Sherlock Holmes and the King's Evil: And Other New Tales Featuring the World's Greatest Detective

Overview

Five stunning novellas featuring the Great Detective, by the acknowledged master of Sherlockian pastiche.
In these five tales of intellectual derring-do, Sherlock Holmes is shown at the height of his powers: he co-operates with a young Winston Churchill in the famed siege of Sydney Street; helps defeat a plan for a German invasion outlined in the Zimmerman Telegram; establishes a link between two missing light-house keepers and the royal treasures of King John; contends with a ...

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Overview

Five stunning novellas featuring the Great Detective, by the acknowledged master of Sherlockian pastiche.
In these five tales of intellectual derring-do, Sherlock Holmes is shown at the height of his powers: he co-operates with a young Winston Churchill in the famed siege of Sydney Street; helps defeat a plan for a German invasion outlined in the Zimmerman Telegram; establishes a link between two missing light-house keepers and the royal treasures of King John; contends with a supernatural curse placed upon an eccentric aristocrat and discovers a lost epic of Lord Byron. But it is all in a day’s work for the great detective, who continues to defy the odds and lives to ratiocinate another day.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Sherlockians old and new should relish Thomas’ wit and elegance.”
Publishers Weekly

While not up to the high standard of Sherlock Holmes and the Voice from the Crypt(2002), Thomas's fourth pastiche collection conveys the tone and spirit of Conan Doyle's original tales with nary a false note. In the clever "The Case of the Tell-Tale Hands," an aristocrat hires Holmes to look into his cousin's eccentric behavior, which includes wearing gloves at odd times. A school teacher who fears her brothers, both lighthouse keepers, have met with foul play retains Dr. Watson as the investigator in the richly atmospheric title story. Less successful are two tales rooted in history: "The Case of Peter the Painter," in which Holmes battles anarchists in London alongside Winston Churchill in 1911, and "The Case of the Zimmermann Telegram," in which the sleuth serves as director of Admiralty Signals Intelligence during WWI. This volume reinforces Thomas's place in the front rank of Doyle imitators. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In this new collection of five Sherlockian short stories, the master sleuth is once again at the height of his powers with the aid of his constant companion, Dr. Watson, and, on occasion, Inspector Lestrade. Sherlock finds the reason for an eccentric aristocrat's strange behavior, uncovers missing treasure while looking for two missing brothers, discovers forgeries of the work and letters of Lord Byron and Robert Browning, helps Winston Churchill prevent a Latvian anarchist revolution in the Siege of Sydney Street, and, finally, breaks the code of the Zimmerman Telegram during World War I. Because Thomas has authored Sherlock Holmes anthologies (The Execution of Sherlock Holmes) and nonfiction books about Victorian-era crime (The Victorian Underworld), it's hardly surprising that the atmosphere runs true in these stories, which could be mistaken for unpublished Arthur Conan Doyle tales. Recommended for Sherlock Holmes fans and readers who enjoy Victorian mysteries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ1/09.]
—Susan Hayes

Kirkus Reviews
Prolific Thomas, who's made a cottage industry of "newly discovered" Holmes cases (The Execution of Sherlock Holmes, 2007, etc.), presents five tales starring the iconic sleuth. In the title story, prim, middle-aged Alice Chastelnau appeals to Holmes for help when her two loutish half-brothers Roland and Abraham, virtual outcasts in their village, disappear. After an apparent fight on the dangerous sandbars of their small coastal home, Sutton Cross, the two pariahs have vanished with scarcely a trace. The lone piece of physical evidence is a tiny pebble Miss Chastelnau brings to Holmes. After she leaves, he assiduously rubs it to reveal a valuable jewel. A visit to forbidding Sutton's Cross yields danger and more surprises, like the body washed up onshore. Is it one of the brothers-and if so, which? Of the four other adventures, "The Case of the Tell-Tale Hands" concerns a prodigal heir whose erratic behavior causes his titled cousin to worry; "The Case of the Portuguese Sonnets" is a tale of blackmail involving Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems; "The Case of Peter the Painter" features an anarchists' riot right in front of Holmes' residence on Baker Street; and "The Case of the Zimmermann Telegram" discloses Holmes's heretofore unknown work as a cryptographer during World War I. Thomas stretches the frames for Holmes's cases to historical niches previously unexplored. Though not a great stylist, he's a meticulous plotter, and the enticing puzzles seem just as long as they need to be.
Library Journal - Audio
The cottage publishing market for books extending Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes and Watson characters continues with Thomas's King's Evil. This series of five novellas offers a concentrated mixture of mystery, history, detailed descriptions, and atmosphere reminiscent of Doyle's original tales. Narrated by John Telfer, the audio production is basic, with little distinction among characters—the narrator is more of a reader of the text than a performer here. Though it probably won't satisfy Holmesian purists, Thomas's work, along with those from other post-Doyle Holmes authors such as Daniel D. Victor and Edward B. Hanna, may interest people who love the characters. Readers fond of Laurie King and other such writers also might like Thomas's take on these iconic figures.—Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605981031
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,363,407
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Thomashas published forty books, including poetry, fiction, biography, and true crime. A stage-play based on his workThe Return of Sherlock Holmes, was recently produced in Wales. His biography of Robert Browning was short-listed for the Whitbread Award and he received The Gregory Award from T. S. Eliot personally for his poetry collectionPoints of Contact.The Execution of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes and the King's Evil and Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly are all available from Pegasus Books. He lives in Bath.

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