Anthony Horowitz, author of the popular Alex Rider series, was chosen to write the first new Sherlock Holmes novel authorized by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate.
See Horowitz read from The House of Silk and (even better) talk about his favorites from the Holmes canon, including “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot,” which he can still remember having nightmares about as a teen. You can easily sense his genuine enthusiasm for the originals.
As he shares in an NPR interview, “The Enduring Popularity of Sherlock Holmes,” Horowitz first encountered Sherlock Holmes when he received the complete works for his 16th birthday.
Adult/High School–After the opening pages, Conan Doyle fans will forget about the novelty of reading a new Sherlock Holmes tale penned by a YA author. Instead, Dr. Watson’s voice will lure readers into the well-crafted story itself as he sets up the circumstances behind Holmes’s most shocking case ever. The detective is hired to look into the background of a thug who has followed a man from his travels in America to his London home. In the course of learning this man’s identity and intentions, a boy questioned by Holmes is brutally murdered. A deeper, decidedly evil mystery is revealed, revolving around the secretive and sinister House of Silk. The stakes are higher than even Holmes knows, and the boy’s death haunts him like no other, propelling him to extreme lengths to discover the truth. The House of Silk passes the most important tests of any Holmes fan. The voice is pitch-perfect and the self-deprecating Watson as storyteller rings true. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Holmes’s powers of deduction, and they seem authentic without stretching too thin. Although the overall solution has a somewhat modern feel and is evident early on, the twists to get there are entertaining and unexpected. Horowitz has created a story whose setting and tone seamlessly fits into established Holmes lore. Teens expecting a raucous “Alex Rider” adventure may be disappointed, but those looking to experience a Sherlock Holmes mystery will be thoroughly satisfied, and tempted to revisit their original favorites.–Priscille Dando, Robert E. Lee High School, Fairfax County, VA