Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Mysteries: Sherlock Holmes and the Morphine Gambit by Jason Cooke

Sherlock Holmes and the Morphine Gambit, by Jason Cooke

Antony Richards of Baker Street Studios alerted us to the release of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Morphine Gambit by Jason Cooke. While newsworthy in its own right, what makes this even more interesting is that Antony and I once worked together for the same company in what seems like a lifetime ago in a galaxy far, far away. The company had absolutely nothing to do with mysteries or books or sleuthing of any kind, so it's with great pleasure that I note that, though many years have passed, our paths have crossed again.

Back to the book: It is February, 1912 and Sherlock Holmes is called out of retirement by brother Mycroft, acting on behalf of the British Government, to investigate a break-in at the Norfolk home of a wealthy German financier. Holmes is soon at work dismantling a German spy ring, but the investigation becomes clouded by his suspicions concerning Mycroft’s pivotal role in events.

What agenda is Mycroft pursuing? What is the truth behind the loss of the fishing vessels the Misty Jane and the Yarmouth Adventuress in the North Sea? And why is the Royal Navy seemingly operating incognito along the Norfolk coast? Before long a number of disparate events crystallise to reveal a dangerous conspiracy.

As the story unfolds against the background of an International Opium Conference, Holmes and Watson find themselves embroiled in espionage and arms-smuggling in the tense period leading up to the First World War.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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