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The Sceptered Isle Club

The Sceptered Isle Club

5.0 1
by Brent Monahan

In 1905, John Le Brun makes his first excursion to England to visit import broker Geoffrey Moore. Le Brun and Moore became friends six years earlier while Le Brun was Sheriff of Brunswick, Georgia and enmeshed in a perplexing murder case at the very exclusive Jekyl Island Club. Now retired, the self-taught Le Brun is fulfilling a long-standing dream of measuring


In 1905, John Le Brun makes his first excursion to England to visit import broker Geoffrey Moore. Le Brun and Moore became friends six years earlier while Le Brun was Sheriff of Brunswick, Georgia and enmeshed in a perplexing murder case at the very exclusive Jekyl Island Club. Now retired, the self-taught Le Brun is fulfilling a long-standing dream of measuring himself against the greatest minds in the greatest city of the greatest empire of that era.

Upon his arrival, Moore introduces Le Brun to the social world of the 'men's club' - hundreds of which exist in and about London, where men of similar backgrounds and often great power meet. Chief among Le Brun's new acquaintances is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author and inventor of the great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. While visiting the Sceptred Isle Club, where the ex-sheriff is scheduled to give a lecture, Le Brun and Doyle hear a series of muffled gunshots. A tandem investigation reveals that several prominent men have been murdered inside the gambling room, where the inner door was locked and the heavily-bolted outer door was inexplicably unlocked. There are no survivors, no suspects, and no signs of either the weapon used in the crime or the thousands of pounds being gambled.

Le Brun is retained by the club to solve the murders and preserve its reputation. Moving as a stranger in this Edwardian world of elegance and privilege, John Le Brun must unravel a Byzantine crime whose purpose has wide-reaching implications for the entire British Empire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sheriff John Le Brun of Brunswick, Ga., who debuted in The Jekyl Island Club (2000), mingles with another club of powerful men in a mystery that brings a welcome Southern touch to the British historical. Retired at last, the 58-year-old Civil War veteran takes a trip in 1905 to London, where he hopes to meet some of the best minds in the "hub of the learned world." In his first adventure, the largely self-educated Le Brun rubbed shoulders with such financial giants of the day as Joseph Pulitzer and J.P. Morgan. Here he tests his mettle against a ruthless killer and matches wits with Scotland Yard and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in an effort to stop the slaughter. Le Brun happens to be a guest at the posh Sceptred Isle Club when two members of Parliament are shot dead in the gambling room. But for a chance stroke, his host, Trent Godwin, might have been among the victims. Thanks to his reputation as a crime-solver and a good word from Doyle, the American is able to perform a semi-official role in the investigation. Godwin's beautiful stepdaughter, Veronica, a very forward and forward-thinking young lady, provides a surprising romantic foil. Le Brun's quiet doggedness and resourcefulness serve him well as he plays his cards close to the vest while seeming to share with his British counterparts. Anne Perry fans may not know what to think of this unusual Southern detective holding court in gas-lit London, but others are sure to find this well-crafted and entertaining tale just their cup of tea. (June 17) Forecast: Sherlock Holmes fans will be drawn by Doyle's presence, though they won't find a whole lot to cheer. Monahan is also the author of The Bell Witch: An American Haunting. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"You are sitting with one of the world's best detectives," a friend says of John LeBrun, and no less an authority than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will soon have reason to agree. LeBrun, quondam sheriff of Brunswick, Georgia (The Jekyl Island Club, 2000), is on extended holiday in England. The friend introduces him to the posh Sceptered Isle Club and a classic locked-door mystery. Four aristocratic card players have been gunned down in a room secured from the inside-no weapon in sight when Scotland Yard arrives, no one alive to tell any of the tale. Impressed by his sleuthing skills, the club management hires LeBrun to aid and abet Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector John Tibble, who is less than delighted at the prospect. Conan Doyle, on the other hand, is enormously pleased. Doyle, a Sceptered Isle member, relishes the opportunity to match wits with someone he quickly perceives to be a real-life counterpart of his own "world's best detective." The game's afoot, then, and together, Doyle and LeBrun lead Tibble through a dense thicket of diabolical criminality. The killers they chase are as cunning as Professor Moriarty and as lethally seductive as Irene Adler. LeBrun overtakes his colleagues early on, leaving Doyle a deduction or so behind and Tibble in their wake. "You're just a relentless crime-solving machine, " the outclassed Tibble acknowledges at one point. "I suppose I am," replies LeBrun with Holmesian aplomb. Baker Street Irregulars taking a breather from the collected works might enjoy giving this adventure the analytical eye.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.74(h) x 1.15(d)

Meet the Author

Brent Monahan lives in Yardley, Pennsylvania. He is the author of seven previous novels, the seventh of which was The Jekyl Island Club, the first to feature John Le Brun. He collects chess sets, including one with a Sherlock Holmes theme, and hardly beats anyone.

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The Sceptered Isle Club 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Six years ago back in ¿99, Brunswick, Georgia Sheriff John Le Brun and importer Geoffrey Moore met when the law enforcement official solved the triple murder case of THE JEKYL ISLAND CLUB. The now retired John visits his friend in England. Geoffrey escorts John to the elite SCEPTRED ISLE CLUB where the broker brags to all the members present about his guest¿s exploits including saving the life of then President McKinley and even more prestigious that of J.P. Morgan.

However, John¿s vacation turns nasty when someone using a gun murders four card players inside a locked room with no weapon, which seems to indicate murder-suicide. Based on Geoffrey¿s boasting of John¿s sleuthing skills, the club Manager William Roundsville hires Le Brun to assist Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector Tibbles during the investigation not so much to solve the homicides, but to keep any scandal from going public. Though the inspector does not want another cop working the case, club member Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appreciates the chance to play Watson alongside Le Brun¿s Holmes.

Using the locked-door mystery as the background for this Edwardian murder investigation, Brent Monahan provides readers with a strong who-done-it in which the story line pays homage to Holmes though John is clearly his own man. The investigation is fun to watch, as the lead triangle is reminiscent of Mr. Doyle¿s Holmes¿ novels. Clearly the Baker Street crowd will cherish THE SCEPTRED ISLE CLUB, but so will early twentieth century historical mystery fans.

Harriet Klausner