The House of Silk

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The House of Silk

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gen. 4, 2012, 8:27am

I have just finished The House of Silk - a Christmas gift - by Anthony Horowitz. He writes the story as if by Watson setting down the case near the end of his life in a nursing home. I thought he caught the atmosphere pretty well although I have some reservations about the way the relationship between Holmes and Watson is handled. Generally an enjoyable read.

... and, thinking about 'handled', would an educated English member of the landed gentry have claimed to be able to "handle" his opium habit in the late 19th.C.? I'm not at all sure, but that sounds very 20th.C. to me.

Another word that didn't seem right was 'momentarily'. Holmes says he will do something 'momentarily'. Chambers (10th ed.) gives the word as North American: I cant find it at all in my 3rd revised edition of the Shorter Oxford from the '60s. Anyone know of earlier uses?

gen. 6, 2012, 11:42am

According to the online dictionary at Merriam-Webster, the first use was in 1666, so it might be possible.

How was Holmes and Watson's relationship handled? Just curious, as that relationship is one that I fiercely protect, and am very touchy about.

gen. 8, 2012, 11:13am

2> Holmes is often enough critical of Watson's acumen but I always feel that there is a tolerance based on genuine affection underpinning the criticism - once or twice in Horowitz's book Holmes seems to be verging on the sarcastic. No big deal, but, as you imply, the relationship is important.

gen. 11, 2012, 11:20am

> 1 I fancy 'momentarily' is another example of how the Atlantic divides us by a common language. The long-established English English word means fleetingly, the more recent American English word means very soon. You haven't given us quite enough context to be sure which is used here, though an anachronism is to be suspected.

My copy of this book comes tomorrow...

gen. 11, 2012, 2:27pm

>4 affle: The context demands the American English usage. Horowitz probably put it there to irritate the pedants ;-)

gen. 11, 2012, 3:53pm

Then I shall certainly expect to be irritated.

gen. 14, 2012, 6:59am

My book came, and Mr Horowitz grabbed my attention as early as the acknowledgements, where he thanked Dr Stajic for 'sharing her knowledge of forensic toxology'. So naturally I was all a-quiver - a prequel to His Last Bow, perhaps? But no, just another pedant tease: boring old toxicology again.

gen. 14, 2012, 7:56am

>7 affle: Oh! I do like a good pun to start the week-end ;-)

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