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Sherlock Holmes and the Four Corners of Hell
Seamus Duffy

Robert Hale
31 March 2015 / ISBN 9780719814990

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


As the author writes in his introduction, the Sherlock Holmes stories are known for their wonderfully tangible descriptions of Victorian London. From dripping wharves to gaslight streets Conan Doyle brought the setting to life. In this book the three stories are all set in London and all involve the protagonists visiting the same types of locations the original canon is so well known for.

In the first story, Holmes and Watson investigate a series of murders of prostitutes that make them think of another Ripper at large, but all the victims are holding bizarre emblems. In the second it looks as though a vampire is on the loose, and in the third the pair investigates a shooting incident down at the docks. None of these is remarkable in any way although they do have that frisson of the strange that marks out a good Holmes story. They all do indeed feature descriptions of parts of London, not quite as brief or as eloquent as those quoted in the introduction but they do serve to enhance the story and give a good sense of place and time. There are some interesting ideas in here and I would read another by the same author. Good stories to curl up with on a chilly night.

Reviewed 2015