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The House of Silk: The Bestselling Sherlock Holmes Novel (Sherlock Holmes Novel 1) Hardcover – 1 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Edition edition (1 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409133826
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409133827
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Horowitz has captured Holmes Heaven (Marcel Berlins THE TIMES)

Horowitz plays a perfectly straight bat. This is a no-shit Sherlock (Ian Sansom THE GUARDIAN)

For fans of the original tales, the game is afoot once more! (Ruth Hunter, Bookseller's Choice THE BOOKSELLER)

A lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan, Anthony Horowitz is the perfect choice to pen the first new official mystery and what a triumph it is. While retaining faithfully the style of the originals, Horowitz's lively prose makes this exciting story just right for a new generation of fans (Sarah Clarke, Bookseller's Choice THE BOOKSELLER)

Orion has pulled a winner out of the bag by inviting Anthony Horowitz to pen a Sherlock Holmes novel. It has the feel of a Conan Doyle tale and only the jealous will fault this superb thriller (Patrick Neale, Bookseller's Choice THE BOOKSELLER)

Bravo, then, Mr Horowitz. Let us hope that the famous dispatch box contains many more cases for him to unearth (Mark Gatiss FINANCIAL TIMES)

a brilliant new Sherlock Holmes novel. The tone of voice is pitch perfect, the send of place and time spot on. I don't want to give too much away about the plot but there are clever twist and plenty of trademark Holmesian moments. I thoroughly enjoyed this (Sue Scholes, Bookseller's Choice THE BOOKSELLER)

a fantastic new Holmes mystery (Emma Giacon, Bookseller's Choice THE BOOKSELLER)

As far as I can see, Anthony Horowitz has done a thoroughly professional job and reading the novel felt to me like being in the company of an old and distinguished friend - or should that be two old friends?' (Mike Ripley SHOTS)

Brimming with informed enthusiasm, this skillfully crafted homage to Conan Doyle is so enjoyable that you're sorry when it fades away to the strains of Holmes playing his Stradivarius (Peter Kemp SUNDAY TIMES)

an exciting, well-crafted novel (Andrew Lycett SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Horowitz infuses the novel with a superb eye for the detail of Victorian London but also a touching sense of melancholy, the book functioning as a subtle final coda to Holmes's adventures. Crucially, it also has a cracking plot and is a labyrinthine but eminently lucid page-turner. It is ultimately a homage and you wouldn't want Horowitz to start churning Holmes novels out but as a stand-alone this is very satisfying (METRO)

It's immediately clear how he got the full endorsement of the Conan Doyle estate. Horowitz's grasp of the creator's prose style and intricate plotting, coupled with his understanding of the dynamic between Holmes and Watson, is extraordinary (Henry Sutton DAILY MIRROR - 4-star review)

Looks set to entertain Holmes traditionalists and Sherlock newcomers alike. November 1890 is the time, 221B Baker Street the place, and Holmes and his faithful companion Dr Watson receive an unannounced visit from an agitated gentleman. Let the fun - and there is plenty of it - begin (SPORT)

Giving none of the twists away, this is one for Holmesians who aren't sated by the new film and series (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

Sherlock Holmes has popped his clogs (and so has Conan Doyle for that matter), but that doesn't mean there's not a hauntingly good new Sherlocky story to be told. This reworking gives old Dr Watson a chance to tell his side. Finally! (THE SUN)

a fresh take on the Sherlock Holmes tales, swirling with all the suspense of the originals (Must Read SUNDAY TIMES)

compulsive Conan Doyle tribute (WOMAN & HOME)

Yet another Sherlock Holmes imitiation? The field is crowded but with one bound Horowitz - well known for his children's books and TV scripts - takes the lead, with his perfect mimicry of Conan Doyle's style and Dr Watson's tone of voice. There is a suitably baffling mystery and the great detective is on top form. It's very good; dare I say as good as the original? (Jessica Mann LITERARY REVIEW)

this deliciously aromatic three-pipe problem (Christopher Bray DAILY EXPRESS)

