I have only briefly mentioned my fondness for a truly singular British character on one previous occasion on this blog. Because that post was written for entirely different reasons, and because I wrote it in a very jocular way, I don’t really expect anyone to be fully prepared for what I’ve just admitted.
That’s right. I may just be in love with Sherlock Holmes. Let me begin my sordid tale at the beginning and with the sort of detail that Mr. Holmes would appreciate. (Well not quite that detailed because then you’d get bored.)
My love began when I was quite young. At the tender age of 12, I was rummaging through the hardback books at my home to find something to read. Admittedly, I was browsing through the nice leather-bound books because I wanted to impress one of my friends with my knowledge and excellent taste in classics. I picked up a couple of promising books, but landed on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I don’t recall what made me pick up Doyle instead of something more befitting a 12 year-old girl like Alcott, Austen or even Twain. I’m 65% certain I had seen The Young Sherlock Holmes prior, and perhaps I was intrigued even then. Well, I read Adventures and I was hooked. It didn’t take me long to read all of the short stories. Although, I left The Hound of Baskervilles until some summer in high school.
Around the second book, I began talking with my mother about Holmes and discovered that the book belonged to her, and she had likewise began reading and loving Holmes since about Middle School. (Ahh, we are alike after all.)
How could you not love Sherlock Holmes? He’s bloody brilliant! Granted I could leave the “lamentable habit” of opium he has, but even that he doesn’t indulge in while he is on a case. He’s handsome; there’s no denying his intellect; he has a passion and spark about him; he can take care of himself in a scrape; and he’s not bound by conventions. Really, there are only two downsides to Holmes: 1)his distinct disinterest in the opposite sex; and 2)lack of humor. (Yes. The second one is a fairly large oversight.)
Still, I can’t help loving Sherlock Holmes. I’ve liked every incarnation of his character. From the 1985 Young Sherlock to the most current Sherlock study by Robert Downey Jr. (I do love the new Holmes!) I am so enamored with the particular English gentleman that I drug two friends across the city of London to visit the Holmes Museum on 221b Baker Street.
So! You can imagine how surprised and delighted I was when I learned Anthony Horowitz wrote a new Holmes novel with the blessings of the Doyle Estate. The House of Silk did not let me down. It perhaps the best re-tellings I’ve encountered. Horowitz stays more true to Holmes’s and Watson’s original characterizations better than anyone else I’ve seen or read. The writing is so similar to Doyle’s that if one didn’t know better, you might suspect Silk was written by the knight himself. The only real difference being the nature of the crime committed, which I’m sure Doyle would not have written about.
I really can’t go into much detail because I’m afraid I’ll spoil the fun of reading the book. Suffice to say that if you like Sherlock Holmes, or just a good detective story, then you should certainly pick up a copy of Silk as soon as possible.