Review published on July 21, 2016.
Sherlock Holmes is in a bad mood, and is refusing cases, even one from his brother, Mycroft. Sherlock is intrigued when he is asked to look into the disappearance of a little boy by his French mother. This investigation leads to Paris, London, and Lancashire. It is not as straightforward as it first appears.
The writing style at times is very similar to Conan Doyle, and that draws the reader into the world of Sherlock Holmes. The characters are well written, and act exactly how the reader expects them to. Sherlock pretends to be someone else, investigates in a meticulous way, and is very stubborn. Watson cares deeply for his friend, and his instincts as a Doctor are used very well.
The plot at times is a bit predictable, and there are only a few twists in the tale. If you are used to reading this kind of mystery, then you will probably guess whodunit before it is revealed. Some cameos by famous people from that time do seem a little forced into the plot. The introduction of another detective makes some interesting character interactions. It is an enjoyable read, nothing too hard going. It would appeal to anyone who likes mysteries, and those set in Victorian times.
Reading groups may find this an interesting read, as there are quite a few potential discussion points. How close is it to Conan Doyle’s depiction of the characters? How realistic is the setting? How does Watson put up with Holmes? Would you do that to your friend? Crime books are always a good choice for reading groups. It could also be read as part of a ‘book sequels’ discussion.
Angela Finch 4/4
Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird
Collins Crime Club 9780008129699 pbk May 2016