cover image Arrowood


Mick Finlay. Mira, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7783-3094-3

Finlay does a good job of creating a plausible alternative to Sherlock Holmes in his first novel and series debut. In London in 1895, photographer Caroline Cousture, a French woman, turns to Arrowood because she can’t afford Holmes’s fees. Her brother, Thierry, has vanished after being accused of stealing from the bakery where he worked. Though Arrowood suspects her of lying, he accepts the case, only to find that it reawakens some painful and dangerous memories. Arrowood was once a successful reporter before he lost his job to a relative of the new owner of his paper. His reputation for muckraking led to a career as a detective and an eventual partnership with former law clerk Norman Barnett. Their first joint inquiry, into a suspected bigamy, ended disastrously, with an innocent man losing his life. Arrowood took to the bottle, causing his wife to leave him. Finlay’s characterizations are better developed than in some similar series, such as Will Thomas’s Barker and Llewelyn mysteries (Hell Bay, etc.). Agent: Jo Unwin, Jo Unwin Literary Agency (U.K.). (July)