The armies of writers who have metaphorically taken up Conan Doyle’s pen to continue the adventures of the Great Detective grows apace, but it is particularly pleasing to see such an adroit writer as James Lovegrove joining this throng – and The Stuff of Nightmares, a lively and atmospheric addition to the Canon proves to be one of the most impressive Holmesian pastiches. A series of bombings has hit London, with a massive loss of life. At the same time, a bizarrely dressed figure has been seen on the rooftops and in the alleys of the capital. The identity of this masked man is of some concern to Sherlock Holmes, particularly as the mysterious figure moves with the alacrity and athleticism of a latter-day Springheeled Jack. This is delicious stuff, marrying the standard notions of Holmesiana with the kind of imagination and we expect from Lovegrove. Titan’s series of Sherlock Holmes adventures from diverse hands is clearly in rude health.

Sherlock Holmes: The Stuff of Nightmares by James Lovegrove is published by Titan

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