55. Mrs Hudson and the Spirits’ Curse by Martin Davies

I bought this near the beginning of the year on bookpeople. There was something about the blurbs that really interested me. I thought it to be a fairly original idea and had always thought of Mrs Hudson as more than a dotty housekeeper. I was not disappointed.

Synopsis (as taken from the back of the book) is as follows:

An evil stalks London. Stories of cursed rats and malign spirits haunt the garrets of Limehouse. A group of merchants are, one by one, dying – murdered. The elementary choice to investigate these deaths is, of course, Holmes and Dr Watson.

Yet instead of deductions, it will be the unique gifts of their housekeeper Mrs Hudson, and her orphaned assistant Flotsam, that will be needed to solve the case. Can she do it all under the nose of Sherlock himself?

From the coal fire at Baker Street to the smog of Whitechapel and the jungles of Sumatra, from snake bites in grand hotels to midnight carriage chases at the docks, it’s time for Mrs Hudson to step out of the shadows…

Ability to read – I found it very easy to dive head first into the story and understand what I was reading. The language isn’t what I associate with Sherlock Holmes and that was actually quite a relief. I didn’t encounter any language that I didn’t understand and found myself falling into step besides the characters from very early on.

Characterisation – I have always had a soft spot for Mrs Hudson and have always felt that she should mean something more than just being Sherlock’s housekeeper. I suppose that was what drew me to this series of books. I feel like Mrs Hudson has as many secrets, if not more, than Sherlock does, and certainly her thought process is easier to follow. While reading I thought Mrs Hudson was like an onion, lying in wait for me to uncover all her secrets. Flotsam, equally, was a creature of secrets for me, though her past is probably less thrilling compared to Mrs Hudson but their partnership worked for all the right reasons.

Visualisation – It was easy to visualise what was happening. Between visiting London many times, to reading the original Sherlock novels to watching the BBC adaptation of Sherlock, I could easily picture many of the scenes as they happened and for those I did not have knowledge on, I was able to conjure something up with my imagination.

Uniqueness – I thought this was very unique in that it’s a story about a well known and yet unknown character. Not much is known about Mrs Hudson other than that she is the housekeeper of Sherlock homes and it was interesting to read what sort of character she was, how her mind worked and to have glimpses of her past thrown in throughout the stories. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book now!

Hannah xoxo

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