The Three Locks by Bonnie MacBird #bookreview #newrelease @macbird @janeacton_pr @HarperCollinsUK

Cover Image




As both a Sherlock fan and a lover of Victorian crime novels, I was delighted when I received this wonderful hardback copy of Bonnie MacBird’s new Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Three Locks. The fourth novel in the series, but in this case a prequel to the other three, it can easily be read as a standalone or without having read the rest in the series.

Huge thanks to Jane Acton for my advanced copy.


A heatwave melts London as Holmes and Watson are called to action in this new Sherlock Holmes adventure by Bonnie MacBird, author of “one of the best Sherlock Holmes novels of recent memory.”

In the West End, a renowned Italian escape artist dies spectacularly on stage during a performance – immolated in a gleaming copper cauldron of his wife’s design. In Cambridge, the runaway daughter of a famous don is found drowned, her long blonde hair tangled in the Jesus Lock on the River Cam. And in Baker Street, a mysterious locksmith exacts an unusual price to open a small silver box sent to Watson.

From the glow of London’s theatre district to the buzzing Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where physicists explore the edges of the new science of electricity, Holmes and Watson race between the two cities to solve the murders, encountering prevaricating prestidigitators, philandering physicists and murderous mentalists, all the while unlocking secrets which may be best left undisclosed. And one, in particular, is very close to home.


The fourth novel in this acclaimed series by author Bonnie MacBird, THE THREE LOCKS, takes the reader to a sweltering London and Cambridge of September 1887 as they experience an unusually hot Indian Summer.

A prequel to the other three titles in her Sherlock Holmes Adventure series, it can easily be read as a standalone or without having previously read the other novels.

The first of the ‘locks’ involves a mysterious ornate box , sent to Watson from an unknown Aunt Elspeth, with profound apologies that she had forgotten to give this to him on his 21st birthday! A little late then as we find Watson six years into sharing rooms with Holmes at the age of 35. It was left for him, with the forgetful aunt, by Watson’s mother, who had drowned when Watson was a young boy. Unable to open it and with no idea as to what might be inside, he decides to try a couple of local locksmiths.

The second lock refers to the renowned Italian escape artist called the Great Borelli and his wife Madam Ilaria Borelli, who visits Sherlock asking for his help with the rivalry between her husband and another magician, Santo Colangelo and the third refers to the Jesus Lock in Cambridge on the River Cam, where the end comes for an independent thinking daughter of a well known don, who’s disappearance is brought to the attention of Holmes by a local Deacon and friend to the missing young woman.

Working the two cases, Holmes and Watson travel back and forth between London and Cambridge in the oppressive late summer heat, finding themselves in trouble with the police, lied to by the suspects and in physical danger!

I found this new book yet another wonderfully researched, highly enjoyable adventure, where I got to enjoy the delights of not just 2 old friends, but also a cast of entertaining characters, including some wonderfully strong and capable women. The interaction between Holmes and Watson is wonderful to read and portrayed brilliantly by the author. For me Sherlock had a delightful Jeremy Brett ‘flavour’ , the pursing of the lips and closing of the eyes when thinking, the dismissive wave of the arm. She had the mannerisms and banter between the two character just right. The plot and story moves at a great pace and things are always happening, keeping the reader both entertained and engaged. The short chapters help with the quick flow and the drop-cap with its picture relating to each new chapter was a really nice touch to the book.

Cambridge and London are wonderfully portrayed in the story and I followed the author’s online annotations, which gave a lovely visual aid and some extra information to add to the enjoyment.

A great read for any Sherlock fans but also for those that like their crime with a strong Victorian flavour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s