holmes fans - and indeed, anyone who enjoys a moody, atmospheric detective story that plumbs the darkest depths of Victorian London - will love it." YORK PRESS Brilliantly capturing the spirit and tone of Conan Doyle's original stories while devising a new mystery for modern readers is no mean feat, but Horowitz has risen to the challenge with absolute aplomb. GOOD BOOK GUIDE
About the Author
Anthony Horowitz is one of the UK's most prolific and successful writers. His novels The House of Silk and Moriarty were Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers and sold in more than thirty-five countries around the world. He was recently commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write the James Bond novel Trigger Mortis. His bestselling Alex Rider series for children has sold more than nineteen million copies worldwide. As a TV screenwriter he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle's War; other TV work includes Poirot and the widely-acclaimed mini-series Collision and Injustice. Anthony has recently joined the board of the Old Vic and regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines. In January 2014 he was awarded an OBE for services to literature. Anthony Horowitz lives in London. www.anthonyhorowitz.com @AnthonyHorowitz
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Sherlock Holmes has gone, it is late in Watson’s life. But once again, he sets pen to paper to relate a heretofore-unpublished adventure. Or at least, Anthony Horowitz has uncovered their tale in his 2011 “The House of Silk”, a recreation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic series, with blessings from the Sherlock Holmes Society.
The story is an entertaining recreation of the Holmes-Watson companionship with familiar feats of deduction by Holmes, the messy and cozy Baker Street rooms, the return of the Baker Street Irregulars, foggy London streets and alleys.
The author uses a plot structure Doyle employed in his longer stories: a back-story with seemingly limited relevance to the present, an intricate current story with great pace and multiple characters, and finally reconciliation with disguised identities and explanations revealed.
Horowitz admirably adds seamier details about late Victorian conditions to the narrative than the original stories provided that add authenticity to the conditions at the time. He refers to street fairs and performances that ring true as described in Judith Flanders’ 2011 book, “The Invention of Murder: How Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime” (here’s the link to my Amazon review of her book: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2EDCBY3ZMPP4D/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm).
For me, what sets Horowitz’s book apart is his characterizations and humor missing in Conan Doyle’s work. For example, Watson describes
• Holmes “returned to his old self – secretive, over-confident and thoroughly annoying.”
• Mycroft Holmes “as capricious as he was corpulent flitting like some oversized shadow through the corridors of power.”
• Chief Detective Lestrade as “the words ‘rat-faced’ and ‘ferret-like’ spring to mind.”
• And even spoofs himself: ”…it was as if two of my narratives had somehow got muddled together so the characters from one were unexpectedly appearing in the other.”
Personally, I prefer Horowitz’s more recent 2017 work, “Magpie Murders”, with a similar dual plot set in a blend of Agatha Christie-like Cotswold town with contemporary London and the crime fiction publishing world (here’s the link to Amazon review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2EDCBY3ZMPP4D/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm).
All in all, “The House of Silk” is suitably entertaining and won’t disappoint.
However, the pace did pick up and kept rolling till the end. I liked the book and gave it 4 stars because of how this complicated story was tied together at the end.
One note for the author. Leaving out a critical piece of info that was found out by Sherlock but not told to us meant we never had a chance to figure out all the whodunit portions and took some of the cleverness of Sherlock away from the story vs how he usually explains how obvious it was if you paid attention to each detail you learn through the story telling. Just saying, give us all the detail, Sherlock will figure out everything anyway.
The story begins in typical fashion, with Holmes and Watson (visiting his old friend while his wife is away) sitting in their respective chairs by the fire. Sherlock delivers his usual uncannily accurate observations on Watson’s recent activities. Watson, per usual is totally flabbergasted until the requisite explanation is offered. From there we delve into a multifaceted mystery encompassing stolen artwork, Irish gangs, Pinkerton Detectives, and threats to the Baker Street Irregulars.
Horowitz is careful to include many of the common elements from Conan Doyle’s stories. The House of Silk, written for a modern audience, is darker and more violent than the original stories. Horowitz, not needing to contend with Victorian sensibilities, is able to lay out what Doyle only hinted at. In all, though, this is a well done addition to the Holmes canon. Fans of Sherlock Homes (duh) or Victorian mysteries should add this book to their to-read lists.
Most recent customer reviews
I am now ready for Moriarty!
unravel. Like Arthur Conan Doyle, Mr Horowitz has left plenty of clues
for the reader, and the way in which...Read more