The Outrage at the Diogenes Club: Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati, Book 4

Written by Daniel Victor
Review by Tom Vallar

Daniel Victor’s fourth imagining of Sherlock Holmes meeting an American author features Jack London at his crusading best, dressed in rags to finish his social commentary The People of the Abyss while also researching another eventually uncompleted manuscript. London posits the existence of a secret organization, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd., which could well be behind the seemingly natural deaths of such prominent persons as Queen Victoria and her son King Edward VII, and several American presidents. But what brings the writer to the abode of Dr. John Watson at 221B Baker Street in 1902 is another potential victim on the bureau’s list: Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother, whose comings and goings and importance to the government Watson revealed in previous Holmes volumes.

Neither Holmes nor Watson fully believes London’s claim until 1912, when an assassination attempt on Theodore Roosevelt in Milwaukee convinces them that Mycroft may indeed be in the cross-hairs of the bureau. The meticulous schedule he keeps at his Diogenes Club and the dependability of Big Ben’s chimes hold the key in the race against time to unmask the villains and save Mycroft’s life.

Victor’s ingenious weaving of fact with fiction, and the inclusion of highly relevant Jack London quotes at the beginning of each chapter, make this a very interesting read. He takes obvious delight in dropping names while uncovering the arcane in the Holmes sagas and “editing” Watson’s mysteries to suit his device of uniting American literati with the great detective. All who relish Sherlockiana should enjoy this series.