#BookReview Sherlock Holmes The Keys of Death

Holmes and Watson embark on a dangerous adventure that sends them scurrying around London’s streets to chase down the culprit.

September 1880, Mrs Hudson encounters a terrible tragedy that leaves her distraught and unsure of what to do when her deceased husband’s wedding ring is nowhere to be found.

A young man approaches her, introducing himself as Mr Holmes, and is determined to discover why her husband was killed. When an explosion occurs on Baker St, it sets Holmes, Watson and even the young and up-in-coming Lestrade to investigate why Mrs Hudson is been targeted.

The story takes you through the dangerous London streets, to Jewish synagogues, Russian boxers, jewel thieves, Women’s liberation, and even assisted by the Prince of Wales.

My Review

Right from the start, the author draws you in like you are actually reading Dr Watson’s words, making it easy to forget that this is a piece of fiction.

This is the beginning of Baker Street and the place Holmes called home. The narrative begins with Mrs Hudson and the suspicious death of her husband. Not willing to believe that her husband was the ruffian the police claim, Holmes is on the path to discover the truth.

Spoken from the first person POV, you can see what Holmes was like through the eyes of Mrs Hudson, and her musings in her journal. It is well-written, with concise and logical events, and building of characters. However, there is a lot of focus on the thoughts of Mrs Hudson in the beginning, instead of the mystery involving her husband.

It is an interesting take from the different perspective of an ‘outsider’ looking in on the events that surround Holmes. The beginning provides a backstory that I haven’t read before.

It wasn’t quite what I expected. It took a while to get to the nitty gritty of the story. However, it was a nice read to discover the beginnings of the infamous Mrs Hudson.

The mystery slowly unravelled revealing the layers of complexity to the crimes. At times, the mundane elements of their life took more focus than progressing the plot.

The story was a mix of plot and character driven. The POV of Mrs Hudson and Watson provided a lot of detail to these well-known characters. I guess it was hard to get involved at times as I felt disconnected from the events with Mrs Hudson’s narrative. She sees the things, but isn’t completely involved in it. It felt like I was looking through a window, instead of being inside the house being immersed in all the excitement.

The subplots offer more humour to the main plot line (although when I was reading parts of the subplots, I wondered what the purpose of it all was), and the precarious times they live in as assassinations and brutal attacks are wrought throughout the streets.

I preferred the bits that were focused from Watson’s POV, feeling more connected to the events and the psychological workings of Holmes.

Even Holmes’ narrative comes into things as he draws closer to the culprit, and lives are put in danger as the truth is slowly revealed.

The end explanation is a little long winded. Still, it is a solid mystery that requires Holmes to hone his observations skills to lead him to a brutal killer.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What is your favourite Sherlock Holmes book?

Published by sharlene25

Sharlene Almond is the author of the genre-bending Annabella Cordova series, and a New Zealand travel book Journey in little Paradise. She has written a range of health, writing and body language articles; contributing as a guest writer on other blogs. Over the last ten years, Sharlene has attained qualifications in Body Language, Criminology, Journalism, Editing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Pet Care, and Animal Behaviour. While setting up an online nutritional business, she is studying to specialize in Medicinal Cannabis and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sharlene is also currently editing her second Annabella Cordova novel, with two others in the works. To support her online business, Sharlene sends out a trimonthly newsletter covering health, body language, writing, and even articles centered on health topics for your pet.

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