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The Devil and the Four
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #6
BY Sam Siciliano

Titan Books
7 August 2018/ ISBN 9781785657023

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


Sherlock Holmes comes to the aid of a mysterious French woman when her distraught husband begs him to track her down. Mr Hardy is a successful vintner and is at a loss as to why his wife Marguerite has left him and is staying in Paris. Her flight came after she received a letter, and thus begins a case which might involve the Devil himself…

It might be better for your complete enjoyment to read this series in order, as this entry contains spoilers for an earlier book. Fortunately the author mentions this at the beginning, and as I hadn’t read the book in question I found myself wishing I had done on some occasions. It is a standalone story albeit one with ties to other books and can be read in isolation, but this is not the best idea. A story concerning devil worship in fine de siecle Paris, an art thief, ties to a old murder and a spooky old church sounds exciting, but this tale is somewhat lacking in thrills. A bit more action and a bit less talk and description would improve the book a lot, although there are many good descriptive passages which bring the setting to life. Having Dr Henry Vernier and his wife Michelle along make the stories in this series somewhat different to those with Watson, and is rather a neat idea. So too are the author’s nods to various novels such as The Moonstone and Phantom of the Opera. In this book the novel is a bit more obscure, Là-bas by Huysmans which is a good idea as it covers less familiar ground in its descriptions of Parisian satanic practices. This is an imaginative and atmospheric tale of dark and decadent doings that will appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes keen for something a bit different.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Moonstone Curse #5

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2018