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Posted February 17, 2003
Alias Simon Hawkes is the follow-up to "The Adventure of the Dead Rabbits Society" and again we have Sherlock Holmes living in New York City under the alias of Simon Hawkes. In this book we are given four adventures (one novella and three Holmes-sized stories in the Doyle tradition) all of which are enjoyable and clever, but two of which are ingenious. In "The Adventure of the Magic Alibi" (the novella) we have a murder take place in which twenty-one upright citizens, including a top police official, are prepared to swear that the killer could not have done the murder, they are prepared to swear they knew where he was at the time of the killing, even though not one of those witnesses ACTUALLY SAW HIM AT THE TIME! Impossible, yet here we have the impossible. The alibi of the "unseen killer" is so strong that he cannot be arrested even though his victim has scrawled his name in blood! The only person capable of breaking this "magic" alibi is the one and only Sherlock Holmes, AKA Simon Hawkes. In "The Adventure of the Glass Room" we have the first ever LOCKED ROOM WITHIN ANOTHER LOCKED ROOM mystery ever written. Alwyn Pritchett has had built in his parlor a glass room, the purpose of which is to forbid the trickery of any psychic he hires to help him contact his deceased wife. He has been fooled before by false psychics. On the day of the seance, Pritchett and the psychic enter the glass room, bolt the glass door shut from the inside and sit at the table. Then the butler in turn locks the parlor doors. Pritchett and the psychid are thus inside a locked room that is inside another locked room.Two shots ring out! The parlor door is opened and there inside the glass room, the glass door still bolted from the inside, are the bodies of Pritchett and the psychic, an apparent murder/suicide. What else could it be? The two were after all alone in a bolted glass room inside a locked parlor! What else? Murder of course. Once again it is up to Simon Hawkes to ferret out the truth behind this ingenious plot of murder. These two stories alone are well worth the price of admission. But we are also given "The Adventure of the Captive Forger" and "The Adventure of the Talking Ghost", two more wonderfully clever and well-written adventures. In the adventure of the Captive Forger, readers will harken back to the Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb and the author's clever way of putting a twist on the plot of that tale. In the Talking Ghost, we have a murder victim threatening to name her killer through a psychic! Of course that doesn't sit well with the killer and the psychic's life is then in danger. These are four of the best and cleverest Holmes tales to come along in a long time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.