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The Instrument of Death
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
BY David Stuart Davies

Titan Books
5 March 2018/ ISBN 9781785658488

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


Sherlock Holmes is satisfied with his verdict in a simple case, when things take a turn for the strange. Lady Damury might have stolen the ruby to frame her husband, but now she is dead. Could there be a connection to a man seen acting oddly?

This author has written a number of Sherlock Holmes novels featuring characters from other contemporary writers such as the Phantom of the Opera and the White Worm. Now he introduces to silent film villain Dr Caligari, whose evil plans have taken him from Prague to London in search of committing crime by proxy. This is not a plot spoiler as we know this; anybody expecting the usual whodunit will be surprised. Mr Davies has written instead a departure from the norm, where we follow Caligari’s criminal activities and watch Holmes tracking him down. I personally prefer the usual format, but this author has a way of sucking the reader in and not letting go, which is why I enjoy his books. This is a fast-paced, atmospheric tale that brings Caligari to lurid, Grand Guignol-style life as he perfects his dastardly hypnotic skills. Holmes and Watson are well portrayed and get put through their I might like a whodunit best, but anybody who comes up with something fresh and does it well makes for a pleasant change.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Improbable Prisoner
The Haunting of Torre Abbey
The Counterfeit Detective
The Instrument of Death

Reviewed 2019