The Torso at Highgate Cemetery and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories by Tim Symonds has all the expected tropes, such as foggy London streets and fast hansom cab rides. From Highgate Cemetery to Holmes’ retirement bee farm in Sussex Holmes and Watson are “crammed into an agile hansom rattling off to Charing Cross Station [Watson’s] revolver tucked into a pocket.” One of the stories even has Watson in a prison in Istanbul! He even had a visitation from Mycroft Holmes and was sent to Crete to search for Holmes.
Things and times are more modern in some ways, too. Holmes has a telephone in the house at his farm. Modernity abounds as Holmes and Watson take a ride in a motorized hackney (i.e., an initial form of a car).
Overall, I liked these stories. Crisp writing enlivens them and causes tension. For example, in “The Torso at Highgate Cemetery,” Holmes and Watson indirectly cause the death of a Chinese scribe. Some oddities exist, too. In “The Mystery of the Missing Artefacts,” Watson had offered his services during World War I. While imprisoned, Watson received a telegram from Holmes to come assist him. As if Watson were casually sitting in his house in Marylebone. Upon Watson’s return, Holmes picked up relations with him as if Watson had been away on vacation. Really?!
Readers who enjoy works about the ever-popular Holmes and Watson, detectives extraordinaire, will be happy with this selection of short stories. From dealing with the ever-dangerous Colonel Sebastian Moran to scaring Dr. Watson with galloping knights and ghostly monks, things happen within these stories. Although some stories had sluggish spots; overall these six were enjoyable.
Not my favorite stories in the Holmes-Watson canon of pastiches. But, I would read other Holmes-Watson adventures written by this author.
I received a copy of The Torso at Highgate Cemetery and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories in exchange for an honest review.