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Book Review: The Three Locks

Updated: Mar 25


1887, Indian Summer broils London and Cambridge. A mysterious locked and impregnable box arrives for Watson with a secret from his past.



The Three Locks

A Sherlock Holmes Adventure #4

by Bonnie Macbird



ISBN-13: 9780008380830

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

Publication date: 4/13/2021

Pages: 432



I would like to first thank NetGalley and Harper Collins for the advanced copy of this book, in exchange for a honest review. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.



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.



First off I would like to say, I aspire to be so crafty of a writer as Bonnie Macbird. This was my first time reading any of her work and I must say she has earned herself a new fan. This book is the fourth installment of her Sherlock Holmes adventure series. This book stands alone, so there's no need to have read the previous three novels. (But do add them to you TBR list like I did) Macbird is able to capture the likeness of Sherlock Holmes so much that Doyle would enjoy this book (in my humble opinion). I also admired the fleshing out of Watson's character.

The story begins with London in the middle of a sweltering heatwave where it would seem that your own body temperature rise because of the writer's ability to make the reader feel engaged in the moment. Watson receives a package through the mail from an old family friend where there is an intricate lockbox that belonged to his mother enclosed within. The story caught my curiosity from that point forward. There are three plots all involving locks from colorful characters that come from different walks of life within the story. The author masterfully weaves those plots throughout the book.

This book was a pleasure and an entertaining adventure to read.

Highly Recommended!




San Francisco native Bonnie MacBird attended Stanford University where she earned a BA in Music and an MA in Film. Her long Hollywood career includes four years as a feature film development exec at Universal, the original screenplay for the movie TRON, three Emmy Awards for documentary writing/producing, eleven Cine Golden Eagles for scripted and documentary work, numerous produced plays and musicals, and theatre credits as an actor and director.

Art in the Blood, her first novel, written in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle and featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, was published in 2015 by HarperCollins and released in 17 languages worldwide to critical acclaim. It is the first in her series and was followed by Unquiet Spirits in 2017 and The Devil’s Due, due out in October of 2019. The Three Locks is in work for 2020.

In addition to her writing, Bonnie has worked in theatre extensively as a playwright, actor, and director. She is an also accomplished watercolorist. Bonnie teaches a popular screenwriting class at UCLA Extension, a course which develops creativity based on multiple art forms while honing the very specific techniques of screenwriting.

Bonnie is a regular speaker internationally on writing, creativity, and Sherlock Holmes. She is married to computer scientist Alan Kay and splits her time between homes in Los Angeles and London.



Other Novels By Bonnie Macbird




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