A fabulous diamond, a vanishing duke, and a murdered servant boy launch an original and ingeniously constructed Holmesian adventure
In a crafty new novel featuring the world’s greatest literary detective, Alan Vanneman extends the boundaries of the Sherlock Holmes canon with an investigation that takes the celebrated sleuth and his cohort Dr. Watson far from the cozy Victorian comforts of 221B Baker Street. Indeed, enjoying the luxuries of the Orient Express, they travel the breadth of fin de siècle Europe to exotic Constantinople, though not strictly in pursuit of pleasure. For death, too, is traveling first class.
The mystery begins familiarly enough in London, in the middle of the night. Holmes and Watson are summoned to a crime scene that seems to vanish before their eyes, as they find themselves with neither evidence nor a client. They do not want for opposition, however, not with the governments of three great empires arrayed against them.
As Holmes strives to unmask his most ruthless and elusive foe, he is transported into a world of high finance rife with intrigue and crime. With a cast of characters that includes the enchanting Countess D’Espinau and Winston Churchill, as well as a beggar girl whom Watson adopts, Holmes follows a trail that leads ultimately and unpredictably to the fabled and fabulous lost Hapsburg Tiara.