cover image The Albino’s Treasure

The Albino’s Treasure

Stuart Douglas. Titan (titanbooks.com), $9.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-7832

An anarchist plot hatched by the Brotherhood of Ireland, an increasingly militant group dedicated to Home Rule, poses a threat to Queen Victoria in Douglas’s first novel, a convincing Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Around five o’clock one morning, Inspector Lestrade calls on Holmes and Watson at their Baker Street rooms. A few hours before, someone slashed a portrait of a former prime minister at the National Portrait Gallery and daubed the letters BOI in red paint on the wall next to it. Meanwhile, a foreign criminal known only as the Albino has arrived in London, reported to be on a quest for something called England’s Treasure. Holmes infiltrates the Brotherhood, but the discovery that another vandalized painting was a fake takes the mystery in a different direction. Douglas does a good job of giving Watson opportunities to display his sense of humor, while preserving Holmes’s sharper edges. Readers looking for a high-quality new adventure with Conan Doyle’s beloved characters should be satisfied. (May)