[Book Review] The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz

Title: The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Edition Language: English
Paperback, 337 pages
Published November 2011 by Mulholland Books / Little, Brown and Company 
(first published January 1st 2011)

“I think my reputation will look after itself," Holmes said. "If they hang me, Watson, I shall leave it to you to persuade your readers that the whole thing was a misunderstanding.”- page 166 -

London, 1890. Edmund Carstairs is being menaced by a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. His home is robbed and his family is threatened. And then, the first murder takes place.

Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy that connects the teeming criminal underworld of Boston to the gaslit streets of London. And as they dig, the begin to hear the whispered phrase "the House of Silk" -- a mysterious entity that joins the highest levels of government with the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of the society.

Sherlock Holmes back with all the nuance, pacing, and almost superhuman powers of deduction that made him the world's greatest detective, in case depicting events too shocking, too monstrous, ever to appear in print ... until now. Once again, the game's afoot ...

Because I like Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I was afraid of reading this piece which wasn't written by him (except The Boy Sherlock Holmes, because this version tells about Sherlock Holmes in his childhood, it would be different with the adult Sherlock Holmes, so I kind of tolerate it). I also haven't read any stories about the adult Sherlock Holmes which wasn't written by his creator but I think I have to give it a try, and this story can be a starter (and I also give my credits and regards to my Secret Santa, whoever you are, who has given me a chance to read this wonderful story, thank you very much!). 

This story tells about the adult Sherlock Holmes which wasn't written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Even so, the writing is neatly close to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing, which is usually written in the form of Watson's narration. That's why I enjoy this book so much. Because I read the English edition, I tried my best to review it in English also, so, forgive me for the grammatical errors and other inconveniences. I will explain my review in some sub content:

The Character:
Sherlock Holmes was just a usual him, an arrogant and narcissist, but he has an amazing deduction skill. On the contrary, in this case, his deduction skill proved to be almost the best. Dr John H. Watson, whom acted as his chronicler also gave his best to tell the story. His part in this story was quite big, considering that Holmes was caught in his own problem in some section. Holmes still liked to give sarcastic comments spontaneously, and Watson still felt irritated whenever Holmes being secretive. But the other thing which also takes a big part in this story is their emotions. It's rare to read Watson's description about Holmes emotions and also his concern about others, while he tried his best not too close to the others or let the others too close to him. Watson also gave his best when he tried to search for clues in Holmes's absent and while doing so, he could also experience how was it feel to be in Holmes's shoes.

“Show Holmes a drop of water and he would deduce the existence of the Atlantic. Show it to me and I would look for a tap. That was the difference between us.” - Watson - page 180 -

There are so many characters told in this stories, the antagonists and the protagonists. I resume that there are a lot of people loyal to Holmes, and he knew it even though he didn't show that he paid attention to this, because without those people, he wouldn't be successful in resolving the case. I still curious about the fate of Dr Trevelyan because Watson didn't tell much about him in the end of the story. He is one of my favorite character. He took a crucial part of the story, and his willingness to help despite his petty occupation is admirable.

The Plot:
This story gives it's best shot to tell an intriguing plot. The investigation seemed diverted in two ways but in the end, it was actually just like kill two birds with one stone. The case contains: stalking, robbery, murder, drugs, revenge, trap, conspiracy, and psychological disorder, and somehow they are all connected in one red string. The seriousness of the case was shown with Mycroft's warning and refusing of help, while he usually can at least give Holmes clue in the usual lighter case, because of his connection to the uptown world. In some ways, the story can goes to the unexpected turn, and almost in the end of every chapter, the story gives a twist, and it makes it's hard to put the book down. I admit that the introduction is a little boring with a lot of description, but when it comes to the thrilling part, I found myself stick my nose into it, curious about how it would end.

The Writing:
When I read this story, I sometimes forgot if this story wasn't written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Horowitz does his best to present a story of Sherlock Holmes with the closest interpretation of Holmes and Watson. He must be doing a lot of research to write it. I don't mind that his writing imitating Doyle, even though I haven't read the original edition of Doyle's work (I plan to read it). I feel that this author respect Doyle as Holmes creator and try his best to write this story to entertain and amuse the readers and longing fans of Doyle and Holmes. If Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is still alive, I would like to ask him to keep writing about Holmes and Watson. But because of this wonderful work, it seems like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is come back to life. I also would like to read the next story, if any, but maybe because almost all of the surprising effect have been presented in this book, I can't expect the next book will be better. :)

The Author:
Anthony Horowitz, OBE is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Mark A. Cooper as "The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century." (New York Times). Anthony has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recently event drama Collision, among his other television works he has written episodes for Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. Anthony became patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices in 2009. 

On 19 January 2011, the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced that Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled the House of Silk.
Born in Stanmore, Middlesex, The United Kingdom, April 05, 1956

Submitted to:
 Januari : Secret Santa Gift 
PS: I think I can guess who is my santa, sort of (>_<). Sorry santa, your riddle is just too difficult (>_<). I still confuse with the numbers you've given (only in a range of 1-7), is it days in a week or notes in an octave? (>_<). But thank you very much for the gift, and this is my first memorable Secret Santa Event. If I'm not mistaken, from your riddle b.o.n.t.i, I think it should be a clue to your blog address (but I still cannot guess what is the meaning of the number) which may contain those letters. So, my guess is: http://bookinthebonnet.blogspot.com/
Is it? Or...
(klo salah maaf ya santa...)


  1. Naaahhh... udah 2 orang yang nebak Ndari jadi SS-nya nih... :)

  2. Nah lho....kok ada 2 yang nebak Ndari? :))

    Btw di antara buku2 yg terinpirasi dari Sherlock, aku paling suka sama buku ini.

  3. hihihi aku juga nebak santaku ndariii huehuehue.... aku juga suka banget buku ini :)

  4. lagi baca buku ini, dari santa jugaa...

  5. walahhh riddle terlalu sudah malah bikin galau

  6. errrr, kayanya SSnya masi secret deh ini...*worried*

  7. hai mbak hani, akulah SSmu ;p
    maaf baru ngaku... salam kenal ya... maaf kalau riddlenya menyusahkan. aku kena karma juga. riddleku susah je -.-

    semoga mbak hani suka bukunya ya... dan aku suka banget review ini, pakai bahasa inggris. wow! hehehe

    1. oooww.. makasih banyak yaa.. iya, riddlenya susah.. ni cara pecahin riddlenya gmn sih? oiya, salam kenal yaa :)


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