The story speeds along like a hard-driven phaeton (David Robinson THE SCOTSMAN)

Derek Jacobi reads Dr Watson's last story, said to have been hidden in the vaults of a London solicitor for a century because of the scandal within. Horowitz takes Holmes deeper into the capital's dark underbelly than Conan Doyle ever did (Radio Choices THE TIMES)

It'll keep you guessing until the very end (SHORTLIST)

It's a pacy read that delights in the world Arthur Conan Doyle created while adding a little something extra (WORD)

Horowitz stays true not only to the Victorian turn of phrase, but embeds the story within the context of Conan Doyle's other tales - offering up plenty of knowing nods to Holmes aficionados, while luring in the novices too (PSYCHOLOGIES)

Impressive (Susan Jeffreys' Radio Week DAILY MAIL)

Sherlock Holmes if framed for murder by a dastardly secret society in Horowitz's inventive yarn, the first sequel ever to be endorsed by the Conan Doyle estate (Jake Kerridge DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Perfectly paced, entirely unpredictable, edge-of-seat exciting and a total joy from start to finish. The more of it I read, the more I looked forward to basking in Holmes's deductive brilliance at the end: the solutions that are obvious once you know them but completely unguessable until you do. I am happy to report that all the required ingredients had been added; neither Holmes nor Horowitz let me down (Sophie Hannah SUNDAY EXPRESS)

It seems improbable, if not impossible, but it's true! Holmes is back at his best (THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

'Fans of Sherlock Holmes rejoice, for the game is afoot again' 5-stars (Daneet Steffens TIME OUT)

a thoroughly first-rate job (Nicholas Lezard THE SPECTATOR)

He has added a truly diverting entry to the canon. (Barry Forshaw THE INDEPENDENT)

It's a brilliant pastiche, with a wonderful sense of time and place (Christie Hickman SUNDAY EXPRESS)

The period detail is poured on like gravy and there are enough nods to previous cases to fill the most demanding Holmesian with delight (Mark Sanderson EVENING STANDARD)

Were Conan Doyle still alive, I think he would be very grateful that Anthony Horowitz has so successfully recreated the detective he tried so hard to shake off towards the end. This is the first Sherlock Holmes novel that has been written with the full endorsement of the Doyle estate and they have evidently chosen the right man for the job (Carla McKay DAILY MAIL)

Enthusiastically replicating the spirit, style, suspense and atmosphere of Conan Doyles' stories, this skilfully crafted homage is an irresistible read (SUNDAY TIMES Christmas Books)

But this review is no murder mystery, so I needn't keep you in suspense as to the end result, the final summation, any longer: with no further ado, then - none at all, no sir - The House of Silk is, in short...terrific (Niall Alexander TOR.COM)

This is a brilliant novel, made all the more welcome by the fact that Horowitz has stepped into the shoes of an acclaimed and beloved author and has taken time and effort to ensure this novel can stand proud next to the works of Conan Doyle (Madeleine Marsh REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE.COM)

A definite success (BIG ISSUE)

Anthony Horowitz takes the mantle from Arthur Conan Doyle with grace. The tone is appropriate, without sounding too Victorian. Let's hope Mr Horowitz brings to light other unknown cases solved by Holmes (aided by Dr Watson, of course). (CRIME TIME)

As teenagers really enjoy the original Holmes stories, I think they'll go for this too. Ingeniously, it adds an element missing in Conan Doyle: social comment' (Charlie Higson MAIL ON SUNDAY)

This is an excellent and highly recommended addition to the Holmes cannon (THE WORD)

Sherlock Holmes fans have been well served by Anthony Horowitz's new adventure, The House of Silk, in which Holmes sets down an early case too shocking to be published in his lifetime (Justine Jordan THE GUARDIAN)

Horowitz, commissioned by the Conan Doyle estate, provides pitch-perfect atmosphere in a novel that's both a tribute to Holmes' creator and a grace note, with a politically damning conundrum at its heart (Christopher Fowler FINANCIAL TIMES)

