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The Moonstone’s Curse
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Vernier – Book V
Sam Siciliano

Titan Books
14 February 2017/ ISBN 9781785652523
Mystery/Historical

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

 

Charles Bromley is a man with two problems: a highly-strung wife and a very valuable diamond. The Moonstone has been in his wife’s family for a hundred years and always seems to cause trouble. Now Alice is convinced somebody wants to kill her and steal the stone so Charles has decided to throw one last dinner party where she can wear it and then it will be going into a bank vault. But when a jeweller is found dead it starts to look as though maybe it is not all in Alice’s mind after all.

This is Mr Siciliano’s sequel to Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone and his fifth book about Sherlock Holmes with his alternative confederate, cousin and narrator Dr Henry Vernier. Dr Watson is mentioned as an over-imaginative chronicler but there is no explanation as to why Holmes is working with somebody else. An explanation would have been a good idea for those readers who have not started at the beginning. Dr Vernier is married to the large and lusty Dr Doudet Vernier and both of them lend a hand with the investigation making for a relationship akin to Watson’s but not the same. The author manages to convey the mystique and malevolence of truly unique stones and despite her extreme neurosis it is not hard to see Alice’s repugnance of it or why it has such a dark history. He is also adept at building an atmosphere of mounting tension, although a bit of editing would have made for a tauter, more exciting novel. Reading this series from the beginning would be best for maximum enjoyment, but that aside there is plenty to enjoy in this imaginative series.

Reviewed 2017
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