By: Tim Symonds
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
It's the year 1906.
Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching - not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London's Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes's task - discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch'ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain's vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake. Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.
This is the first book I've read by Tim Symonds and I am certain it won't be the last.
I feel like the original author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, left the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes open for writers like this. The story fits so perfectly with the original works, it's no wonder Holmes and Watson keep coming back!
This book is a perfect replication of the original writing style and characterizations. It's in Dr. Watson's point of view, just like the originals, and on more than one occasion does an excellent job of reflecting the good old doctor's sense of overwhelm/amazement onto the readers, themselves!
Holmes has retired to Sussex. But we all know retirement has a different meaning for a man like Holmes and his trusty doctor Watson.
It doesn't take long for Holmes and Watson to find themselves up and running again, solving crime like the good old days. Like the characters, you're taken to a world of wonder that has been beautifully described in Dr. Watson's first person old English.
The novel keeps a steady pace that seemingly picks up when the action and deductions start rolling in. It's kind of like a roller coaster, as far as pacing goes, and I love it! I always found the originals had a similar heart throbbing affect that tend to keep the readers on edge.
Let's just say this action packed mystery will keep you guessing, just as all Holmes stories should.
Are Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson capable of chasing clues around this chaotic new world? Or will this be one of those rare cases where the infamous detective gets bested??
I suppose you'll just have to read it to find out...