Authorised continuations of popular series are usually greeted with consternation by diehard fans and brand aficionados. But there are few better hands at the mystery game than Anthony Horowitz, mastermind of Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders and the popular Alex Rider series of children's books, who has recently been tasked with writing the new adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
In Horowitz's The House of Silk, Holmes and Watson are visited by a client who is troubled by the re-emergence of a violent figure from his past. Baker Street's finest sets off to work with the ever-reliable Watson always a step behind, in every sense of the word. The 19th-century London of Horowitz's imagination is, however, a darker place than Arthur Conan Doyle's original and as is often the case with modern thrillers, this new book throws up some chilling twists in the tale.
Given the brisk pace of the original series, Horowitz's closer attention to the human appeal of the duo's relationship is rather charming by comparison. Coupled with his astonishingly accurate reproduction of Watson's storytelling style, The House of Silk is more than a worthy addition to Holmes' case files.