The Fiends of New York City is a Sherlock Holmes audio drama brought to us by Big Finish Productions. Jonathan Barnes is the writer while Ken Bentley serves as director. Nicholas Briggs returns as the master detective with Richard Earl resumes his role as Dr. Watson. Lucy Briggs-Owen, Timothy Bentnick, John Banks, James Joyce, and Juliet Aubrey are included in the guest cast.
Holmes and Watson have been aware for some time of a new criminal organization operating in 1901 London under the leadership of someone with the unlikely moniker of the Seamstress of Peckham Rye. This story begins when an American claiming to be a former Pinkerton detective shows up on the door of 221 B Baker Street with a strange story concerning what would these days be called a serial killer. The new client has a suspect on his radar and wants Holmes to help prevent another grotesque murder. The problem is that Holmes has determined that he is not being told the whole story, and the case is a springboard to a bigger conspiracy. In the meantime, Watson is finding more about her new wife’s mysterious past. Adversaries old and new are converging on Holmes and Watson as usual.
I am still not a huge fan of this Seamstress woman being this dangerous new opponent, however I did find myself more drawn in than I have been recently in this range. Briggs’ version of Holmes was actually pretty good here. Richard Earl continues to display one of the more impressive versions of Dr. Watson I have heard. The story was somewhat complicated but not in a way I found off putting. The cast was expectedly well chosen.
Juliet Aubrey plays the Seamstress, and I have no issue with her actual performance. I just find this designation difficult to take seriously.
Barnes is one of Big Finish’s more reliable writers in spite of some of my reservations about the direction of this range. He at least manages to pull off a competent entry here.
The performances and postproduction work are considerably more than competent which helps settle some of my doubts about this series.
I am a Big Finish fan overall, so I will look forward to seeing the next installment of their Sherlock Holmes series regardless.