Now, likely, you have never heard of this book by Kim Newman. I know I never had before reading Anno Dracula. That may be for a good reason.
While entertaining, this book is a bit vulgar, and relies so heavily on other material that it is so confusing as to what he has made up and what is from other sources. An interesting read, it was decently paced up until the ending – the same ending from one of the source materials with the same sense of vagueness.
This book is well written – a time piece, if you will. Split into seven stories, it presents an interesting premise from the view point of Professor Moriarty’s (Yes, the same Sherlock Homes character) second in command. A character I don’t remember ever learning about. Included are a number of other villains whom I can only assume are also some-what historical figures and perhaps from Sherlock Holmes, though it has been far too long since I last read all of those stories.
What bothers me is the lack of inclusion of Holmes until the end, and the fact that the preface, which describes a historian brought in to authenticate this dictation from the man himself years after he is dead while a bank goes defunct, is never properly addressed. The story ends, and we have no follow up from this “historian”. The ending is just, not enough. So many lose ends, and if there is a sequel, there aren’t enough for me to go buy it.
Overall, I will give this story 3/5 for effort, but it just missed the mark.