“And another pastiche appears! A collection of short stories by John Heywood. Is there anything that marks this one out from the crowd. Yes! Namely, it’s brilliant.
Some pastiche writers excel at dialogue, some with narrative, some with plotting. I find it quite rare to come across a writer who combines all those elements and gets each of those elements spot on.
John Heywood does precisely that. I can be picky with my own work and extremely picky with other’s work, alighting on mis-spellings, confusion of tenses, anachronisms etc. I could find no examples of any of these in The Investigations of Sherlock Holmes, this collection is as perfect as it gets. Open it up where you will and you will find no false notes at all. This is a loving re-creation of Holmes and Watson’s world by a writer who obviously knows his subjects well, nay, loves them. With this collection, John Heywood jumps into the front rank of Holmesian interpreters. I wish two things: 1. That there are more to come. 2. That I had written them! It may well be the finest collection of short stories to appear for many years. No, damn it, it is the finest collection to appear in many, many years!”
Reviewed by David Ruffle