The House of Silk

Mulholland: Little, Brown. Nov. 2011. 320p. ISBN 9780316196994. $27.99. MYSTERY
Great news, Sherlock Holmes fans! For the first time ever, the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has authorized a new Holmes story. In fact, the estate approached Horowitz, author of the top New York Times best-selling Alex Rider series. A Holmes expert, Horowitz says he's steeped in 19th-century literature and will aim for authenticity in plot, language, and character. At the same time, he knows he's writing for a contemporary audience, and so he "took care to make the plot completely gripping and fast-paced." No word on the content yet—the publisher will reveal clues with tantalizing slowness, as in a good (ahem) mystery. Okay, so other authors have used Holmes as a character; this situation is different, and it's exciting however it turns out. All mystery fans will want.
This first Sherlock Holmes novel to be authorized by Arthur Conan Doyle's estate opens in 1908 with a retired Dr. Watson laying pen to paper a final time to recount the most scandalous case of Holmes's career. After a genteel London art dealer who is being followed by a stranger in a flat cap requests their aid, Watson and Holmes quickly find themselves racing through a warren of slums, orphanages, and opium dens in search of the mysterious House of Silk. What they discover threatens to shake London society to its very core. Devotees will thrill at the familiar dynamics and references to the Holmes canon while general mystery enthusiasts will appreciate the tight, compelling plot and nuanced characters. Lovingly crafted by the best-selling author of the Alex Rider series, this novel may serve as either an epilog for die-hard fans or an introduction for newbies to the famous duo. [See Prepub Alert, 5/16/11.]—Elizabeth Hanson, Chicago P.L.
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