Coming 01.11.11: “The House of Silk”, the first official new Sherlock Holmes mystery since 1927

Posted: 8 October 2011 in books
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Sherlock Holmes: The House of Silk (UK cover)With the recent successful resurgence of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the mediums of TV and film (with Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman and Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law respectively) it was only a matter of time before the literary incarnation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great characters followed suit.

On 1 November 2011 a brand new Sherlock Holmes novel “The House of Silk” will be published. Unlike previous novels this 85,000 word story from the pen of Anthony Horowitz, famous for the Alex Rider novels and ITV series “Foyle’s War”, has been written with the full endorsement of the Conan Doyle Estate.

This marks the first time that the Conan Doyle Estate has upheld an official novel as canon, outside the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Stripped back to the original style of Conan Doyle, “The House of Silk” will be as much as part of the official Sherlock Holmes timeline as “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and “The Speckled Band”.

The book is set in November 1890, but as written by Watson in a retirement home, a year after the death of Holmes at his home in Sussex. The story opens with a train robbery in Boston, and moves to the innocuous setting of Wimbledon – but, Holmes says, the tale was too monstrous, too appalling to reveal until now. “It is no exaggeration to say it could tear apart the very fabric of society”, he writes in the prologue.

Publisher’s blurb for “The House of Silk”

THE GAME’S AFOOT… It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks. Intrigued by the man’s tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase ‘the House of Silk’: a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself… With devilish plotting and excellent characterisation, bestselling author Anthony Horowitz delivers a first-rate Sherlock Holmes mystery for a modern readership whilst remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books. Sherlock Holmes is back with all the nuance, pace and powers of deduction that make him the world’s greatest and most celebrated detective.

Anthony Horowitz can viewed on YouTube reading the prologue to “The House of Silk”:

  1. Carl T. Wirth says:

    Recieved my copy today from my local independent bookstore in Omaha.Nebraska USA …will begin reading soon…Carl T.Wirth

  2. Mark_W says:

    {Pendanty} This marks the first time that the Conan Doyle Estate has upheld an official novel as canon

    If this is the way this is being promoted, then the use of the world “novel” may be the key — most of the Holmes canon (as you know, Bob) is short stories, and the estate of Conan Doyle has authorised these before, e.g. The Repulsive Story of the Red Leech, by David Langford, as collected in The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures (1997, ed. Mike Ashley) and Langford’s own, excellent, He Do The Time Police in Different Voices.


    Still: not heard of this ’til you mentioned it, and muchly looking forward it now….Top work and good shout! [As I believe the kids say… :-)]

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