cover image Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? Shadow Police, Book 3

Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? Shadow Police, Book 3

Paul Cornell. Pan MacMillan, $14.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-4472-7326-4

Cornell’s third grimdark urban fantasy (after The Severed Streets) doubles down on the gritty and nightmarish themes of the earlier novels. Quill, Ross, Costain, and Sefton are the only people on London’s police force with the second sight, which means they’re the only ones who know that the mysterious break-in at the Sherlock Holmes museum is actually a murder scene: someone appears to have killed the ghost of Holmes himself. Living people are also being murdered in the same ways as victims in Conan Doyle’s stories, and the team scrambles to get ahead of the killings, only to find themselves used and thwarted again and again. At the same time, every one of the four is being ridden by personal demons, threatening their coherence and effectiveness as a team and bringing the overall tone of the story firmly into depressing territory. Readers who enjoyed the earlier books will be pleased, but this isn’t a good entry point for newcomers. (July)