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Sherlock Holmes and the Lady in Black
June Thomson

Allison and Busby
21 January 2016 / ISBN-13: 9780749018184
Mystery / Historical

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


It is 1908, and Sherlock Holmes has retired to the Sussex coast to keep bees. Watson is invited to spend a week's vacation with him and looks forward to a relaxing seaside break. But of course Sherlock has other ideas, and actually wants Watson to help him solve a new case. Who is the mysterious lady in black who walks on the beach at night?

Ms. Thomson has written five other books of Holmes stories and this is the latest, her first full length novel in the series. Despite presenting an intriguing puzzle. this book could do with either some editing or more plot. As a short story. it would have worked well indeed, but there is not enough in it to warrant the extra pages and thus it could be described more as a "one pipe problem". The pair don disguises, investigate all leads and creep about after dark to discover more about both a local robbery and the strange Fulworth Hall. If you are hoping for murder, thrilling chases and dastardly villains you won't find them here, but despite the gentle pace, I wasn't bored reading about such pleasant surroundings and Watson's interesting seaside vacation. This is more a puzzle than a crime novel and, as such, is an imaginative addition to the canon, complete with descriptions of the Sussex coast. Meandering but a relaxing read.

Reviewed 2016