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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2011 Anthony Horowitz (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By Hilary on 11-13-11

Recommended as a welcome return

What a pleasure to have a new Sherlock Holmes adventure to enjoy, written in the true Conan Doyle style and as complicated and enthralling as usual.

This tale is rather darker in places than Holmes tales with which we are familiar. Nowadays some subjects can be addressed which Conan Doyle, in his time, could not mention although he would not have been unaware. This is perfectly acceptable and it is only fitting that the genre can be updated in this way, but it may seem strange to modern readers who do not realise the innocent ignorance of so many in the Victorian era.

It is good to have such a distinguished narrator as Derek Jacobi, a pleasure to hear and who even managed to make Holmes a fraction more likeable. At least Holmes seemed to be a little kinder to Watson, a change long overdue.


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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

By Jodie on 11-28-11

Surprisingly impressive

I truly did wonder if anyone could quite match Conan Doyle when writing a new Sherlock Holmes - so many have tried and failed, however this was fantastic. It was very true to Conan Doyle's style and character but still different enough for Horowitz to be true to himself as a writer. It was a great story with enough twists and turns (as one would expect from Sherlock Holmens) to keep you listening.

Derek Jacobi was an excellent choice as narrator, he has the perfect voice and accent for this story, injecting just enough difference for each character to keep it interesting without being overly theatrical.

Well done Horowitz, you've done an excellent job, I'm sure Conan Doyle would be proud and thrilled with how you have taken his character and 'run with it'. I look forward to many many more Sherlock Holmes stories from you.

I highly recommend this book.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Kirstine on 06-22-13

I think Conan Doyle would approve

I was wary of buying this book as I feared that the author couldn't match Conan Doyle's inventiveness of plot. However, I was wrong: it's an excellent, intricate and satisfyingly complicated story that kept me gripped and eager to find out what happened next. Those of you who have read/listened to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books will take pleasure in the allusions to characters from the original series that are grafted into this homage to a master of detective fiction. The pleasure of this audio version is greatly enhanced by Derek Jacobi's lively narration and ability to mimic many different accents.

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33 of 34 people found this review helpful

By Ms Lixie on 11-05-11

Well read but...

I have loved all the Sherlock Holmes stories since I was a child and so was interested to see what this author had made of it. The story consists of three threads which start promisingly but soon become rather sensationalist. It reminded me a lot of how ITV have treated recent Poirot and Marple televisations - by adding in sex. You can see the revelations coming a mile off and all I could think as I listened was "Really? You're going 'there' with this?". If the author had created a new character and written this story it would have been fine. Instead we get a story which will make a lovely Hollywood film giving Robert Downey Junior a chance to show his acting repertoire as Holmes cycles through the full range of emotions.

Having said that - once you give up the idea that this is supposed to be "remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books" as the blurb describes it, this is actually an entertaining story and Derek Jacobi reads it very well. But if you are looking for something more in keeping with the original I would look at Donald Thomas. His audiobooks are also well read and although he does get tied up in descriptions sometimes, the stories are interesting without being attention seeking.

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45 of 49 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Bernadette Aitken on 01-11-18

Conan Doyle returned.

A story worthy of Conan Doyle himself. The weaving and re-weaving of the seperate elements of this book had me on my toes until the end. I patted myself on the back for some of my conclusions, then was amazed as the story unfolded and I realised I’d missed some nuances.
A classic Sherlock in a very familiar style. A winner.

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By Magnesium Oil Australia on 10-09-17

Great performance - not so keen on the story line

An homage to Conan Doyle, and the narration is very engaging. By the Author's own admission, he likes to push boundaries, and this story line might well have that effect for some.
For myself, It's one of those "Gee, I hope this isn't going to end up about....Oh. It is", stories.
A really gripping narrative, well performed and very much in the true Sherlockian style for the most part. I just prefer my Holmes with a little more 'innocence'. The original stories only ever needed the slightest insinuation to leave any gruesome details to the reader's imagination.
Be that as it may, this is the 21st Century and it wasn't written by Conan Doyle. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Derek Jacobi, his style and talent certainly added to the adventure and I look forward to hearing his other performances of the original stories.

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