cover image The Counterfeit Detective

The Counterfeit Detective

Stuart Douglas. Titan, $9.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-783299-25-6

Douglas's second Sherlock Holmes pastiche (after 2015's The Albino's Treasure) is elevated by an original plot and prose that convincingly emulates Conan Doyle's. In 1899, Holmes, who's exhausted after carrying out a number of covert assignments for his brother, Mycroft, is unsettled by an anonymous letter. The correspondent, who claims that Holmes once freed his uncle from a false charge of theft, reports that an imposter has set up shop in New York City as a detective, pretending to be Holmes. The Baker Street detective is naturally concerned about the hoax's effect on his reputation, so he and Watson travel across the Atlantic to New York, where, with the assistance of Insp. Simeon Bullock, an expat Englishman working for the New York constabulary, they try to locate the fraud. The man proves elusive, and the client of his whom they interview provides little information, but a murder soon changes the nature of the inquiry. Watson is an active partner to his friend, and the plot twists will surprise many readers. Fans of traditional pastiches will hope that Douglas writes more of them. (Oct.)