Sherlock Holmes was the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1800’s. His memory lives on to this day, even in Hollywood movies, but the undeniable fact was that the detective, together with his author, have perished a good many decades ago. Or has he?
It seems that Sherlock Holmes will be back, in a new book, on the 23rd of October! Anthony Horowitz, who had been commissioned by the Conan Doyle estate to write a new Sherlock Holmes story 3 years ago, and who had produced “The House of Silk”, where an aged Dr Watson recounted a Holmes adventure, is writing a new book. It’s called “Moriarty”, and is set after Holmes and his evil nemesis plunged to their deaths in the Reichenbach Falls.
Holmes doesn’t appear in the story right from the start, though, it seems. Rather, Horowitz delights in adding the other characters in the world of Holmes, such as “all the policemen Holmes ever met”, and Holmes only appears at the end. Of course, Horowitz has large shoes to fill. People have liked Holmes’ tales (liked is an understatement for many) for the suspenseful set-ups, followed by logical deductions that unravel every thread of the mystery satisfactorily. I personally do not find it the case, but I’m well aware I belong in the minority in this.
More background info, Horowitz is the guy who wrote the Alex Rider series, about a teenage spy. I suppose it’s not that much different to Sherlock Holmes. Maybe.
Sherlock Holmes is, essentially, a series for male readers. Female readers will probably swoon at the handsome looks, intelligence, charm and physical prowess of Holmes, but the cases themselves are very male-oriented. There is a lot of action, exaggerated dangers and scheming villains. I just dislike the “international super-spy intrigue” feeling that the books sometimes go for. I’m a minimalist reader after all, and unrealistic exaggerations are not my cup of tea.
That, and I find that Conan Doyle doesn’t write very good emotional stories at all. His stories are devoid of emotional implications, and Holmes is one of those cold over-rational, over-analytical bachelors who annoy me most. I read a few of his short stories — and I dislike short stories too — and I find some of the explanations pretty far-fetched and stuck-up anyway.
But yes, enough of my gripes. If you like Sherlock Holmes, it’ll be cool to re-visit the 19th century with Moriarty, and explore a possible epilogue to the 4 decades of Holmes.