As Toby Lichtig puts it in this week’s TLS, “Midwinter is a potent time for fans of Sherlock Holmes. . . . Only Charles Dickens has greater seasonal appeal and this winter, despite a bicentenary, even he can barely compete”.
Lichtig reviews a host of fiction, biography and essay based on Holmes or his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He says of Anthony Horowitz’s The House of Silk, the first “official” Sherlock Holmes book since 1930: “Like the best Holmes stories, it treads the line, in both narrative and language, between cliché and creativity”.
The same might be said of the second series of the BBC’s Sherlock, written by Steven Moffat. Clichés such as Holmes’s deer-stalker are certainly put to creative use. There are cunning plot lines, cool editing, that sort of thing.