"Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The Edinburgh Haunting" by David Wilson is a great read and an excellent addition to the fund of Sherlock Holmes stories. The availability of free online copies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works led us to read his entire Sherlock Holmes output not so very long ago and the two overriding impressions that emerged were, firstly, how superbly crafted his stories were, and, secondly, how disappointing it was that he did not write more of them. MX Publishing have stepped into this gap, and "The Case of The Edinburgh Haunting" is one of a range of Sherlock Holmes books they have published by a number of different authors.
We are familiar with David Wilson's own storytelling abilities from his "The King's Park Irregulars", so we approached his take on Sherlock Holmes with high expectations, which were certainly not disappointed. It is March 1882 and Sherlock Holmes accompanies Dr Watson to visit the latter's cousin, another doctor, in Edinburgh. The trip is intended to be a holiday, but no sooner have they arrived than they come across the scene of an unexplained death following a series of mysterious events. Over the following days, while Dr Watson finds himself spending time at Edinburgh's renowned medical school, Sherlock Holmes becomes increasingly involved in the mystery that has sparked his interest, despite strong opposition from elements of Edinburgh's police force.
The success of a book like this depends heavily on how convincingly a modern author can draw the reader into a world originally constructed by someone living at the time, and David Wilson does an admirable job in staying true enough to Conan Doyle's style to do exactly this. He also has some fun while doing so. This is particularly true when Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson meet Dr Joseph Bell, the real life lecturer in medicine at the University of Edinburgh whose deductive approach to diagnosis originally inspired Conan Doyle to come up with the character of Sherlock Holmes. You almost begin to wonder whether Conan Doyle himself might put in a cameo appearance in the book, before remembering that by the the time this novel is set, he was practising as a doctor on the south coast of England.