I’m not a huge fan of overly romantic Christmas stories, so Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon sounded right up my street. Huge thanks to Titan Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe – eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty – is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.
Her late mother told her terrifying tales of the sinister Black Thurrick, and Eve is sure that she has seen the creature from her bedroom window. What is more, she has begun to receive mysterious parcels of birch twigs, the Black Thurrick’s calling card…
Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something – or someone – is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion.
Reading Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon was a bit of an odd choice for me. I’ve never been a huge fan of the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I don’t think it’s bad, but what I’ve read so far doesn’t thrill me.
But this book isn’t by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s by James Lovegrove. The blurb intrigued me and it involves Christmas. On that basis, I was sold and decided to give this book a go.
I love Lovegrove’s writing. He succeeds in lulling you in to the story with Watson’s narrative without trying to emulate Doyle. He writes as himself and as the characters, and not as someone else. The language and style is perfectly in keeping with the time.
The story in itself is excellent. It has a carefully laid out plot that comes together at the end, and although many of my friends would say not to read too much into this, I did not work out what was going on. I was completely off track and I almost felt duped!
I loved my visit to Fellscar Keep, surrounded by snow and ice, and hunting for the Black Thurrick. I am now a firm fan of Lovegrove’s writing and I am already planning on picking up Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils from my bookcase!
Mysterious, creepy and fun – make sure you get hold of Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon ready for your Christmas break!
Many thanks to Titan Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can support your local bookshop by buying Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon through them directly, or via Hive.
What do you think of Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a wonderfully bookish week,