The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Seventh Bullet by Daniel D Victor
|The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Seventh Bullet by Daniel D Victor|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Excellent addition to the Sherlock Holmes books masterfully inserts the ageing detective and his sidekick Dr Watson in a real life murder case, with intriguing results.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: June 2010|
|Publisher: Titan Books Ltd|
In 1911, author, journalist and celebrated dandy David Graham Phillips was shot multiple times by Harvard educated musician Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough, who then committed suicide. The journalist had received on the morning of his death a threatening telegram signed with his own name, but had shrugged it off as during his career as a 'muckraker', to use the term coined for him by Theodore Roosevelt, he'd made many enemies.
The above facts are all completely true, although I must confess I'd never heard of Phillips before. That didn't detract from my enjoyment of this superb book, though, as no background knowledge is needed. Author Daniel Victor takes the facts of the case and interjects the renowned detective Sherlock Holmes, who - along with partner Dr Watson - is somewhat long in the tooth now, but agrees to investigate the murder after Phillips' sister tells him she suspects a conspiracy, as Goldsborough apparently fired seven times but was described by witnesses as using a six-shooter.
The two men, who had known Phillips years earlier, travel to New York, where they meet a variety of historical figures - including Roosevelt himself - as they aim to untangle a complicated case and gain justice for their friend. Whatever they do, though, must be done in secret, as there will be consequences for powerful people - neatly explaining why this mystery wasn't part of the published Conan Doyle canon.
I love the idea of the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, as Conan Doyle always left tantalising glimpses of unwritten mysteries by referring to them in his own stories, and this stands out as one of the very best of them. Watson and Holmes, even at a somewhat advanced age compared to their heyday, are beautifully captured by Victor, and there's a real sense of poignancy in both the way that age is catching up with the duo, and the way that the 20th century is overtaking them. There's also a well-developed plot here which holds its own with the majority of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, and lots of references to those adventures which add to the mood of nostalgia for times gone by.
There's a really good supporting cast as well, notably Phillips' sister and her husband, and the central mystery is a strong one. This is highly recommended to all fans of the great detective, and I'm increasingly impressed by the selections the publishers have made for the Further Adventures series.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: For another fictional detective dealing with a crime of the past, I absolutely loved Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, in which her sleuth Alan Grant is laid up in a hospital bed and tries to solve the mystery of the Two Princes in the Tower. For more Holmes, The Man From Hell by Barrie Roberts is another brilliant entry into this series of rereleases.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Seventh Bullet by Daniel D Victor at Amazon.com.
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