Unquiet Spirits: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure
Bonnie MacBird
HarperCollins 2017 Paperback
ISBN 978-0-00-812972-9

“Unquiet Spirits,’ a new Sherlock Holmes adventure, rediscovers the intrigue of Arthur Conan Doyle’s century-old detective stories. Author Bonnie MacBird, a devoted Sherlock fan, follows Doyle’s precepts in her book.

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“. . .a well-plotted novel filled with unexpected twists and turns.”

Set in Victorian times, Holmes and associate Dr. Watson become tangled in “Whisky Ghosts Murder.”

The story begins with a tongue-less man attempting to kill Holmes. That same evening, Holmes receives a visitor, a Scotswoman, who wants to initiate an investigation into a missing handmaiden from a Scottish castle owned by a whisky-making dynasty. When the head of the missing girl is delivered to an elegant family dinner on a large platter, Holmes and Watson agree to travel to the Highlands.

The story grows even more bizarre when the two detectives secure accommodations in a Scottish castle where ghosts frequent the hallways and where a nine-year-old boy was believed to have been killed by a ghost.

Like Doyle, who was interested in the paranormal and spiritualism, MacBird’s narrative pivots around ghosts seen, and some imagined. But Holmes and Dr. Watson reject the ghost talk and utilize science instead in their probe. 

Enhancing this already dramatic tale, MacBird then reinterprets and relates the murders back to Holmes’ personal life. We are told about his difficult school years, taunted by bullies, at one point accused of murder resulting in his university suspension. Holmes’ past ultimately becomes linked to the missing handmaiden.   

The first few pages rivet the reader, and it’s a well-plotted novel filled with unexpected twists and turns. MacBird’s insight and attention add further value to the mix.


For more information, see: http://www.harpercollins.co.nz/9780008129729/unquiet-spirits-whisky-ghosts-and-murder

Review by Kate Padilla