REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the London Dock Deaths

Ragged, angry men were shouting slogans and demands at the gates, which were guarded on the inside by several indifferent men whose only qualifications for the job appeared to be their size.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the London Dock Deaths by Margaret Walsh is an exciting and intriguing read. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Inspectors Lestrade and Reid are baffled by the murders that are occurring with unwarranted frequency at the River Thames docks. A dock strike is in progress. It seems that everyone in the East End of London is taking advantage in the disquiet this brings to the society of dock owners and dock workers.

A radical group, smuggling, and more are suspected. A bigoted anti-Irish police officer does his best to blame the victim of the first murder. He stalls the investigation and leaves the actual murderer free to kill again. Holmes and Lestrade address this incompetence and carry out the investigation. Holmes follows up on every clue and every suspect.

We are privy as Watson is to Holmes’ sum-up as he deftly resolves the mystery at the end of the book. Margaret Walsh is a writer with an ear for dialogue, as well as dialect, and paints Wiggins and the dock workers incredibly well. This is a well written and enjoyable tale. Ms. Walsh is definitely someone to watch in the Sherlock Holmes genre.

Gretchen Altabef is an MX author of Sherlock Holmes novels. Mondadori Publishing has contracted to translate her novels into Italian. Ms. Altabef strives to emulate Dr. John Watson’s and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary style. The first, These Scattered Houses, is in Holmes’ own voice and resourcefully chronicles the last two months of his ‘great hiatus’. The second in the series is, Remarkable Power of Stimulus. After 3 years away, Holmes finds London awash in murders, No. 221B under siege, anarchists threatening Paris, and the return of Irene Adler. Fully aware he is being watched by Moriarty’s men, Holmes steps out of the cab into Baker Street knowing he will find Watson’s friendship and unerring aim are as dependable as the British Rail.

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