Audiobook review: The Last Moriarty by Charles Veley
For fans of the original Sherlock Holmes tales comes this interesting twist on what became of Holmes after his battle with Moriarty in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Final Problem.” It is a few years after John Watson wrote of Sherlock’s death, and everyone assumes he is dead. The pair, still living on Baker Street, keeps a low profile while working occasionally for select clients, including Sherlock’s brother Mycroft and the British government. Holmes and Watston are brought in on a case because wealthy American, John Rockefeller’s head of security was murdered as he was preparing for a secret meeting involving Mr. Rockefeller, British officials, and other powerful Americans. The story gets more interesting with the appearance of an American actress, Ms. Lucy James, and her ties to both the young Johnny Rockefeller and the deceased James Moriarty.
Told much in the style of the original Sherlock Holmes tales, The Last Moriarty is shared via the memoirs of John Watson. Keenly observant, Watson details his observations on the physical and emotional aspects of the case and his friend, Holmes. Watson’s account is intimate, due to Watson’s close connection to Sherlock, giving readers insight into Holmes’s state of mind and well-being. The story shares the intertwining aspects of a plot against Mr. Rockefeller, et. al., and the origins of Ms. James, both equally riveting and interesting.
Overall, I enjoyed The Last Moriarty a lot; however, here is my problem. *start mini-rant* I was directed to listen to The Crown Jewel Mystery, the Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery prequel first. In that book, we learn all about Lucy James and her good friend Johnny Rockefeller. They traveled to London together, and he constantly was proposing to her. Now I go back to this book, the first one, written well before the fourth book, even though chronologically it takes place after it, and we learned that Lucy and Johnny are just acquaintances and in fact, hadn’t spoken since a concert many years ago. This is in direct conflict to what we learned in the prequel. In other words, book 4, the prequel, was modified to make a more interesting backstory, but it does not fit with what was originally planned in the series. This makes me nuts when a prequel is written after a series has been established, and the author/s change established backstory. *end rant* Anyhow, it bugged me for a while, but by the midpoint of The Last Moriarty, I was so engrossed in the story that the prequel fled my mind.
Narration: Mr. Petherbridge does a great job. With his British accent and easy cadence, he fits the historical setting and feel of the book. He spends most time narrating Watson’s journal, which is shared in Watson’s first person POV. However, the story has extensive recounting of character dialogue, and Mr. Petherbridge adjusts his tone and accents appropriately. The individual voices aren’t wholly unique but distinguishing enough. He switches between British and American accents seamlessly. His female voices are slightly higher and softer, more feminine.
About the Book:
A lovely young American actress from the D’Oyly Carte Opera Troupe comes to 221B Baker Street on a cold November morning, desperately seeking assistance from Sherlock Holmes. Inexplicably, Holmes agrees to help, even though the Prime Minister of England and his cabinet need Holmes to solve a murder case that could threaten a high-stakes meeting with John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. The clock is ticking. Holmes will need all his physical and deductive powers to preserve innocent lives and prevent political and economic chaos on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet even Holmes cannot foresee how much the ultimate outcome will depend on a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s hopes, and on the true identity of the last Moriarty.
Author: Charles Veley
Narrator: Edward Petherbridge
Series: Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery #1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Audiobook Release Date: April 1, 2016
Publisher: Charles Veley
Length: 7 hours; 28 minutes
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)