The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz is a clever riff on the the Watson and Holmes meme. Horowitz, who has previously written House of Silk an authorised new Sherlock Holmes novel, puts himself in the Watson role alongside Hawthorne, an ex Scotland Yard homicide detective with a mysterious past.
Diana Cowper walks into an undertaker’s shop and makes plans for her own funeral, a few hours later she is found murdered. Horowitz finds himself becoming Hawthorne’s chronicler and publicist as Hawthorne sets out to solve the murder before Scotland Yard. His reluctant and tetchy relationship with Hawthorne provides a neat subplot. The path of their investigations is reminiscent of the Holmes stories until Horowitz strikes out on his own.
This is a good read, the plot device of Horowitz playing himself and peppering the story with some personal details works well. The ending is very Holmesian and leaves room for a follow on novel with the same characters.