First look: Moriarty by Horowitz

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Just the other day we posted a feature looking at the best Sherlock Holmes books that weren’t written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s almost as though we sent up a literary signal flare, because just like that a new book set in the Sherlock Holmes universe has arrived at CFL HQ. Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz comes out 23 October, and we’ve got an early copy.

Horowitz has written a Holmes pastiche before, House of Silk, which we reviewed in 2012. However, with Moriarty he focuses on the good detective’s deadly foe and reveals what happens after Holmes and Moriarty take their tumble at Reichenbach falls. Holmes and Watson don’t appear but a new criminal mastermind is ready to take Moriarty’s place, says the press release.

With the book is also a letter from Horowitz himself. Although the lead characters in Conan Doyle’s canon are absent, at least one previously seen villain appears along with a host of policemen from the original works. Horowitz also points out that the story turns on a single sentence in the novel, and asks reviewers not to reveal details of this critical moment.

On top of the interesting clues about the story scattered throughout the press release, and the letter from Anthony Horowitz, the hardback by Orion has impressive physical qualities. Let’s take a look at some of them.


The dust jacket has a rough texture like watercolour paper, except where a glossy splash of water snakes across it hinting at the fate of Moriarty and Holmes. The author’s name is raised in a silver deboss.


Inside, the story involves codes you might be able to decrypt as you read.


Towards the end of the book, Horowitz has written a story from Watson that begins with this cover of The Strand Magazine.


The endpapers feature an atmospheric scene in Victorian London.

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