Sherlock Holmes yearns for a challenge when Lady Diana arrives, pleading for his help, holding herself responsible for the accidental death of a blackmailer.
Her predicament enthrals Holmes who knows the blackmailer to be an aide to Count von Runstedt whom he believes to be the head of a German spy ring. He and Watson probe this conspiracy and are plunged into a series of escapades which take them all over London and beyond involving them in burglary, treason and murder.
Holmes obtains a vital document needing decoding and acquires a scrap of paper indicating the whereabouts of top secret government documents which have gone missing, but this too needs unravelling.
It is also a tale of two women, from opposite ends of the social spectrum, who profoundly influence the course of events.
Set against a backdrop of the mounting tension in international affairs in the 1890s this is one of the most politically sensitive of Holmes’s cases.
Also available as an eBook from Amazon.
Review by John Sheppard in the Sherlock Holmes Journal
Breese Books have been publishing Holmesian adventures for some time, but this is Simon Trelawney’s very first book. It is no business of mine to spoil the plot for readers, so suffice it to say that the story is set in the world of intelligence and counter-intelligence, with all the obvious potential for twists and surprises. One might describe it as the world of Smiley and Co. transported back to 1895. Hardly anyone in this book is telling the truth, except of course the narrator, Watson.
Many of our familiar and much-loved characters make their appearance in the narrative, and, many familiar situations are similarly included, all of which serves to keep it all suitably grounded in our beloved canon.
The author has a nice way with words, which works to create a literary atmosphere that is both familiar and pleasing. That this is the work of an Englishman is both perfectly clear and perfectly delightful. It is an infinitely more convincing evocation of the period than any other pastiche I have reviewed. All in all, I thoroughly approve of, and heartily recommend, this book.