cover image Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Letter

Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Letter

Barry Grant, Severn, $27.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-6946-3

Two challenging problems vex Sherlock Holmes, who's been resuscitated after being frozen for decades in a Swiss glacier, in Grant's disappointing second mystery to feature the Victorian detective in the 21st century (after 2010's The Strange Return of Sherlock Holmes): the theft of a newly discovered Shakespeare letter, which could resolve the question of the authorship of his plays, and the identity of the criminal behind a series of attacks in London aimed at musicians, whose instruments have been blowing up. Aided by journalist James Wilson, Holmes plausibly displays his deductive gifts in the Internet age, but too often straight sleuthing gives way to action sequences out of a James Bond film (e.g., bomb-loaded bats fly at a helicopter high above a Scottish castle). Grant's splendid execution of this intriguing concept in the first book offers some hope that he can rebound in the next. (Jan.)