Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Angel of the Opera by Sam Siciliano

The premise of this book is as simple as it sounds: Sherlock Holmes is summoned to Paris to investigate the mystery of The Angel of the Opera (or The Phantom, if you prefer). I was immediately drawn to it as it is a clash of two of my favourite literary characters, and I was eager to see how Siciliano would tackle such a feud.

The first thing to say, or rather warn, about this novel is that there is no Doctor Watson. Instead the story is narrated by a Doctor Henry Vernier, Holmes' French cousin. Unsurprisingly, this affected the story and it just didn't have the same dynamic without John - Henry performed the same function but something just felt missing. Henry's dismissal of Watson's writings as full of inaccuracies also does little to warm the reader to him. As for The Phantom I liked the fact that Holmes took his side, after all they are both outsiders, and you see more and more similarities between them as the book progresses. Including most of the characters from the Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera novel was a nice touch too.

I've been hit and miss lately with Sherlock Holmes stories by different authors; I loved Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk (and today found out that he's writing another Holmes novel, Moriarty, due out in October - yippee!) but I gave up on an anthology of Holmes stories by various authors as I just couldn't get into them. The Angel of the Opera falls somewhere in between; I love the subject matter but it isn't compelling to read and it took me a fair few weeks to get through as it got cast aside in favour of more interesting reads.

3/5 stars: If you like your Sherlock Holmes stories to be loyal to the canon then this book is definitely not for you (but I would seriously recommend that you check out The House of Silk instead!) An interesting concept that falls a little flat in its execution.

Any new Sherlock Holmes novels that you would recommend?


  1. I'm so glad that I came across this book blog as I can see from your reviews that you have a great taste and enjoy some very unique books!

    As for this one, it's kind of a bummer that you didn't enjoy it as much as you would have liked. It does sound like and interesting premise though!

    1. Hi Anja, thanks so much for dropping by! Following you back :)

  2. I have House of Silk sitting on my nightstand ready to read so I think that will be a book that I will just have to read as Moriarty sounds like it will be a winner! Great review :D

    1. House of Silk is brilliant, I would definitely recommend it! Can't wait for Moriarty :D


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