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Return to 221B Baker Street

Guest Post by Joyce Bou Charaa.

Robert J. Harris reintroduces the famous detective fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, in a new murder mystery story that takes place in 20th century London. In this novel, Sherlock Holmes is facing a murder case that takes him back to the shadows of the Victorian period of England.

A Study In Crimson narrates the murder of two young women found by the Scotland Yard police in the streets of London. Near their dead bodies, the killer leaves his name: “Crimson Jack.” Both Holmes and his close friend, Dr. Watson, are in search of the killer’s identity. The two believe he is impersonating the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, who marked the year 1888 with his terrible deeds by attacking young women in the most savage way and strangling them to death. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, along with Inspector Lestrade and other inspectors from Scotland Yard, go through a wide range of investigations filled with suspense, hidden secrets, and new discoveries.

The author, in his turn, remains faithful to the original depiction of the main characters in his novel. Holmes, besides his attentive and intelligent character, uses his deductive reasoning method to solve one of the most complicated cases he has ever had. And Watson, the narrator of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest adventure stories, builds up Holmes’ reputation, through writing about his wining cases in the local magazines. Whereas, in this novel, Dr. Watson outlines the entire mystery case in his statement: “It appeared to me at the time that the most bloodthirsty spectre of our gas-lit Victorian past had returned to haunt us in our darkest hour.”

Robert J. Harris has written an outstanding crime story that links the present with the past, and he unleashes an unexpected turn of events which makes the storyline more challenging and more twisted. I highly recommend this novel for all detective fiction readers, especially the “Sherlockian” fans, who are searching for a new mystery novel to read and enjoy during this summer.

A Study in Crimson by Robert J. Harris. Pegasus Crime, June 2021.

Reviewer bio: I’m a Lebanese writer and translator. I’m an English major undergraduate. I also studied two years of Journalism. I’m fluent in French, Arabic and English, and to a certain degree Greek language.

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