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The Counterfeit Detective
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Stuart Douglas

Titan Books
18 October 2016/ ISBN 9781783299256

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


When Sherlock Holmes receives a mysterious letter from a former client who has moved to America, he instantly books a passage there for him and Watson. The letter has informed him that there is an impostor in New York pretending to be him and Sherlock is keen to investigate. Once there, they meet the false Holmes’ landlady, but of the man himself there is no trace. When the landlady is found murdered, the pair have to find out what is really going on, and what sort of “cases” are being solved.

This is an imaginative page-turner set in 1899 that has much to recommend it. Firstly, it is always good to have a change of location in a series and the author’s descriptions of New York have the ring of authenticity. Secondly, it is certainly not obvious what is going on for some time and, as the pair interview suspects and witnesses, the mystery is gradually revealed. There is always something going on in this book although not a lot that could be described as “action,” but I found that this did not detract from my enjoyment. In its place is plenty of actual detecting with a denouement that I didn’t guess, and to balance out the plot there are some involving descriptions of New York and its people. I felt as I put the book down that I had read something that ticked all my own boxes for characters, plot, ambience, period detail and general enjoyment. If you enjoy reading about Holmes and Watson, this is one author to watch out for.


Reviewed 2016