cover image Holmes, Marple & Poe

Holmes, Marple & Poe

James Patterson and Brian Sitts. Little, Brown, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-40519-5

In this breezy thriller, Patterson and Sitts (coauthors of Circle of Death) introduce private eyes Brandon Holmes, Auguste Poe, and Margaret Marple as they tackle a series of cases involving murder, kidnapping, art theft, and fraud. The three have just set up an office in Brooklyn when they’re called to investigate the disappearance of brilliant, beautiful attorney Sloane Stone. The detectives quickly locate her, garnering loads of positive press—and the interest of the police, who feel threatened by their competence. From there, the PIs take on multiple investgations, many of them branching from the initial mystery. Patterson and Sitts have fun playing with reader expectations based on the protagonists’ famous namesakes: Poe, with his fabulous collection of vintage cars and eye for the ladies, whips out his Glock when confronted with evildoers; Holmes seems to have lost control of his drug habit; and the intrepid Miss Marple has the good looks to make her a man magnet. Each has friends in high and low places who help resolve most of the mysteries, robbing the proceedings of much suspense. Still, short chapters and brisk prose make for diverting-enough entertainment. This satisfies. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Jan.)