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Reviewed by Ellen Odza for Readers' Favorite
Requiem for Sherlock Holmes by Paul Stuart Hayes includes five new Sherlock Holmes cases. Holmes has died and Watson has decided to write up a small number of cases that for one reason or another had never been published. The first, Sherlock Holmes and the Ancestral Horror, is a novella that explores Holmes’ past. When his father is arrested for murder, Holmes attempts to prove his innocence, but his efforts are hindered by the long and hostile estrangement between the two. Long-buried family secrets are revealed, but when Holmes and his father give widely divergent accounts of crucial past events, even the ever-faithful Dr. Watson finds himself harboring doubts and wondering which version of events he should believe. The book also includes four short stories. The last story, The Penitent Man, which actually takes place after Holmes’ death, takes Watson to America and presents the solution to a very famous series of crimes.
The stories in Requiem for Sherlock Holmes are all written very much in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle. Hayes has managed to capture the character and voices of both Holmes and Watson very well. Reading these stories feels very much like reading part of the original canon and I was happily transported back to the London of 1895. I really enjoyed this book and am pleased by Watson’s announcement that he has more stories gathering dust and that there may be a second volume one of these days.