I’m always up for a good Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Some are better than others. I stumbled across The Last Moriarty (Amazon) when looking for Kindle Deals. When I saw that the books in the series were all reasonably priced and highly rated, I took a chance and bought volume 1.
“A lovely young American actress from the D’Oyly Carte Opera Troupe comes to 221B Baker Street on a cold November morning, desperately seeking assistance from Sherlock Holmes. Inexplicably, Holmes agrees to help, even though the Prime Minister of England and his cabinet need Holmes to solve a murder case that could threaten a high-stakes meeting with John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. The clock is ticking. Holmes will need all his physical and deductive powers to preserve innocent lives and prevent political and economic chaos on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet even Holmes cannot foresee how much the ultimate outcome will depend on a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s hopes, and on the true identity of the last Moriarty.”
A few years have passed since John Watson wrote of Sherlock Holmes’ death in “The Final Problem” and most people assume he is dead. But the two men keep their heads low and continue to take work from select clients, which includes Mycroft Holmes and his part of the British government. One of those cases involves American John D. Rockefeller. His head of security was murdered as he was headed for a secret meeting between Rockefeller, British officials, and other powerful Americans like J.P. Morgan. Through all this, Holmes and Watson are introduced to an American actress named Lucy James, who has ties to both Moriarty and John D. Rockefeller’s son, Johnny.
There are some good things about this book. The Last Moriarty sounds just like Conan Doyle’s writing. Sometimes pastiche can be hit or miss in that department, and in this case, Watson’s voice sounds just like the canon. The book appears to be well researched with it’s references to places and people of the times.
However, despite capturing the essence of a Holmes story, I found the story rather predictable, but in a comfortable way. There were few times when I was surprised by what was happening because there was so much foreshadowing. There were no twists to the story because all the information was given out throughout the story. Indeed, the big reveal at the end was not surprising at all. Overall, it wasn’t so much a mystery as it was a suspense novel, which I didn’t mind. If you’re looking for a heavy mystery, this book isn’t it. If you’re looking for a passable Sherlock Holmes story, this will do just fine. I think I’ll continue with this series; there are about 20 books or short stories.
This is the 33rd Audiobook I’ve listened to as part of my 2021 Audiobook Challenge.
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