Sherlock Holmes and The Sword Of Osman

Sherlock Holmes and The Sword Of Osman

(5 customer reviews)


Sherlock Holmes and The Sword of Osman is a tale of espionage, double-crossing, intrigue, and murder. Holmes and Watson find themselves aboard HMS Dreadnought en route to Stamboul, a city of fabled opulence, high espionage and low intrigue. Their mission: foil a plot which could bring about the immediate collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

It’s 1906. The Ottoman Empire ruled by the despotic Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid 11 is on the verge of imploding. ‘Rival Great Powers, especially Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany, sit watching like crows on a fence, ready to rush in to carve up the vast territories, menacing England’s vital overland routes to her Indian possessions.’

Where to buy

Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

If you would like a signed copy of the book from Tim Symonds at a special price of £6, please add the book to the shopping cart and Tim will personally send you out a copy. FREE Postage and Packaging in the UK (Please contact Tim Symonds for shipping costs if you are outside of the UK.)

Author: Tim Symonds
Product ID: 1538

5 reviews for Sherlock Holmes and The Sword Of Osman

  1. Xanthe Mallett, (anthropologist criminologist and television presenter.)

    ‘A tale of espionage, double-crossing, intrigue, and murder…
    I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through Edwardian-era Stamboul in high summer; with its colourful descriptions of jewelled swords that rule empires, ghosts that haunt palaces, and tyrannical rulers flanked by their murdering eunuchs.
    The language and characters Symonds evokes are true to Conan Doyle’s style, and he carries the reader along with Watson’s engaging narrative style.
    As with the Case if the Bulgarian Codex I didn’t want to story to end. So it you, like me, are a Conan Doyle devotee, I recommend the Sword of Osman as a thoroughly enjoyable route to Conan Doyle escapism.’

  2. Bibliophile, book collector, and Government lawyer jreppy

    Holmes is at it again… the Sword of Osman is full of the intrigue, deception, feats of deduction by Holmes, and puzzlement by Watson at how Holmes figured things out for which the Sherlock Holmes stories are known.

    I particularly liked how the author wove geopolitical intrigue into the story, discussing the various issues, concerns, and possible objectives of the European powers, including the sick man of Europe, Turkey, setting up the coming World War. The story ends years before WWI; as someone with particular interest in the pre-war years, this aspect of the story was of particular interest. The author has done his research (in fact, the end of the book contains acknowledgements of the various people and sources he consulted for information on the period) and depicts a very realistic early 20th century England and Turkey/Ottoman Empire. I also liked that he made references to earlier Holmes stories, even using some of the techniques from past adventures to help solve this mystery.
    This book is well worth reading. I am certainly interested in reading more of Mr. Symonds’ Holmes stories.

  3. Stuart Millson FCIJ

    The Magus-like figure of Sherlock Holmes – the inscrutable detective, almost superhuman in his intellect and asceticism – has caught the imagination of writers, dramatists, filmmakers, and a worldwide readership. The London fogs of the Victorian-Edwardian era, the bizarre mysteries which they conceal, Holmes’s extraordinary ability to see beyond the range and vision of mere mortals – all provide an unending source of inspiration.
    It is as if we cannot leave this world: as if each tale of Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson, is never enough. Thankfully, writer and Institute member Tim Symonds is on hand to ensure that the casebook of the great detective continues.

    Re-imagining Holmes is a great art, and it must be said that Tim Symonds has, in his latest work – The Sword of Osman – taken the formula to new levels and to a new geography entirely. We are just eight years away from the outbreak of the Great War, and Holmes finds himself on a foreign mission, on the very edge of Europe and Asia; solving a murderous conspiracy upon which the stability of the tottering Ottoman Empire of Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid depends.
    To evade detection themselves, Holmes and Watson arrive in Asia-Minor disguised in Royal Naval uniforms, but for the great man of Baker Street (and for Tim Symonds) authenticity – and a withering observation from Holmes – is everything…

    “I awoke next morning to find Holmes changing into the Commander’s uniform and pulling on his boots. I flung myself into the Surgeon Lieutenant’s dress uniform… A porter unloaded our luggage and placed it alongside us in a cab to the harbour.
    Holmes murmured, ‘Watson, I understand old Army habits die hard but if you are to pass as a naval officer you must rid yourself of the custom of placing a handkerchief in your sleeve. It might well be remarked upon by the crew.’”

