cover image The Seventh Bullet: A Holmes and Watson American Adventure

The Seventh Bullet: A Holmes and Watson American Adventure

Daniel Victor. St. Martin's Press, $17.95 (186pp) ISBN 978-0-312-08291-8

The suspicious death of a crusading American journalist brings Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson out of retirement, across the pond to the Big Apple and into the lives of prominent American citizens. Artfully blending legend, history and spirited invention, Victor chronicles Holmes's investigation of the 1911 murder of muckraking journalist and novelist David Graham Phillips, whose expose of political shenanigans in Washington made powerful enemies for the dandified writer. Phillips was shot six times near Gramercy Park by a fanatic purportedly obsessed with vampiric possession; the assassin then killed himself with the same gun. Technical anomalies (all six shots from the gun entered the victim's body, yet the murderer still had the means to end his own life with a fatal shot) and the undercurrents of political cover-up and demonology contribute to the relish with which Holmes takes on this case. Theodore Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst are the first interview subjects for a very flustered Watson, who, in Victor's measured prose, details the path Holmes's icy logic cuts through the subterfuge and bluster of the powerful. Victor's debut reveals a welcome ``discovery'' of yet another ``lost'' Holmes case. (Nov.)