Sherlock Holmes is left in a sad state after a disastrous Ripper investigation. His loyal friend Watson can neither comfort nor rouse his friend – until a strangely encoded letter arrives from Paris. Mlle La Victoire, a beautiful French cabaret star writes that her young son has vanished, and she has been attacked in the streets of Montmartre. They discover that the missing boy is just the tip of a very large iceberg filled with shady characters, illegal children workers and a stolen statue that has authorities on highest alert.
Sherlock Holmes and Watson is once again caught up in a wild adventure of murder, disappearances and danger. They discover more and more about a hushed down crime where children are pulled out of orphanages to work illegally in a factory under filthy conditions. Meanwhile, a highly valuable statue has been stolen and a French diva reports that her son is missing – a son that was the result of an affair with a powerful (and married) man. So many things are happening at once in this story, you can’t help feeling sympathetic for our two heroes who have to solve the puzzle with only a handful of clues.
This is not one of those crime novels where you instantly know what’s going on and who the criminal is. You get more details along the way but it only seems to generate more questions and it’s a brilliant way to captivate us, the readers, who are dying to know what’s going on!
I’m sure many will be suspicious about a Sherlock Holmes adventure written in our day but I also believe that many will be pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere is very “classic posh crime” which is basically well-constructed crime novels with a sense of superiority and higher classes of society – such as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot etc. For loyal fans of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I have to say, this version of Holmes leans more towards Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the great detective but the story is still taking place in 1888.
It’s an intriguing story with many details that ties together in the end and we get to see another side of the legendary detective. The writing style is great and it’s a very easy read for both teenagers and adults. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the good old crime novels and wants more of the classic genre with a fresh twist.