The Grimswell Curse
Siciliano's third Holmes novel resembles a musical theme and variation on Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles. The dandyish Lord Frederick Digby has become engaged to Rose Grimswell, whose father the Viscount Victor Grimswell recently died in a fall from a tor near his estate in Dartmoor. Rose is troubled by a legendary family curse and has broken off the engagement. Holmes does not believe in curses, ghosts, vampires, werewolves or the like, but Rose's great fortune would provide a more than sufficient motive for murder. When she flees London, Holmes and his cousin Henry Vernier follow her to Dartmoor where they try to determine who or what is behind the manifestations of the "curse." The bleak moors in Autumn and the family's ancestral home provide the backdrop as the body count rises. After the greater length and complexity of The Web Weaver, this is a return to a faster paced, more traditional mystery.
From the reviews:
Siciliano pulls off an impressive feat in his third pastiche (after 2012's The Web Weaver), crafting an homage to The Hound of the Baskervilles that is genuinely creepy in its own right. As in his previous two Holmes novels, Siciliano has substituted the detective's cousin, Dr. Henry Vernier, for Watson, but that change will bother only purists. The duo are drawn into a terrifying case after they are consulted by Lord Frederick Digby, who has just been dumped by his fiancée, Rose Grimswell, because her father, Victor, who died in a fall from a Dartmoor tor over four months earlier, won't allow the union. Rose had recently learned of the legend of a family curse, dating back to the 15th century, involving an ancestor rumored to be either a vampire or a werewolf. After Rose flees London for her family's home on the moors, Holmes and Vernier follow, in an attempt to save her life from a malevolent force. Siciliano sustains a sense of supernatural menace throughout, and couples that with a convincing portrayal of the master detective.
Publishers Weekly, October 13, 2014