The Revenge of Moriarty
The Revenge of Moriarty follows The Return of Moriarty. Basically, he’s baaaack! Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis, has returned from the dead to have his revenge. Fans of Holmes may be disappointed, as he’s decidedly a minor character in this tale. Moriarty has a long list of those who have betrayed him, and he’s going to have his revenge upon all of them. I wish I was speaking this review instead of writing it, as it begs to be told in a melodramatic voice.
Snubbed by the European Axis of Evil, Moriarty regroups in London, regaining control over the street gangs and prostitutes that have scattered since he left for America to bilk unsuspecting banks out of their coffers. Hot on his trail is Inspector Angus Crow of Scotland Yard. Crow is a confidante of Holmes and is the Watson in this book, Holmes not wishing to disturb the original with tales of Moriarty’s resurrection. Crow himself makes Moriarty’s list.
With the help of his gang, Moriarty stages elaborate cons on each of his European counterparts, designed to display his superiority. Needless to say, one involves the theft of the Mona Lisa. His punishment for Holmes involves Irene Adler, and I confess to feeling that he’d lost momentum after everyone else got their just deserts. Otherwise, this is a highly entertaining series of tales. Moriarty takes such relish in his schemes that I couldn’t help but enjoy this anti-hero.
First published in 1975 and reissued by Pegasus Crime, The Return of Moriarty suffers somewhat from being the second in a trilogy. I hope Moriarty, published in 2008, brings the two adversaries face to face in a conflict worthy of them both.