    Once in the near-Orient, our heroes are surrounded by the sights and sounds of this exotic, yet sinister land – and full marks to the author for his love of scenery and landscape-painting:

    “… I looked out of the carriage at the passing sights. Small, clean-eared Arabian horses plunged their faces into great deep basins, lustily lapping the water. Rows of fruit-shops offered apricots, cherries and plums from large baskets… A Cypress tree in the courtyard of a mosque and a stand of Oriental Plane…”

    Having laid out the stage, Tim Symonds steers our detective from the dusty streets to the Sultan’s palace – which seems like a vision from an Arabian fairytale. Despite his power, the ruler fears conspiracy and overthrow from every corner and shadow, especially as the unique and priceless Sword of Osman – “only one swordsmith [says Holmes] on God’s good earth could wield hammer and tongs to fashion so beautiful a blade” – has disappeared, to be replaced by a fake.
    But who could have struck such a blow? As Holmes observes to the bewildered Sultan: “You are the best-guarded sovereign in the world. High walls surround you. Every inch of this vast palace is under supervision… The only passage of entry to the sword was through two consecutive pairs of doors, one of brass and one of iron… Each night the keys are handed to the Chief Black Eunuch. Given the Head Gardener’s extra two thousand pairs of eyes, it’s impossible for an outsider to remove the sword.”

    And so, take your seat for a superb mystery, which goes to the very heart of mysterious nocturnal apparition, with flames flickering from its body; deadly poisons and secret messages; suspicion and suspects on all sides, as Holmes, gloriously revived by Tim Symonds, undertakes one of his most audacious searches and missions to date.

  4. developer

    It is rare that I pick up a Holmes pastiche and immediately fall in love with it – but it happened with this book. Symonds managed to catch the voice of early retirement Watson so perfectly and with so much love and whimsical sarcasm that it is a joy to read from beginning to end. The story itself is set in a time when European powers were slowly realizing that a war unlike any before was approaching. Holmes and Watson come together for an adventure set in 1906 to make sure that the Sword of Osman, an insignia of the emperor of the Ottoman Empire, will remain in the hands of the ruling king in order to keep the brittle stability between several European nations and the Ottoman Empire intact. The initially mysterious client who sends the duo to Istanbul is Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary and a great admirer of both Holmes and Watson.

    The adventure is complex, the case more difficult and dangerous than Holmes or Watson anticipate and rife with references to historical and political events – an intertextual feast. I do not want to give away too much of the story, but Symonds manages to write Sherlock Holmes and John Watson very close to how Doyle wrote them and yet manages to make them his own. The story is never boring and there are enough questions and mysteries to keep the reader on edge, especially with some knowledge on the political context (I recommend reading up in the relationship between Britain and the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the century for even greater enjoyment of the book).

    Symonds also manages to do what very few pastiches manage: He makes the ending surprising even after Holmes offers us the solution to the mystery. It’s entertaining and educational and offers deeper insight into Holmes’s role in European politics, which results in his role as a double agent in Doyle’s “His Last Bow” as well as his relationship with John Watson and Mycroft Holmes.

    It is definitely one of my favourite Holmes pastiches so far, and I am excited to read more of Symonds’s work. I would like to thank Tim Symonds for unexpectedly sending me the book and thereby providing a wonderful reading experience. You can buy the book on Symonds’s website as well as on,, and

  5. stu

    ‘I recommend ‘Sherlock Holmes And The Sword Of Osman’… a tale of espionage, double-crossing, intrigue and murder. I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through Edwardian Era ‘Stamboul’ with its colourful description of jewelled swords that rule Empires, ghosts that haunt palaces and tyrannical rulers’

    Xanthé Mallett, University of New England. (Anthropologist, Criminologist & Television presenter)

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