Sherlock Holmes returns in official sequel by Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider author on the case, at request of Conan Doyle estate

Master detective Sherlock Holmes is to follow in the suave footsteps of spy James Bond, gaining a new lease of life in the hands of a high-profile modern novelist.

The Conan Doyle estate is set to adopt what has proved a successful formula in the recent Bond and Young Bond books, produced by Sebastian Faulks and Charlie Higson at the behest of the Ian Fleming Estate.

Anthony Horowitz, screenwriter and author of the hugely popular Alex Rider children's series, has been commissioned to produce a new novel for adult readers starring the famous inhabitant of 221b Baker Street.

The new Holmes book will be out in September, and details are being kept under wraps in a show of mystery designed to whet fans' appetites, although it seems that Horowitz's take on Holmes will retain Conan Doyle's Victorian setting. Horowitz himself said he had aimed to produce "a first-rate mystery for a modern audience while remaining absolutely true to the spirit of the original". Orion publisher Jon Wood promised the author's "passion for Holmes and his consummate narrative trickery will ensure that this new story will not only blow away Conan Doyle aficionados but also bring the sleuth to a whole new audience."

In other sequels news, thriller writer Jeffrey Deaver was in Dubai today to promote his take on the Bond franchise, Carte Blanche, in advance of the book's launch in May. Unlike Faulks's Devil May Care, Carte Blanche is set in the present day and some of the action takes place in Dubai, with the history of the UEA central to Deaver's interpretation of 007. Deaver hinted at the themes of the book, which willl apparently focus on the question of what is acceptable in matters of national and international security.

"In the world of espionage, giving an agent carte blanche on a mission comes with an enormous amount of trust," he said – the same, of course, being true of an author entrusted with the legacy of a forbear such as Fleming or Conan Doyle.

• This article was amended on 18 January 2011. The original stated that the new Sherlock Holmes would be the first Sherlock Holmes adventure for more than eight decades officially sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate. This has been corrected.


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