So, I finished yet another Holmesian pastiche [two weeks ago] and am only just getting around to writing up my thoughts. Written by David Stuart Davies, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Veiled Detective, is the finest take on the Holmes canon I have read for a few years now.
The novel is an alternative take on how the Holmes & Watson double act got together and how Moriarty had an eye on Holmes from the outset, with Reichenbach providing the setting for a most dramatic ending.
Davies does a remarkable job joining together the original A Study in Scarlet narrative with his alternate history, and thus delivers a most original of pastiches [if that is possible!]. He creates a rip-roaring rollercoaster ride that delves into the dark past of Watson, the lengths at which Mycroft will go to do his bit for Queen and Country and reveals how Holmes’ compassionless front is just that.
I’ve read a couple of Davies’ other works, the most recent being The Scroll of the Dead, and he tends to follow the usual ACD rule of writing through Watson, but also breaks this up by writing some third person perspectives throughout. I’ve never really bought into this but it works well in The Veiled Detective due to the content and approach to the story.
An absolute must for any fans of Holmes.