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Thomson, June - 'The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes'
Hardback: 288 pages (Apr. 2012) Publisher: Allison & Busby ISBN: 074901136X

In this very entertaining book the author has captured the very essence of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The nephew of the late Dr John H Watson (who of course chronicled the adventures of his friend Sherlock Holmes), had made copies of some papers left to him in a will by his uncle as the originals were placed in a tin box that was deposited in a bank vault but which was unfortunately destroyed in the London Blitz. These copes that were kept, form the basis of the stories in this book.

There are seven previously unpublished stories in the book which are all very interesting and all atmospheric and deftly plotted with lots of extra footnotes explaining cross-references in the stories to previous adventures or explaining unusual vocabulary, which really adds to sense of historical accuracy. The characters described are all very richly drawn and I learned many things about Holmes that I did not previously know. The details of the stories were fascinating giving a very vivid picture of life at this time and wonderfully evocative of Victorian England.

The stories were wonderfully immediate in a modern way that the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle originals were not and I could not put this book down until I reached the final page. I see that the author has published five previous books about Sherlock Holmes, which I must look for as this one was most enjoyable. Recommended.

Terry Halligan, England
November 2012

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last updated 11/11/2012 20:07