Sherlock Holmes and the Baron of Brede Place: Book II, Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati

Written by Daniel D. Victor
Review by Jeanne Greene

In the second of a new series “penned by” Holmes’ crony Dr. Watson (after The Final Page of Baker Street, 2014), Sherlock Holmes meets Stephen Crane: poet, journalist, and author famous for The Red Badge of Courage.

After learning from a local bigamist that Crane, who has a common-law wife and, perhaps, a lover, is being blackmailed by Milverton, one of London’s worst, Holmes deduces that the writer has financial problems. When Crane disappears, Holmes, who is charmed by Crane’s “wife” Cora and disgusted by the nefarious Milverton, works the case into his busy schedule. Thus begins a series of misadventures involving a gaggle of “wives,” wigs, and disguises, murder (of course), bombing, and haunting, plus destroyed evidence and a false proposal of marriage, to Holmes’s discredit, and an appearance by H. G. Wells. All in all, delving into Crane’s psyche is more interesting than the mysteries, but this is, after all, a work of fiction.

Although “Dr. Holmes’s” clunky sentences and superfluous detail detract from the prowess of the great man, mystery lovers will find Sherlock Holmes and the Baron of Brede Place entertaining.