Literacy 2023: Book 7: Moriarty

Anthony Horowitz’s mystery adventure set immediately after Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis fell to their deaths at Reichenbach Falls

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

A Pinkerton detective arrives in Europe shortly after the climax of the story “The Final Problem,” in which Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty had fallen to their deaths at Reichenbach Falls. There, he meets a Detective Inspector from Scotland Yard who appears to be as brilliant a detective as Holmes himself. The two return to England to track down the mysterious American who’d replaced Moriarty as the mastermind of all crime in London.

Every bit as engaging readable as everything else I’ve read from Horowitz. Much like his entries in the new James Bond series, you get the sense that Horowitz either loves these classic characters and the worlds of their adventures, or else he’s astonishingly good at faking it. He doesn’t try to ape Arthur Conan Doyle’s style (at least for long), but instead captures the tone and mood of the original stories while giving them a more modern and action-oriented plot.

Difficult to say anything about it without spoiling one aspect of it or another. The famous moments of deduction here don’t land as well as they did in the original stories. The central mystery — or at least, what I’m assuming is the central mystery — isn’t particularly satisfying, since there aren’t enough suspects to make it that interesting.

Anthony Horowitz continues to be one of the most dependable authors of interesting and engaging logic puzzle mysteries, frequently with some meta-aspect that makes them especially fascinating. Moriarty was a fun read, but I have to admit that it might be the least satisfying mystery novel that I’ve read by Horowitz. But then, I’ve never been that much of a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, either.