What if Sherlock Holmes did not retire in 1903 to a life of bee-keeping in Sussex but instead returned as an occasional Consulting detective in some of the Edwardian eras most baffling, actual cases?
Donald Thomas combines his expertise as a novelist and criminal historian to give a brand-new twist to the adventures of Conan Doyle's famous creation. Accompanied as ever by Dr. Watson, Holmes here investigates the alleged bigamy of King George V, the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels in 1907, the suspicious death of President Faure of France after the Dreyfus affair, and four of Great Britain's most notorious murder trials.
The Secret Cases of Sherlock Holmes provides the Great Detective's numerous fans with their first look at clandestine investigations too damaging to the monarchy, the government or the nation's security to be read until now.
"Thomas' premise tantalizes: What if the estimable Holmes did not retire in 1903 but instead worked occasionally on cases hitherto sealed in the files of Scotland Yard as too injurious to national security or reputation to be published? Fans of the Baker Street duo will delight in this collection of cases that Dr. Watson introduces and in which he participates. Thomas displays his expertise in criminal history as he has Holmes and Watson at work on celebrated cases ranging from a prostitute's grisly murder to the slow death of a recently married woman whose husband is already married to another to a bicyclist's death from a bullet whose angle of trajectory suggests an innocent man may die. In other stories, mysteries hang in the balance as Holmes' mastery of chemistry proves that an assumption about the presence of arsenic is incorrect, and his love of theatrics reaps dividends as he mingles with lowlifes while disguised as one of their own. It is all Holmes, sweet Holmes for the premier sleuth's many fans. --Whitney Scott"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Readers of a Sherlock Holmes pastiche have every right to expect a reasonable iteration of Conan Doyle's original creation, a detective whose essential humanity is cloaked in aloofness and whose superior intellect serves a passion to expose crimes. Thomas, a biographer (of Lewis Carroll and others) and novelist (The Ripper Apprentice), instead offers a smug Holmes whose ramblings through a collection of stories based on true crimes at the beginning of this century lack both clarity and credibility. The best of these tales include "The Case of the Camden House Murder," in which Holmes, retained to prove the innocence of an artist charged with the Ripper-like murder of a prostitute, conducts a convincingly quirky investigation with solid examples of Holmesian deduction. In "The Case of the Blood Royal," Holmes defends Queen Victoria's grandson Prince George against blackmail at the hands of Charles Augustus Howell and Prof. Moriarty in what becomes the prequel to Doyle's "The Final Problem." The author describes his tales as historical events, "over which the shadow of the Great Detective is allowed to pass." Holmes's presence in these pages is as fleeting and intangible as that shadow. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved