Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Bonnie MacBird
|Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Bonnie MacBird|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Amy Etherington|
|Summary: A pleasing Sherlock Holmes adventure that's both fresh and entertaining. Hard-core fans of Arthur Conan Doyle may find fault with this story but it's still a fun read for lovers of Victorian mystery.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: May 2016|
|Publisher: Collins Crime Club|
|External links: Author's website|
It's the winter of 1888 and Sherlock Holmes is languishing. After a devastating result concerning the mysterious Ripper investigation, Holmes can find no solace and falls back in to his troublesome relationship with cocaine. Not even his good friend Doctor Watson can cheer him – that is until an encoded letter arrives from Paris from a young French cabaret star who claims her son has vanished. Intrigued, Holmes explores the case only to uncover that the disappearance of a young boy is only the tip of the iceberg. Journeying to Paris and then to the Lancashire countryside, Holmes and Watson become involved in a dangerous investigation, concerning a prized stolen statue, child slavery, and murder – but who is the culprit behind it all?
Art in the Blood is an entertaining adventure that took me right back to the nineteenth century and to the original Sherlock Holmes stories. Its gloomy Victorian atmosphere is powerful but not stuffy, and although the story is told from the perspective of Doctor Watson like Doyle's original works, I could definitely sense some modern voices coming through. I could almost certainly picture some scenes as though they were Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock but don't take this as a bad thing. I personally am a fan of the modern TV adaptation of Doyle's work and I liked how I could see elements of that in MacBird's versions of Holmes and Watson; they felt fresh but recognisable and I thought MacBird did a very good job.
The portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in this novel is interesting because although he comes across in his usual brilliant and unconventional way, he wasn't overly eccentric. The story does have a feel of the dramatic but Holmes doesn't always appear as the omniscient genius everyone believes him to be. He's still brilliant, but he's also more subtle and I liked the human touch this gave to his character. You can sense Watson's frustration in the narrative at times towards Holmes and it's quite amusing, but Watson is the same as always and shows never-ending concern and affection for his friend.
There's also plenty of action – chases and fights and of course Sherlock Holmes donning one or two of his brilliant disguises. Saying that there are lots of scenes designed to fill in the blanks so there are a few chapters dedicated to keeping you updated on what is happening elsewhere. Again this isn't a bad thing and it's kind of necessary in order to follow the mystery, but it can be a little long-winded. The case itself is good; full of intrigue and danger and if you don't mind a bit of a slow build-up this is a rewarding read. Die-hard Doyle fans may disagree but I for the most part found myself having a lot of fun reading this book, and found it to be a fresh take on the Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. If you're looking for more Sherlock Holmes adventure then you can't beat the original stories – Sherlock: The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle Adventures by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle features selected stories picked by Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat, co-creators of BBC's Sherlock. Perfect if you want to read more about Doyle's famous detective.
You can read more book reviews or buy Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Bonnie MacBird at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Bonnie MacBird at Amazon.com.
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