It’s 1906. Far from England, the Ottoman Empire ruled by the despotic Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid 11 is on the verge of imploding. Rival Great Powers, especially Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany, sit watching like crows on a fence, ready to rush in to carve up the vast territories, menacing England’s vital overland routes to her Indian possessions. At his medical practice in London’s Marylebone Watson receives a mystifying telegram. It’s from Holmes. ‘Dear Watson, if you can throw physic to the dogs for an hour or two I would appreciate meeting at the stone cross at Charing Cross railway station tomorrow noon. I have an assignation with a bird lover at the Stork & Ostrich House in the Regents Park which has excited my curiosity. Yrs. S.H.’ Watson finds the invitation puzzling. Why should such a mundane meeting at a Bird House excite the curiosity of Europe’s most famous investigating detective or anyone else? For old times’ sake Watson joins his old comrade-in-arms. Within days Holmes and Watson find themselves aboard HMS Dreadnought en route to Stamboul, a city of fabled opulence, high espionage and low intrigue. Their mission: at all costs stop a plot which could bring about the immediate collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sherlock Holmes and The Sword of Osman based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman by Tim Symonds My thanks go out to the good people of MX Books for my review copy of this engaging Holmes story! It is the spring of 1906. Watson is planning on departing for the Congo, as part of a medical expedition. Holmes and Watson haven’t seen each other but once in the past 12 months. (Adventure titled Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter—same author.) Then a summons by Mycroft sends both Holmes and Watson to meet a client. Sir Edward Grey wishes to send them into Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire’s Sword of Osman, a very important relic, is in danger of being stolen. Grey is backing the undertaking, and sets up the fake IDs and uniforms for them to pass as British soldiers. Mycroft is also in on the case and has a lot of suggestions about diplomatic courtesy. Watson is forced to postpone his intended trip to the Congo to bring medicine to the Pygmies. They are to have an audience with Abd-ul-Himad, the current Sultan. There are groups that wish to see the Sultan dethroned and replaced with someone they can control. The secret to all of this is to seize the Sword of Osman and kill the Sultan. The Sultan in the meantime has grown paranoid, with food tasters, body-doubles, and isolation in his palace at Yildiz. He has grown sadistic in his dealings with people he dislikes. He has even taken to shooting down citizens in the street for target practice. And yet this is the guy Holmes and Watson are to negotiate with and protect the best they can. Mycroft sees war on the horizon and doesn’t want Germany taking over the Ottoman Empire, which is on its last legs. Holmes soon begins to wonder just who is watching whom. Who can they trust and who is using them as a scapegoat in case things don’t turn out as planned? The story has a wealth of history written into every chapter. By clever prose, Mr. Symonds manages to transport the reader into exotic locales. The mystery in this story runs very deep. Just when the reader has it all figured out, chances are very good that he or she is wrong! With the Arabian Knights atmosphere, the James Bond-like intrigue, and Holmes’ inimitable powers of deduction this makes for a very satisfying read. I give the volume five stars. Quoth the Raven…