cover image Lestrade and the Ripper

Lestrade and the Ripper

M. J. Trow. Regnery Publishing, $19.95 (287pp) ISBN 978-0-89526-311-7

Here's an unlikely novel: an amusing mystery about the Jack the Ripper murders. Like the other Lestrade books (Brigade, etc.), this one is permeated with sharp historical detail, delightful humor and wordplay, plus a large gallery of characters. Among its players are, of course, Sherlock Holmes (""The epitome of a man inches from neurosis"") and Dr. Watson (""with the unmistakable stoop of a man who had been hit by a jezail""), who provide no small amount of comic relief. Lestrade's patience and expertise are tested to the fullest when he inherits the men and caseload of a recently deceased inspector. Continuing those cases takes him to Rhadegund Hall, a public school where, by chance, young, pregnant Maggie Hollis is discovered drowned in a laundry tub. That night, back in London, the mutilated body of Mary Ann Nichols, the first of the Whitechapel murder victims, is found. Soon, Lestrade is investigating the Ripper murders as well as the rising body count at Rhadegund Hall, and in doing so the long-suffering inspector must contend with both the incompetence of his superiors (who destroy vital evidence) and the quirks of the school's masters. Despite the distractions of an attractive matron and interference from Holmes, Lestrade perseveres to the end--as will grateful readers. (Sept.)