cover image Sherlock Holmes: The Back to Front Murder

Sherlock Holmes: The Back to Front Murder

Tim Major. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-789096-98-9

At the start of this promising Sherlock Holmes pastiche from Major (Hope Island), Holmes is consulted by Abigail Moone, the author of popular mystery novels written under the nom de plume of Damien Collinbourne. As part of her research for her next book, Moone procured some empty gelatin capsules and inserted one in the spout of an out-of-the-way drinking fountain in London’s Tate Gallery. Moone hoped to assess the plausibility of a fictional murder victim being poisoned by a slow-acting toxin in such a manner. But, to her horror, Ronald Bythewood, the man she observed drinking from that fountain, died shortly afterward in a nearby park, apparently from ingesting phenol. Holmes agrees to investigate, only to learn from Inspector Lestrade that Bythewood was clutching a scrap of paper when he died on which was written “D C DID IT.” That possible reference to Moone’s alias places her account in a suspicious light. Major does a great job with the setup and emulating Dr. Watson’s voice, but the eventual reveal is a letdown. Nonetheless, fans of traditional Holmes stories should welcome a sequel. (Aug.)