#CBR7 Review #169: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

I grew up reading Sherlock Holmes adventure stories. I immersed myself in the short stories and novels alike, and I delighted in the adaptations, particularly the episode of Wishbone that adapted The Hound of the Baskervilles (to date, my favorite Holmes novel). So I am always curious/suspicious when someone not-the-author writes a spinoff or adaptation of a popular and beloved author’s work (see: admirers or sycophants of Jane Austen). But when my friend K offered to lend her copy of Anthony Horowitz’s take, The House of Silk, I thought, “Why not?” Why not, indeed.

The novel is written by a much older Dr. Watson after Sherlock Holmes’s death and his own retirement. He decides to write of one previously untold adventure, one that involved crime of exploitation and a dangerous underground network. Art dealer Edward Carstairs comes to 221B Baker Street upon the theft of many paintings his journey from the States, particularly the involvement of escaped criminal Keelan O’Donaghue, whose twin brother was killed during a standoff in Boston. Carstairs and his wife Catherine unwittingly lead Holmes and Watson to a deeper mystery into the criminal underbelly of London. And there may or may not be a cameo from an infamous villain in Holmes-lore…

I enjoyed this mystery. I thought Horowitz’s writing did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle credit–he gave a bit of something to the fans, without being a carbon-copy of the Holmes mysteries. I feel like good adaptations capture the spirit of the work without resorting to pedantry. If you enjoy a good mystery/Sherlock Holmes adventure, you will probably enjoy this tale. I think it will motivate me to checkout the sequel, Moriarty.

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