Top critical review
One person found this helpful
good from a literary point of view, but not for me a good Sherlock Holmes story
on 26 July 2016
This is one of a series of spin-off Sherlock Holmes novels, where the relatively elderly detective partners young theology student Mary Russell. This was the fifth to be published, but was set during a hiatus in the plot of the first novel, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, so I read it now (nearly three years) after that novel. This is a well written novel and the author has obviously done a great deal of research into the time and place, Palestine under the British Mandate just after the end of the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In places, the research is in my view a bit heavy at the expense of a well-flowing plot. Despite these literary merits, for me this doesn't work as a Sherlock Holmes novel; there are flashes of Holmesian brilliance, but for large tracts of the novel, he doesn't come across as the Great Detective; and Russell, while an interesting character, isn't entirely believable and her relationship with Holmes not really plausible within his fictional persona. So overall I'm not too sure if I'll pursue this series of a dozen or so novels, beyond the next one that I already have on my Kindle, and which sounds like it may be a bit more traditionally Sherlockian.