cover image The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade

The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade

M. J. Trow. Gateway Editions, $19.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-89526-343-8

Dry neo-Wodehousian wit runs through this bold revisionist mystery, the first in a successful British series which Gateway is publishing to launch its first foray into mysteries. Trow's Sherlock Holmes is a sad, cocaine-addled doofus; Dr. Watson is a bitter author; poor Conan Doyle is afraid of his own shadow; and the true sleuthing brain of the times belongs to Scotland Yard's Inspector Sholto Lestrade. Still smarting from the official debacle of the Ripper murders, Lestrade must now trail a diabolical killer whose motiveless murdering spree follows a series of fictional characters in a cautionary children's tale. Lestrade's method is to eliminate every possible suspect, in the process of which he gets into all kinds of trouble, breaking some bones and falling into bed with two women, one a widow, the other his superior's daughter. Both, like most every character in this giddy novel, are suspects on the detective's long list. Trow delights in droll wordplay and wicked vignettes of the period's livelier personalities, e.g., Lord Tennyson and Oscar Wilde. The buffoonish Holmes and his idiotic disguises are a hoot. Future Lestrade period frolics are planned. Author tour. (Sept.)