Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove
It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe – eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty – is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.
Her late mother told her terrifying tales of the sinister Black Thurrick, and Eve is sure that she has seen the creature from her bedroom window. What is more, she has begun to receive mysterious parcels of birch twigs, the Black Thurrick’s calling card…
Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something – or someone – is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion.
As a boy I loved reading the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes novels and watching the TV adaptations, then all of a sudden I stopped reading them. It has been many years since I last read one of the books and this Christmas I was looking for something a little different and then I found it in Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon (Titan Books) by James Lovegrove.
The year is 1890 and it is close to Christmas and everyone is looking forward to spending time with their families over the festive period including Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson but an unusual case has come to light and Holmes requests that Dr Watson journey with him to Fellscar Keep which is the family home of the Allerthorpe’s and it was Eve Allerthorpe who approached Sherlock Holmes with the ghostly goings on at the family home. Eve believes that the home is being haunted by the demonic Black Thurrick. Just to add to the mystery Eve Allerthorpe turns 21 on Christmas Eve and stands to inherit the family fortune from the late Mrs Allerthorpe. Could it be that there are some who do not want Eve to receive her inheritance?
Holmes and Watson find that they are not made welcome when they arrive and Sherlock Holmes in very wary to say the least of the ghostly goings on. It is said that the Black Thurrick is leaving bundles of birch twigs on the window ledges of Eve’s bedroom, a sign of the Black Thurrick. As the wider family gather at the Allerthorpe family home for Christmas the bitterness and the quarrels begin. A sign of jealousy towards Eve herself. Holmes and Watson begin the task of investigating the ghostly and demonic goings on in what is a terrific Christmas tale.
Fingers are point at various family members with whom some may have a real grudge and some who are just trying to deflect attention on to others. As the story unfolds there are more ghostly apparitions and even Dr Watson himself finds a bundle of birch twigs on his window ledge.
Holmes is looking for a murderer not a demon and he must solve this crime and prove there is no demon but just a murderer on the loose on the family estate but who is it?
This is just a great Christmas mystery that even the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have loved. I really like James Lovegrove’s style of writing and the characters that he brought to the mystery as well the Black Thurrick from folklore to add a bit of Christmas ghostly goings on.
Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove was published by Titan Books and was published on 22nd October 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.