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Publishers WeeklyThomson, best known for her acerbic Inspector Rudd series, returns to Baker Street with her sixth collection of high quality pastiches (after 2004's The Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes). As with her previous efforts, Thomson approaches the level of the best emulators of Doyle, such as Denis Smith, Donald Thomas, and Anthony Horowitz, by capturing the unique narrative voice of Dr. Watson. To that, she adds original plots, managing to imbue them with suspense and tension even without requiring a corpse in more than half of the seven stories, many based upon the notorious references to unwritten exploits Watson teased readers with, such as the Conk-Singleton forgery case and the Abergavenny murder. Her Holmes will be a familiar one to Baker Street Irregulars, and she offers a clever variation on the famous line in "Silver Blaze," in which the master sleuth reveals that something that didn't happen is the crucial clue to solving the crime. Her storylines are less challenging for Holmes than the mysteries Thomas throws at him, but Sherlockians who like their pastiches faithful to the tone and spirit of the Canon will be pleased.
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