Book Review: ‘Murder in Keswick – A Sherlock Holmes Mystery’ by William Todd

Murder in Keswick: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by William Todd

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Arriving in Keswick for a well-earned rest from sleuthing in the grimy metropolis, Holmes and Watson find the town abuzz with rumours surrounding the murder of a local landlord – much to Watson’s consternation and Holmes’ quiet delight.

The puzzles come thick and fast: Why that particularly effortful means of murder? What about the well-worn left sleeve? And how could such a fate befall a fellow who seemed not to have an enemy in the world?

The characters and prose – with the possible exception of Watson’s too-fulsome admiration of Holmes’ deductive abilities – are true to the original ‘Adventures’, and the landscape and interiors realistically and sympathetically portrayed. Some reviewers have mentioned Americanisms creeping in but a quick bolt down an etymology rabbit-hole reveals it’s perfectly possible that ‘server’ (in a restaurant) and even the dreadful ‘gotten’ were indeed used as words by real people in the nineteenth century when our two languages were less diverged.

The plot and clues of this short novel are well put together such that I, at least, kicked myself (metaphorically!) when ‘all was revealed’ at the end in the classic style.

A touching author’s note completes the read: the author is American, and thanks the people of the online community who have helped him achieve such a true-to-life portrait of the Lake District (disclaimer: I admit I take the place for granted a bit too much – my parents live there!)

The final mystery is – how did this particular book come to be where I found it – namely, abandoned wedged in some railings in York? Somebody either missed a trick or decided to pass-on a good read!




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