The Arnifour Affair

Written by Gregory Harris
Review by Amy Watkin

It’s the beginning of the 20th century in London, and the arrogant sleuth Colin Pendragon has taken on two new cases: Who killed Lady Arnifour’s husband and niece, and where is street urchin Michael’s twelve-year-old sister, Angelyne? Pendragon’s sidekick and lover, Ethan Pruitt, narrates the tale as we discover dark details hidden by the fog of opium dens. Harris’s mystery novel, the first in a planned series, takes us from the run-down upper-class estate of the complicated Arnifour family to the streets and shipyards of London, where we root for Pendragon to solve the mysteries even as we (and he) negotiate the trauma these cases may cause our dear Mr. Pruitt.

Pendragon’s confidence and Pruitt’s intellectual tagalong nature lead to obvious comparisons with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Fans of Sherlock will be pleased to see some reflection of those characters here. The introduction of their homosexual relationship, along with hints of complicated pasts for both men, however, provides additional interest in this book as well as those to come.