Random Things Tours – Book Review – What Child Is This? By Bonnie Macbird

“London snow is rare in the early twenty-first century, but one evening in late December of 2021 some tentative flakes drifted lazily down outside the window of my small mansion flat just off Baker Street.”

Genre: Christmas Mystery/Crime

Number of Pages: 240

Date of Publication: 13 October 2022

Publisher: Collins Crime Club

My Review Summary: A beautifully presented Christmas mystery. The perfect Christmas gift!


It’s the season of peace and goodwill, but a Victorian Christmas is no holiday for the world’s most popular detective in this new book from Bonnie MacBird, author of the bestselling Sherlock Holmes novel Art in the Blood.

It’s Christmastime in London, and Sherlock Holmes takes on two cases. The angelic three-year-old child of a wealthy couple is the target of a vicious kidnapper, and a country aristocrat worries that his handsome, favourite son has mysteriously vanished from his London pied à terre. Holmes and Watson, aided by the colourful Heffie O’Malley, slip slide in the ice to ensure a merry Christmas is had by nearly everybody . . .


I love a Christmas book and when I saw that this was also a Sherlock Holmes one that was illustrated I got extra excited! I was so pleased when I was accepted on the tour. The book itself is gorgeous with amazing illustrations to accompany a great story. It showed off Sherlock Holmes really well without being overly complicated. I loved it! 

The writing was clear and had a good flow. The font was a good size and the first letter of the first word was illustrated beautifully. The book itself was split into 5 parts. Each part had a title and a quote which I enjoyed. The parts were then split into chapters with interesting titles. I loved that the book was from the perspective of Dr Watson as were the original Sherlock Holmes stories, and that in turn this story written by Dr Watson was “found” in a London Mansion Flat in 2021. 

I enjoyed Dr Watson’s description of the surrounding area and other characters every so often. It really made me feel christmassy as well as getting to know the other characters more intimately. I felt that the level of description to action was well balanced and added to the story rather than detracted from it. 

As mentioned above the chapters were split into the 5 parts and were fairly long. You were able to get a good chunk of the story before moving on. Nothing felt rushed and the story gradually unfolded. There wasn’t anything too complicated about it. Sometimes the language used was a bit hard to understand (I needed to look up a couple of words), but it showed off who Holmes was well and it was nice to learn new words! 

The characters were excellent. I have always loved the relationship between Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes. Despite everything there is a real friendship there and this was showcased in this story. Sherlock Holmes has always fascinated me as a character and I enjoyed reading about him and how he interacts with the other characters. I enjoyed that Holmes was always one or two steps ahead of Dr Watson (and therefore us as the reader) and looked forward to the big reveal. 

Lastly the settings. I loved them. I was really transported to a Victorian Christmas. Unlike a lot of books that I have read recently, there was a fair amount of description (as well as character conversation) plus with the illustrations it made for an excellent read. 

Overall I loved it. It is a beautiful book with excellent illustrations and a great story that showcases Sherlock Holmes well. I recommend! 


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10 thoughts on “Random Things Tours – Book Review – What Child Is This? By Bonnie Macbird

    1. Emily Jane Post author

      Me too. For some reason it is always what I picture what Christmas should be. I suppose that is because it is really the basis for our Christmasses? It was great. It is what a Christmas story should be in my opinion 🙂


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