Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles

Kim Newman
Titan Books

Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Prof. James Moriarty - wily, snake- like, fiercely intelligent, unpredictable - and Colonel Sebastian 'Basher' Moran - violent,politically incorrect, debauched. Together they run London crime, owning police and criminals alike. Unravelling mysteries -- all for their own gain.

I’d been waiting to read this since I read the Anno Dracula book last year. It turns out I had already read part of it on the BBC Cult Holmes site. It was a story about Irene Adler getting one over on Moriarty and Moran and I really dug it. I remember thinking at the time that I could have done with more of the same. Turns out there’s a book full.

Like the Holmes stories this is told via the companion, in this case Sebastian Moran and his move from trouble making Colonel to right hand man to the Napoleon of crime. The stories themselves are pastiches / homages of the Holmes (and others) tales such as Baskerville / D’Uberville and the Red Headed League / Red Planet League, the latter being my favourite part of the book as it was beautifully done.

Watson was a bit maligned but then again Moran maligns everyone and is hardly a reliable narrator. Moriarty is utterly despicable and irredeemably conceited; his contempt for Holmes after they meet is palpable. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Newman is pretty ensconced these days as one of my favourite authors and this was a glorious read.

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