Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Holmes for Your Home?

I was given a copy of Anthony Horowitz’s new Sherlock Holmes adventure, The House of Silk, during Bouchercon in St. Louis. But it came with the instruction that I wasn’t to utter a single word about the book before its official release date of November 1. Sticking to that promise, I refrained from saying anything in print about The House of Silk--until this morning, when my generally favorable critique of Horowitz’s novel was posted on the Kirkus Reviews Web site.

That post offers background on this book:
Publicized as the first addition to the Holmes canon to have been penned with the endorsement of [Arthur] Conan Doyle’s estate (probably a quibbling distinction for most readers), this novel nicely captures the storytelling tone of Holmes’ inventor in a galloping adventure that boasts enough twists, ominous turns and urgent nocturnal escapades to make modern moviemakers salivate. That cinematic quality was predictable, given Horowitz’s background. In addition to his having composed a series of young-adult novels starring teenage spy Alex Rider (Scorpia Rising, 2011), he’s a screenwriter and the creator of the World War II-era TV detective series Foyle’s War.
From there the piece goes on to supply a few plot points and comment on Horowitz’s remarkably deft handling of Conan Doyle’s characters. While The House of Silk isn’t perfect, I was carried right along by the hurtling pace of Horowitz’s storytelling. There have been many attempts to revive the careers of Holmes and his chronicler, Doctor John Watson, in print, but I think few have succeeded as well as The House of Silk. I’m already hoping for a sequel.

Meanwhile, you now have the chance to own The House of Silk for yourself. Thanks to publisher Mulholland Books, The Rap Sheet has four copies--all signed by the author--of Horowitz’s brand-new historical novel to give away. To have a shot at winning one of those, all you need to do is e-mail your name and postal address to jpwrites@wordcuts.org. And please write “House of Silk Contest” in the subject line. Entries will be accepted between now and midnight next Monday, November 7. Winners will be picked at random and their names announced on this page the next day. (Sorry, but this competition is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.)

So, why are you dallying? The game’s afoot, folks! Send your contest entries in right away. You never know: one of these copies of The House of Silk might find its new home on your bookshelves.

1 comment:

Eesti said...

This novel, based on the original period and characters of Conan Doyle's invention, is excellent. I've enjoyed Sherlock Holmes stories since boyhood, and read many extensions of the works, and this ranks among the best. The writing style is strongly aligned with Conan Doyle's, the mysteries are solved in the inimitable Holmes style, and the locales are captured wonderfully. I rarely have my eyes nailed to the page throughout the resolution of a novel, but from start to finish, Horowitz keeps you riveted. After so many Jack Reacher-esque books, one begins to despair that someone can finish a novel as strongly as they start it. Reading this is like returning to a gallery filled with masters' works after tiring of shoddy modern stuff. Great, and reassuring that the genre has not been drained of elegance, style, and complexity.