When Sherlock Holmes and Watson receive a request to meet a stranger for lunch at the Great Western Hotel at Paddington Station, they find themselves with another mystery. Someone has been spying on Farringdon Blake, a distinguished journalist, but Mr. Blake has no idea why or whom. Sherlock agrees to take the case, starting with the man following Blake around London during his weekly trip to town. But when the lead in London grows cold, Sherlock and Watson pay a visit to Foxwood Grange, Blake’s home, for further investigating. Foxwood Grange is a 300 year old Elizabethan mansion with an interesting and mysterious background all its own.
I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan since I was about twelve years old, when I first read “A Study in Scarlet” and “The Speckled Band.” Since then I have read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but until now I have never read one written by another author.
This novel, like Doyle’s, is recounted by Holmes’ friend and roommate, Dr. Watson. The tone in which Watson recounts this tale is very similar in style and voice as the Doyle tales. Obviously being written by a different author, it is not a perfect match, but I was able to believe that these two were the same Sherlock and Watson from the originals.
This story starts with Sherlock and Watson together. Since the story is told by Watson, when they are separated you only end up with Watson’s side of the story. Because of this, this story had Watson doing most of the investigating, as though he was the primary detective. I’m not sure how this made me feel.
I also was unsure about how Sherlock came off as more secretive than he was in the Doyle novels, to me.
The mystery itself doesn’t become apparent until the very end. Well, the four mysteries are not revealed until the very end when Sherlock explains everything. I must admit though that I was not surprised by the outcome, except for one little part.
I would recommend this novel to fans of Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as I feel that author did a good job.
I won my copy of this novel on Goodreads Firstreads and have received permission from the publishers at MX Publishing to use an image of the cover artwork above.
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