Within seconds of being invited by the Conan Doyle estate to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel. Anthony Horowitz was off the starting-blocks, piecing together a plot as involved and involving as the best of the originals. (Maggie Fergusson INTELLIGENT LIFE)

Anthony Horowitz's new Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk is superb - indeed, I would say it is better than any of Conan Doyle's own Holmes novels, which always feel padded out in comparison with the gripping short stories. (Charles Spencer DAILY TELEGRAPH)

As to whether he should write another; well, the man with the pipe would nod approvingly. (RTE GUIDE)

I really, really enjoyed The House of Silk, it drew me in. I loved spending time with Holmes and Watson again and was gripped and tricked along the way. I just loved the adventure of it all. It doesn't try to take Holmes anywhere new that the loyal fans will be unhappy with, nor does it become a pastiche of a Holmes novel. I knew it wasn't Conan Doyle but I knew I was in safe hands. (SAVIDGE READS)

As you'd expect from the creator of Foyle's War and Midsomer Murders, the narrative is exciting and the mystery baffling. Actually, that should be 'mysteries'. Mr Horowitz presents us with one puzzle, then introduces a quite different one, and cleverly leads us through the labyrinth until, with a flourish of his magician's staff, he reveals the devilish connection between them. (THE DISTRICT MESSENGER Newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London)

Another adult novel suitable for this cohort is Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk. A Sherlock Holmes tale, narrated by Watson but considered too shocking for publication in the good doctor's own time, it is a tight atmospheric thriller of dismal foggy London. (IRISH INDEPENDENT)

I approached this novel with some trepidation. This new adventure, approved by the Conan Doyle estate, seems to have stemmed from the same idea that led to Jeffrey Deaver's James Bond reinvention Carte Blanche, a novel so diabolically dull that it seemed to suck all the joy out of me like some kind of papery black hole - of antijoy. If such things exist. Does The House of Silk disappoint? It does not, not for one page. (THE DIOGENES CLUB)

In his acknowledgements Horowitz says writing the books was a "joy" and hopes he's done justice to Conan Doyle's creation. He certainly has. (Emma Lee Potter DAILY EXPRESS)

It's all very satisfying for a Holmes fan, not least because Horowitz captures Conan Doyle's style perfectly, right down to Watson's habit of referring to his friend by his full name when singing his praises. (Anna Carey IRISH TIMES)

With such a daunting legacy to live up to, surely only a very bold person would take on the first "official" Sherlock Holmes novel since the author's death in 1930. Fortunately, Anthony Horowitz is that person and The House of Silk is a worthy addition to the canon. (Toby Lichtig TIME LITERARY SUPPLEMENT)

Brilliantly capturing the spirit and tone of Doyle's original stories while devising a new ystery for modern readers is no mean feat, but Horowitz has risen to the challenge with absolute aplomb (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Anthony Horowitz has paid homage to Doyle's creation in the best way possible, by writing a mystery true to Holmes. Reading his book was an absolute delight. Rating: A+ (DEADLY PLEASURES)

Here is a real treat for all fans of Sherlock Holmes: a new Holmes novel by skilled writer Anthony Horowitz (IRISH CATHOLIC)

The writing flows like an original Sherlock Holmes tale, and the logic and analysis reflect the virtuosity and great mind of the singular detective. Too often attempts to recreate classics fail or end up being something else. Such is not the case with this novel, and it is recommended. (Theodore Feit CRIMESPREE)

It has everything a Holmes novel should - humour, intrigue and a mind-boggling reveal that is so wonderfully intricate, you feel both awe-inspired and frustrated for missing the clues (HAMPSHIRE SOCIETY MAGAZINE)

The writer is in cracking form with this welcome tribute to Holmes (CLASSROOM (NATE))

Book Description

The first official new Sherlock Holmes mystery, written by global bestseller Anthony Horowitz.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
I have an omnibus collection of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories written by Conan Doyle, and I keep meaning to read it from beginning to end; however, that will have to wait for another day (or several days). The opportunity to read this book, which is a new adventure based on the Sherlock Holmes character, seemed too good to pass by, given the favourable reviews I had read to date of the novel.

