Review: Holmes Lives in The Last Moriarity


The Last Moriarty by Charles VeleyMany have tried to bring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation, Sherlock Holmes, back to life after Doyle's death. Some have succeeded, some have not. In The Last Moriarity, author Charles Veley has succeeded.

The story takes place shortly after Holmes' return from the dead following the incident at Riechenbach Falls in which both Holmes and his nemesis, Professor James Moriarity, were apparently killed. You may remember Conan Doyle had meant Holmes to stay dead, but later resurrected the detective at the demand of his readers.

Written in the classic Holmesian style, The Last Moriarity is narrated by Dr. John Watson. But publication of this case file was, at Watson's request, withheld until the 21st century. To tell you why would be a spoiler.

At the entry point for this story, only a handful of people know Holmes is still alive and has been in hiding from Moriarity's vengeful gang. Holmes is recruited by his brother, Mycroft, an intelligence operative, to over see security for a secret meeting between British government officials and three of the richest men in American, a meeting that could seal an alliance between the U.S. and the U.K. and change the balance of power in Europe. Of course, someone wants the prevent the meeting from taking place.

Velley's story brings together all the classic elements of a Holmesian mystery: a threatened government secret; a criminal mastermind (though not James Moriarity because he's still dead); and not one, but two beautiful women. Velley does a superb job of imitating Conan Doyle's writing style, and the use of the "lost manuscript" device allows The Last Moriarity to fit seamlessly into the canon of Sherlock Holmes case files.

The Last Moriarity is a wonderful addition to the lore of Sherlock Holmes, and must read for any Holmes fan.