Being decidedly non-purist in my affection for Watson and Holmes, I was able to enjoy much of Art in the Blood, though it is essentially a work of book-length fanfiction.
Unfortunately, Holmes exploring the art world and the (seeming and real) dichotomy between the atmospherics of art and the scientific method is a rich conceit whose potential goes unfulfilled here. I enjoyed the appearance of Toulouse-Lautrec, who has fascinated me for some time. And having Vidocq appear was a great idea ruined by making him farcically inept.
The plot is weak. The writing mediocre (I can’t tell if the author is or isn’t trying to to invoke Doyle’s style; the style of the writing here sits in an unhappy middle place). And yet I’d still give it three stars but for the one transgression I can’t abide: delving into Holmes’s emotions with little subtlety and even less tension. An obviously jealous Holmes is little better than no Holmes at all.