cover image Sherlock Holmes and the Eye of Heka

Sherlock Holmes and the Eye of Heka

David Marcum. MX Publishing, $16.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-78705-833-0

In his superlative first novel, Marcum (The Papers of Sherlock Holmes, a story collection) assuredly handles multiple intriguing plots while plausibly adding emotional depth to Dr. Watson. In 1888, the doctor has resumed living in Baker Street following the sudden death of his wife, Constance, from diphtheria after about a year of marriage. The tragedy, which Watson believes could have been averted had he made better medical decisions, continues to torment him as he aids Holmes in trying to thwart Baron Meade, a criminal also made desperate by a loss. Meade’s son was killed the year before during the chaos of the Bloody Sunday riot (a real-life protest against unemployment and coercion in Ireland), and the nobleman plans a terror attack to avenge himself against the British government. The hunt for Meade coincides with the search for the thief of the large ruby known as the Eye of Heka, part of an effigy of an African deity and a jewel believed to channel magical energy. Marcum expertly balances deduction and action as he more than meets the challenge of recreating the spirit and tone of Conan Doyle’s originals. Sherlockians will clamor for a sequel. (Sept.)