Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye

The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Lyndsay Faye
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Internationally bestselling author Lyndsay Faye was introduced to the Sherlock Holmes mysteries when she was ten years old and her dad suggested she read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.” She immediately became enamored with tales of Holmes and his esteemed biographer Dr. John Watson, and later, began spinning these quintessential characters into her own works of fiction—from her acclaimed debut novel, Dust and Shadow, which pitted the famous detective against Jack the Ripper, to a series of short stories for the Strand Magazine, whose predecessor published the very first Sherlock Holmes short story in 1891.

Faye’s best Holmes tales, including two new works, are brought together in The Whole Art of Detection, a stunning collection that spans Holmes’s career, from self-taught young upstart to publicly lauded detective, both before and after his faked death over a Swiss waterfall in 1894. In “The Lowther Park Mystery,” the unsociable Holmes is forced to attend a garden party at the request of his politician brother and improvises a bit of theater to foil a conspiracy against the government. “The Adventure of the Thames Tunnel” brings Holmes’s attention to the baffling murder of a jewel thief in the middle of an underground railway passage. With Holmes and Watson encountering all manner of ungrateful relatives, phony psychologists, wronged wives, plaid-garbed villains, and even a peculiar species of deadly red leech, The Whole Art of Detection is a must-read for Sherlockians and any fan of historical crime fiction with a modern sensibility.


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I have read quite a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories written by authors than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Some good, some less than good. However, this collection is one of the finest I have ever read and the stories really feel like they were written by Conan Doyle himself.

The book's stories are both before he met Watson and both before and after his "death". All stories are high in quality and some are easier to solve than others. I especially like the dynamic relationship between Watson and Holmes. Sometimes, Watson is made out to be a stumbling buffoon, but in this collection is Watson more a fitting partner to Holmes. They work well together, and they are very good friends.

In this book, we meet damsels in distress, murders, thieves, etc. One story that comes to mind is one that takes place during The Hound of Baskerville because it's told through Holmes point of view, and also because it explains why Holmes stayed back in London while Watsons traveled to Dartmoor with Sir. Baskerville. And, that is just one story among many good.

It's a splendid collection, and now I want to read Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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