Title: House of Silk                                                                             Author: Anthony Horowitz                                                      Publication Date:  November 1, 2011                                         Publisher: Little, Brown and Company                                                                 Format:  Hardcover 304 pages                                                          Genre: Fiction   

Rating:  I have to give two separate ratings here.  If you are a tried and true Holmes fan, I mean you even think the Robert Downey, Jr. character is a barrel of fun–read this book now, it is fully a 5 of 5, and if you haven’t read it yet, you are missing out.  If however, you are a mystery fan with no great love for the classics, you may find it a slow and winding road, and we’ll just call that your loss.

Synopsis: Sherlock begins to solve an art heist, and tragedy strikes.  In order to justify his own methods Sherlock must follow this tragedy to its own end, even if it is the end of him.  The ever faithful Watson stands by his friend through thick and thin, even facing one of Holmes’ greatest enemies in person.  The art heist lies forgotten as Sherlock’s guilt leads him to solve a tangential crime, which becomes the overriding plot.  A conspiracy of the basest and unfortunately most common sort is uncovered and Holmes finds himself in grave danger. 

Review:   House of Silk is absolutely a must-read for classic mystery fans.  This book transports us to a time when real social networks and wits trumped the information that could be propagated by the rich and powerful and their sycophants. Horowitz does the work of at least two CSI teams and one DNA analysis computer, all in the venerated brain of his famed protagonist.  Horowitz’s detective is an idealized version of our beloved historical crime fighter, but I think I like this new version better.

It is a simple whodunit, written in a complicated period where deductive powers and the ability to listen to actual testimony mean more than scientific knowledge.  A true continuation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebration of the intuitive over the empirical.  Cheers to Mr. Horowitz for immersing a modern sentiment in turn of the century London circumstances.  Please, please give us another one!