cover image Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of Diamonds

Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of Diamonds

Steve Hayes and David Whitehead. Hale (IPG, dist.), $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7090-9478-4

Hayes and Whitehead, both authors of western fiction, put a western spin on Victorian London in this entertaining Sherlock Holmes pastiche. When a band of ruffians led by Blackrat Lynch, a notorious gangland figure, attacks Countess Elaina Montague’s coach one foggy night in Green Park, a pistol-packing Thomas Howard from “Missoura” comes to her ladyship’s rescue. Howard explains that he has come to England in search of his brother, Hank. Anxious to repay him, Elaina takes Howard to see Holmes at Baker Street, but the great detective is at first too busy chasing an audacious jewel thief to take on what appears to be a minor missing persons case. London comes to resemble a western American cattle town with barroom brawling, an impressive lariat display by Howard for Elaina’s society guests at Montague Hall, and gun-toting robbers who escape on horseback after hitting a major museum. The story moves at a gallop to an unexpected, if not startling, conclusion. (Jan.)