Art in the Blood
By: Bonnie MacBird
Release Date: August 27, 2015
Format: Print ARC
Source: McDuffie Communications
London. A snowy December, 1888. Sherlock Holmes, 34, is languishing and back on cocaine after a disastrous Ripper investigation. Watson can neither comfort nor rouse his friend – until a strangely encoded letter arrives from Paris.
Mlle La Victoire, a beautiful French cabaret star writes that her young son has vanished, and she has been attacked in the streets of Montmartre.
Racing to Paris with Watson at his side, Holmes discovers the missing child is only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. The most valuable statue since the Winged Victory has been violently stolen in Marseilles, and several children from a silk mill in Lancashire have been found murdered. The clues in all three cases point to a single, untouchable man, an art collector seemingly beyond reach of the law.
Will Holmes recover in time to find the missing boy and stop a rising tide of murders? To do so he must stay one step ahead of a dangerous French rival and the threatening interference of his own brother, Mycroft.
First, look at that cover. Take a moment to fully appreciate how absolutely beautiful it is. Okay, now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about the insides. I am a huge fan of the TV show, Sherlock and have loved reading the newest YA renditions and reworking of the classic Sherlock/Mycroft/Watson dynamics. Art in the Blood pulls more from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original works at least in stylistic terms. The time period as well as the writing feels very much like an added work to the older classics. Full disclosure–I’ve never actually read Doyle’s work (!!!). I know. This needs to change.
Sherlock’s character was as expected- playing violin, brooding and genius. Since I’ve not read Doyle’s work I can’t adequately compare this version to the original but I had the impression MacBird incorporated many elements. In comparison to the more modern Sherlock renditions, I felt that this one was fairly accurate. One difference was that MacBird actually made her Sherlock not 100% right all the time. He made an error!
The book followed from Watson’s point of view for the most part though we got a couple chapters from Sherlock’s. The pacing was a tad slower (especially in the beginning) than I expected with the action scenes spaced out. I felt that the mystery wasn’t one in which I needed to figure it out and sadly, I didn’t care what the outcome would be for most of the characters. I feel that there wasn’t enough suspense to really carry the mystery and left me feeling a tad bored in areas.
I did, however, enjoy Sherlock and Watson. Their dynamic was exactly as I’d expect and want. The two start out at odds with Watson having been recently married. I do feel that because I’m such a fan of the TV show I was able to fill in gaps and imbue the characters with personality that I’m not sure was present in the writing. It was difficult to separate my own perceptions from what I was reading and I’d be interested to hear the opinion of a reader that was not a fan of the TV series.
Art in the Blood lacked the suspense of the mystery that I expected but overall I did enjoy this book. I do think that my love of the TV show helped to fill in gaps in personality and helped to give me an easier time envisioning the story, especially with the newest episode (you really must watch the trailers!) being a more historical one.