Book Review - Sherlock Holmes and The Thames Murders

Posted by Steve Emecz on

Sherlock Holmes Society of London 

"Given the central role the mighty Thames plays in London’s history, I am surprised that it does not feature more prominently in pastiches. The odd boat, the occasional dock-worker, a glimpse of the river in the distance: Old Father Thames starts to look rather neglected compared with the heady days when Holmes and Watson pursued Jonathan Small along its murky waters. It is refreshing, therefore, to find a story where London’s artery has been placed at the forefront of the action. A series of ghastly and grisly murders near the river leaves Lestrade perplexed and the capital quivering.

Accompanied by the faithful Watson, Holmes throws himself into the case with gusto, only to find that the crimes are multi-layered and indicative of some deeper, sinister intent. Holmes is on fine form, with deductions coming thick and fast and full of good logical reasoning. The regular characters are here, with the welcome return of minor players, including Mary Watson, who turns out to be a brave, sensible woman who saves the day. Rieke has a flair for writing Holmes and makes full use of his talents, whether in disguise, where he artfully tricks poor Watson, or grappling with knife-wielding villains. The author has published six Sherlock Holmes pastiches of which this is the second to be translated into English. I hope the others will soon follow."


David Marcum

After her stunning English debut with MX Publishing, “Sherlock Holmes and the Cornwall Murder”, Rieke returns with another wonderful Sherlockian outing. This adventure, set in 1890, takes place in the months leading up to Holmes’s momentous encounter with Professor Moriarty atop the Reichenbach Falls, and involves a number of seemingly unrelated deaths in London’s docklands. Rieke displays very great knowledge of The Canon, and expands wonderfully on that period when Watson and his wife Mary balanced their domestic bliss with Sherlock Holmes’s investigations. Where there are several places where the translations from German to English are a bit awkward, these can be overlooked when one is lost in the excitement and momentum of the story. This is the second of the four Rieke novels published in English that I’ve now read, and I can’t wait for more.


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London in 1890 is shocked by a series of gruesome murders. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to them, except for their location in the Thames dockland. Scotland Yard is perplexed. Can Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson help before worse follows? And what is really going on? Author Johanna Rieke brings rich and poor in Victorian London realistically to life, as she unfolds for you the surprising story of the Thames Murders, as disaster is averted at the last moment.




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