This book, set in 1908, is the Ripper story told through the eyes of Sherlock Holmes, or rather Dr. John Watson for it is he who on a visit to see the retired consulting detective asks Holmes whether his services were ever called upon by Scotland Yard twenty years earlier.
It transpires that Holmes was indeed instrumental in stopping the Ripper, but that he is unwilling to divulge the identity of the serial killer as he is still sworn to secrecy. However, he challenges Watson to take a retrospective look at the case using all the available information from the time, which he had gathered and bound into a Ripper File. With Holmes acting as guide they visit the scenes of the murders where clues are still to be found nearly two decades later.
It is most certainly a case of solvitur ambulando, but does Watson come to the same conclusion as Holmes did back in the day? All will be revealed in a text, includes nearly 100 illustrations, which should be a must for all those who wish to follow in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper, and discover his true identity.
A must for all Sherlock Holmes fans as well as Ripperologists
Review in The Sherlock Holmes Journal (Volume 36 Number 3, Winter 2023) by Roger Johnson (Honorary Editor)
Other writers have had Holmes and Watson actively investigate the Ripper murders alongside or in competition with the police. Mr James’s approach is less dramatic, but more credible, knowing what we do of the detective and the doctor. In this slim, usefully illustrated book, he casts a discerning eye over the known facts of the Whitechapel murders, as considered by the friends twenty years later. They visit the sites, then much as they were in 1888 – there have, of course, been drastic changes since – and examine the evidence. The facts discussed match the authentic records, the conclusion is logical, and the style is acceptably Watsonian. It’s a novel idea, effectively executed.