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Murder At Sorrow's Crown
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Steven Savile and Robert Greenberger

Titan Books
13 September 2016 / ISBN 9781783295128

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


At the very beginning of the partnership between Holmes and Watson, the pair is finding themselves short of work, and even shorter of the rent. Watson scours the papers for cases, which are soon resolved usually without any money forthcoming, but a certain elderly widow's problem sounds more interesting. Mrs. Wynter wants to know what has happened to her sailor son Norbert, whose tour of duty in South Africa has ended with him either missing or possibly accused of desertion. Naturally she wants to know the truth and the detectives take on her case. But none of them know quite how one missing man could be the key to a vast conspiracy…

The game's afoot! It is good to read a case from the beginning of the detectives' career as so many take place after Reichenbach Falls, but this tale is set in the hot summer of 1881 not long after the pair first meet. To describe what the story entails would spoil the plot, but expect plenty of sinister foreigners, chases through streets, an attack on a train, conspiracies involving important figures and some real historical events. In short, it is a lot of fun, and although a bit of editing would have made it tauter and thus more exciting, it still manages to be packed with adventure. As it takes place before the pair have built up their reputation, they have to rely on plenty of legwork; the police know who they are but barely, Mycroft is still unknown to Watson and they get more help from the Baker Street Irregulars than Lestrade. I enjoyed the way the story was built up from a simple meeting with the missing man's mother and escalated gradually into an international conspiracy. There is a lot to enjoy in here and I wouldn't hesitate to read another by this writing team.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Counterfeit Detective
Murder At Sorrow's Crown
The Haunting of Torre Abbey

The Improbable Prisoner
The Instrument of Death


Reviewed 2016