Unquiet Spirits


In her second Sherlock Holmes novel, Bonnie MacBird gives us a rollicking tale worthy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself. Upon finding another recently discovered “manuscript” of Doyle’s, or so the author tells us, she brings the new story to light.

And what a story it is! A beautiful and mysterious woman arrives at 221B Baker Street with a tale of ghosts, kidnapping, and dynamite on a whiskey estate in Scotland. Just when Holmes is becoming vaguely intrigued with her tale, his brother, Mycroft, sends Holmes and Watson to the Riviera, where they run into their old rival, French Detective Jean Vidocq. They also bump into the woman who visited them back in England. Coincidence? Unlikely.

As a result of the events in France, Holmes, Watson, and the lady head to Scotland to the haunted castle. And Holmes discovers a ghost from his own past. As Holmes and Watson try to untangle the familial rivalries, jealousies and power-plays involved in a play for the family whiskey business, they discover there is much more than meets the eye.

In this well-constructed tale, MacBird captures the style of the original series perfectly. Over the last century, many have attempted to revive Holmes and his amazing sleuthing ability. Few achieve even a measure of likeness. MacBird does this handsomely, adding her own flair for a twisting plot and mysterious characters. I, for one, hope she continues to recreate the greatest detective duo in English literature.

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(US) 9780008201081