cover image The Limehouse Text

The Limehouse Text

Will Thomas, . . Touchstone, $14 (337pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-7335-0

Convincing period detail and memorable characters lift Thomas's fast and furious third Victorian whodunit (after 2005's To Kingdom Come ) to feature enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his callow assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. A pawn ticket found among the effects of Barker's previous sidekick, Quong, leads the pair to Limehouse, London's Chinatown, where they discover an ancient Chinese book on martial arts. A number of parties seek the book, including someone willing to kill to gain its secrets. Barker draws on his encyclopedic knowledge of the London underworld and his extensive network of allies to advance the investigation. While the murderer's identity won't surprise many, and Barker's talents, which include mastery of the martial arts, border on the superhuman, Sherlock Holmes fans in particular will be pleased by how well Thomas evokes the Baker Street sleuth and the spirit of Conan Doyle's stories. (July)