Quite frankly it’s a brave author who takes on the characters made famous (or infamous) by a previous author; some of the stinkers written as a ‘follow ups’ to Gone With the Wind and Pride and Prejudice still make me shudder. So you have to give Mr Horowitz full marks for his courage before I’ve even started reading!

This is a story that Doctor Watson could not reveal while so many of the actors in it were alive; the horror of the final mystery is such that it was hidden from view and from the public until now, when Watson records it for final posterity. So, with very few preconceptions, I read this book, and really enjoyed it. It’s a mystery bound within a mystery and wrapped up in a few more mysteries – the story is multi-layered, the characters diverse. I really felt that the atmosphere of Victorian England was captured beautifully – the sounds, smells, the horror, the poverty against the obscene and arrogant wealth of a few.

I really enjoyed the patient gathering of clues, the unravelling of corruption and diabolical plans. The characters really speak from the pages, and while Holmes may seem a little too clever for his own good, there is still a humanity about him in the way that his friend Watson portrays him and their relationship. Thoroughly recommended for any reader who enjoys a good mystery story, or a well-crafted and plotted Victorian era story.
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179 of 190 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Nov. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of all the Holmes pastiches I have read (and there have been many), Horowitz has, I believe, achieved the most authentic Watsonian voice. For most of the time, it is possible to believe the book was written by Conan Doyle, the master storyteller, himself. All the regular characters are there - Inspector Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, brother Mycroft - and as a Holmes fanatic, I wasn't conscious of any of those jarring inconsistencies that mar many a Holmes tribute. The plot is complex and well written, and we see Holmes both as the calculating thinker and as the man of action. The Holmes/Watson relationship is very faithfully portrayed.

However, I felt that sometimes Horowitz allowed the tone to stray quite far from the originals. For example, Watson's concern for the contrast of rich and poor, his reflections on the street urchins, smacked more of Dickens than Conan Doyle. Suddenly the Baker Street Irregulars are no longer the cheeky, street-smart gang of old; now they are to be pitied for their poverty and the harshness of their lives. All true, of course, but not in keeping with the originals. I also felt that the main strand of the plot was well outside the bounds that Conan Doyle would have set and as a result in the latter stages it got more difficult to forget that this was not the genuine article.

In the Kindle version, there is included a very interesting essay by Horowitz where he describes how he came to write the book and lays out the ten rules he set himself, before beginning to write, to try to ensure an authentic flavour. He admits that he broke one or two of the rules along the way and I feel that was a pity - had he managed to stay within them I believe the end result would have been as close to perfect as any homage could be.
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100 of 110 people found the following review helpful By P. Pensom on 22 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
The marketing spiel for this book claims that it is 'the first new Sherlock Holmes novel to be published with the endorsement of the Conan Doyle estate'. I'd have thought that that honour would have gone to the collection published by Adrian Conan Doyle in the 1950s, but that's by the by. The novel has garnered a truly impressive list of five star reviews, but though I enjoyed it, I feel unable to wholeheartedly second their appreciation.

For one thing, much has been made of the authenticity, the fidelity of this book to the original canon. I should say that it deviates quite drastically in two distinct ways, one consciously, and the other less so. The first thing that grates is the twenty-first century sensibility; this is both a novel with a social conscience and a very contemporary subject matter. The grisly minutiae of the modern crime novel sits uneasily in a Holmes story, as do his new-found progressive sensibilities. Each generation remakes Holmes anew, and I have no problem with that -- in fact I enjoy it. But I do think that if you make great play of inheriting the mantle of Conan Doyle, you must play by his rules, and not your own.

My second point is less overt: I disagree with most critics about the sensitivity with which this Holmes has been drawn. One of the great pleasures for me in the original stories was the capriciousness of Holmes' character. It's one of the most delicious ironies in literature that the supposed 'thinking machine' is anything but: he's a petulant, vainglorious monomaniac, with little time for anyone or anything save himself.

This is the side to Holmes that I found sorely missing in this book. The showy deductions were there, the scenery was all in place, but where was the arrogance?
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