Book Review of The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D.

The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D.
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From the front/back flaps: In 1974, readers were enthralled when Sherlock Holmes met Sigmund Freud in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, one of the big bestsellers of the year. In The West End Horror, Nicholas Meyer has brought to light another previously unpublished episode in the career of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes as recorded by his close associate and friend Dr. John H. Watson.

March, 1985. London. A month of singular occurrences in the West End. First there was the bizarre murder of theatre critic Jonathan McCarthy; the police were baffled. Then came the lawsuit against the Marquess of Queensberryt for libel; the public was scandalized. And what of the ingenue at the Savoy, discovered with her throat slashed? Or the police surgeon who disappeared taking with him two corpses from the mortuary?

Some of the theatre district's most fashionable and creative luminaries (as well as a number of more marginal participants) were involved or affected by these events: a penniless stage critic and writer named Bernard Shaw; Ellen Terry, the gifted actress and the loveliest woman in London; Gilbert and Sullivan; a suspicious box office clerk named Bram Stoker; an aging matinee idol, Henry Irving; an unscrupulous publisher calling himself Frank Harris; and a controversial wit by the name of Oscar Wilde.

Scotland Yard is mystified by what appear to be unrelated cases, but to Holmes the matter is elementary: a maniac is on the loose.