Irene Adler is enjoying a quiet, undisturbed life in Sussex when the mysterious disappearance of a local farmer named James Phillimore throws her world into turmoil and forces her to enlist the aid of her friend and former enemy Sherlock Holmes. Irritated by his flatmate John Watson's romantic inclinations, Holmes journeys to Fulworth to assist The Woman in her investigation. Along the way, the two uncover the darkness, intrigue, scandal, and unexpected loyalty that lie at the heart of a seemingly-innocent village and a case filled with diabolical deception.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.46(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the second novel by this author about Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. As you may fear, it is a love story. It is not, however, a story about the love between Sherlock and Irene, rather it is the story of many loves, some healthy and some not so fine. The author has chosen as her mystery the Untold Tale of “...Mr. James Phillimore who, stepping back into his own house to get his umbrella, was never more seen in this world,” as cited in “The Problem of Thor Bridge.” Several years have passed since the events of The Detective and the Woman, and Irene has purchased Holmes’ cottage in Fulworth where she is raising bees. On the day of a prominent local wedding the disappearance of Mr. Phillimore upset the town and has remained unsolved by the police, so Irene has sent a vaguely explanatory note to Holmes, which he interprets as a “Summons.” He arrived more than a week after the event and jumped into the mystery with both feet. This is an exquisitely crafted novel. The mystery is complex and motives are even more convoluted. The characters are intense and lovingly portrayed and the various love stories are detailed in great depth. Irene and Sherlock may not be accused of having a ‘relationship,’ but it is clear that their earlier adventure left them in a state of being ‘friends’ and even co-operators. Each has a strong appreciation for the talents and mind of the other, but romance does not enter the picture. This couple are at the stage of beginning to understand and to trust one another, far from being in love. The various lovers in this tale each go their own ways and each expresses their love differently. Even the police inspector acts out his love and admiration for an esteemed colleague. The author bundles reality under layers of symbols, so that all experiences occur at several levels. As an example, Holmes watches the bees and muses on “the elaborate dance the makes up the life of the hive.” Biologists have named the activity of bees returning to the hive from nectar sources a “schwangletanze,” or a “wiggle dance,” which directs other bees to the location of the source. Themes are repeated at several levels all through the book, as the various lovers deal with their passions in a variety of ways. There is no need to say that the explanations and outcomes are all completely unexpected. As in her earlier novel, the author has written alternate chapters from the viewpoint if Irene and then from that of Sherlock. Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, May, 2013
A tale of James Phillimore… My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my copy of this book. You guys are a real blessing! The case of James Phillimore’s disappearance is mentioned in passing by Watson in THOR. He points to it as a case where Holmes felt that he had failed. Fortunately, this story reveals the truth about James Phillimore. James Phillimore lived near Holmes’ cottage on the Sussex Downs. As was revealed in the previous volume, Sherlock Holmes and the Woman, that cottage is currently occupied by Irene Adler. Irene has been to a local wedding. James Phillimore and family were also invited, but only Mrs. Phillimore arrives. She waits until after the wedding to explain that her husband has gone missing. They were ready to come to the ceremony, but he went back into the house for his umbrella. When he didn’t return, she could not find him, and not knowing what to do had attended the wedding a bit dazed from her loss. Irene sends for Holmes… This book is a welcome addition to Sherlock Holmes lore. I fell in love with Amy Thomas’ version of Holmes in the previous book, and this one may be even better! A man is missing, and then discovered dead in his own carriage house by his little girl. Holmes investigates and is immediately dismissed by Inspector Graves, once an associate of Inspector Lestrade. Mrs. Phillimore states that her husband was being blackmailed by the local Doctor. However; Doctor Clarke is an old friend of Sherlock Holmes and dismisses the thought entirely. Holmes himself has thought the story a bit fishy. The Winking Tree is in the village square and was once used for secret letters between star crossed lovers. The tree was used for messages between Mr. and Mrs. Phillimore while he was missing. Now he has been murdered by persons unknown. The mystery winds through several different threads that seem unconnected. They are woven with care, making the final reveal a satisfying end to an excellent read! I sincerely hope that Amy Thomas adds many new volumes to a first rate series! I give the book five stars… Quoth the Raven...