Review

In MORIARTY, the game is once again afoot in this thrilling mystery from the bestselling author of THE HOUSE OF SILK, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate,  Anthony Horowitz, which explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls.

Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty—dubbed the Napoleon of crime” by Holmes—in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.

Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty’s death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place—including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind.

Chase and Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction originally introduced by Conan Doyle in “The Sign of Four”, must forge a path through the darkest corners of England’s capital—from the elegant squares of Mayfair to the shadowy wharfs and alleyways of the London Docks—in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty’s successor.

A riveting, deeply atmospheric tale of murder and menace from one of the only writers to earn the seal of approval from Conan Doyle’s estate, Moriarty breathes life into Holmes’s dark and fascinating world.

Athelney Jones is an assiduous student of Holmes’ methods, monographs, and chronicles as relayed by the faithful Dr. John Watson. Jones is at Reichenbach Falls shortly after the tragic accident that has apparently taken the lives of Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty. Here he meets Frederick Chase, a Pinkerton agent in pursuit of the ruthless American criminal mastermind, Clarence Devereux. Devereux brings a level of violence and cruelty to his takeover of Moriarty’s gang never imagined or seen in Britain.

Jones and Chase join forces to find the elusive Devereux and end the bloodshed.

Undeniably one of the best historical mysteries I’ve read this year.

It’s apparent why Mr. Horowitz has the endorsement of the A. Conan Doyle estate. MORIARTY strongly evokes the atmosphere of the Victorian era and Conan Doyles’ Holmes. MORIARTY neither tries to be nor compete with the iconic consulting detective but complements him and his adventures. Minor characters re-introduced as major players, referencing the stories as events in the recent past, and having a room full of Scotland Yard Inspectors discuss Holmes and his successes inventively highlight Holmes while passing the stage over to Jones and Chase.

Athelney Jones is an interesting protagonist chock full of admirable qualities. None of his encounters with Holmes showed him in a positive light but they inspired his desire to improve his detecting abilities. It’s easy to identify with Jones.

Frederick Chase, a Pinkerton agent, is a bit of a duck out of water. He badly needs the assistance and entree Jones can provide. He defers to Jones in many instances while contributing when and how he can.

Jones and Chase form an alliance of necessity that occasionally veers toward an unlikely budding friendship with an eye to potential partnership.

Gritty, briskly paced, and hard to put down MORIARTY hurtles the reader to its startling conclusion. Undeniably one of the best historical mysteries I’ve read this year.

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About the Reviewer

Ivy Truitt
Transplanted Southerner and avid reader. My tastes are eclectic. I discovered mysteries first then historicals in the era of Kathleen Woodiwiss & Rosemary Rogers. I was never able to finish Gone With the Wind, Scarlett got on my nerves too bad, but I loved Alaina in Ashes in the Wind. I also manage the guest author blog for Manic Readers. In addition to here you can find me on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, Librarything, & Riffle. Always up for talking about books, just gimme a holler!!