Book Review: The Art of Blood

Author: Bonnie MacBird
Read:  November 2015
Number of pages: 336
Format: Hard Back
Published: 27th August 2015
ISBN: 0008129665
Publisher: Collins Crime Club
Rating:   five-stars


“In a world with more than its share of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, it is rare for one to soar above the rest, but Bonnie MacBird’s Art in the Blood achieves this singular feat and deserves a tip of the deerstalker.” – OTTO PENZLER, EDITOR, “THE BIG BOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES STORIES”

Synopsis: London. A snowy December, 1888. Sherlock Holmes, 34, is languishing and back on cocaine after a disastrous Ripper investigation. Watson can neither comfort nor rouse his friend – until a strangely encoded letter arrives from Paris. Mlle La Victoire, a beautiful French cabaret star writes that her illegitimate son by an English lord has disappeared, and she has been attacked in the streets of Montmartre. Racing to Paris with Watson at his side, Holmes discovers the missing child is only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. The most valuable statue since the Winged Victory has been violently stolen in Marseilles, and several children from a silk mill in Lancashire have been found murdered. The clues in all three cases point to a single, untouchable man.

Will Holmes recover in time to find the missing boy and stop a rising tide of murders? To do so he must stay one step ahead of a dangerous French rival and the threatening interference of his own brother, Mycroft. This latest adventure, in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, sends the iconic duo from London to Paris and the icy wilds of Lancashire in a case which tests Watson’s friendship and the fragility and gifts of Sherlock Holmes’ own artistic nature to the limits.

Review: What to say about this book? I loved it. It hit the satisfying holmesian notes that a sherlockian craves. It was exciting, very well researched and touches of humour which kept the pages turning. The art work leaped out on the bookcase screaming ‘Read Me!’. What is it about hardback books?

The glorious Sherlock and Watson relationship is observed and respected by MacBird and is a tribute to the Conan Doyle style. Having just finished and reviewed the House of Silk by Horrowitz, this was every bit as good; if not better. Ironically, or deliberately, this novel has a similar side plot to Horrowitz’ House of Silk so it felt like it was a continuation of the story …this, for me, put it into context.

There are plenty of twists and turns, plots and sub-plots, and convincing villains making this an engaging adventures, complete with scenes in Baker street, rattling along London streets and the countryside in cabs and trains. An exceedingly enjoyable read and I can’t wait for the sequel, ‘Unquiet Spirts’ next year.

This one comes highly recommended. Click here for your copy!


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