cover image Sherlock Holmes and the American Angels

Sherlock Holmes and the American Angels

Barrie Roberts, . . Severn, $27.95 (185pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6511-3

After disappointing efforts like Sherlock Holmes and the Crosby Murder (2002), veteran pasticher Roberts approaches the high level of such earlier novels as Sherlock Holmes and the Man from Hell (1997) in this atmospheric tale. When Holmes masterfully deciphers a series of coded messages concerning a plot in the newspaper, the master detective and his Boswell stake out a clandestine rendezvous in Regent’s Park, only to find that one of the plotters has been stabbed to death. The clues eventually lead the pair to Scotland, where the quest for a legendary cache of gold coins garners the attention of U.S. intelligence agents who suspect a link between the London murder and the recent assassination of President William McKinley. While an unsurprising conclusion and some anachronisms mar the story, Roberts remains one of today’s finer emulators of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his ability to combine a tight plot with an authentic Watsonian voice. (Aug.)