Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Albert Einstein’s Daughter

Written by Tim Symonds
Review by Ann Northfield

Yet another tale of the famous detective from 221B Baker Street to entertain and dazzle his legion of fans, this is quite a traditional take on the genre, unlike the modern TV show starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Here, Holmes and Watson are very much more the Conan Doyle creations of yore, although this is set in the first years of the 20th century. Holmes is asked to investigate the background and possible scandal connected to the young Albert Einstein, who has applied for a post in the Physics department at the University of Bern. The mystery concerns the strange disappearance of Liserl, the infant daughter of the Einsteins, and the action moves from London to Switzerland to Serbia.

The whole idea of the novel is based on real events as the copious historical notes and vocabulary in the back testify, and I certainly learnt a lot about Einstein’s early career. My main issue with this novel is the brevity. It feels like as soon as the reader gets his or her teeth into the book, it ends. Perhaps this is a good criticism, as certainly the characterisation, writing and plot made me wish that the book was longer and more fully fleshed out. A starter rather than a main course, therefore, and for that reason, disappointing.