cover image Sherlock Holmes: The Thinking Engine

Sherlock Holmes: The Thinking Engine

James Lovegrove. Titan (, $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-783295-03-6

In Lovegrove's entertaining third Sherlock Holmes pastiche (after 2014's Sherlock Holmes: The Gods of War), Malcolm Quantock, a professor at Oxford's Balliol College, claims to have invented a machine that's capable of solving crimes, and Lord Knaresfield, a newspaper mogul, bets %C2%A3500 that no one%E2%80%94not even Holmes%E2%80%94can outsmart it. The case chosen for the test, which Holmes accepts, is the deadly stabbing of Tabitha Grainger and her two daughters. The obvious suspect is Tabitha's husband, a brutish bricklayer, but he has an unshakable alibi. The thinking man and the thinking machine match wits on several more cases as a number of unrelated murders are committed in the university town. Meanwhile, Professor Moriarty's number two, Col. Sebastian Moran, has escaped custody and is on the loose. The resolution is a bit disappointing, but Lovegrove does a solid, if not superior, job of faithfully rendering Holmes and Watson. (Aug.)