THE TANGLED SKEIN By David Stuart Davies

David Stuart Davies has written a handful of Sherlock Holmes pastiches–Sherlock Holmes and the Hentzau Affair (1991), The Scroll of the Dead (1998), Shadow of the Rat (1999), The Veiled Detective (2004), The Games Afoot (2008), The Devil’s Promise (2014), and The Ripper Legacy (2016)–but I think Davies’s The Tangled Skein (1995) is his most successful book. The Tangled Skein purports to be a “lost” adventure that comes to light. An old adversary attempts to assassinate Sherlock Holmes which leads Holmes and Watson into a tangled plot with supernatural elements. Davies manages to simulate Watson’s style (not easy to accomplish) and produces a tale where Watson plays a critical role. GRADE: A-

6 thoughts on “THE TANGLED SKEIN By David Stuart Davies

    1. george Post author

      Patti, a pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, theatre, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists. Unlike parody, pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates. I’m a fan of good Sherlock Holmes pastiches…and those wild and crazy Lovecraft pastiches!

    2. Rick Robinson

      No, Patti. It just means it’s a story using the traditional characters and setting (or should) but is not by the original author. There are a ton of Holmes pastiches, some quite good, and then the rest. Personally, I’m enough of a Holmes purist that I insist on the original characters as written by Doyle, plus original time periods and style. Of course it’s possible to write a story or novel about anything and put a character name Sherlock Holmes in it, thus creating, in a sense, a Holmes pastiche.

  1. Cap'n Bob Napier

    Also known as literary graverobbing! Ask Guy Townsend what h thinks of mysteries with supernatural elements!


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