In this third in an ever-improving series, the teenage Holmes plunges right away into an adventure that involves his brother Mycroft and a trip to Russia disguised as a member of a troupe of actors.
An introductory interlude featuring Sherlock and his mentor Amyus Crowe is mercifully short and leads logically (of course) into another Holmes-ian escapade. Returning home from the United States, Sherlock and Amyus travel to London for a luncheon only to find a knife-wielding and stunned Mycroft in a closed room (alone) with a corpse. Mycroft, shaken by the implications of this event, decides to involve Sherlock in his professional life—he's a spy master for the British government—as his companion on an upcoming Russian mission. Readers will appreciate the broad cast of characters and varied settings, as well as the mystery elements. Red herrings abound, and confusion reigns until Sherlock has one of his trademark eureka moments. The ensuing spectacular chase through Moscow’s streets results in a breathless (and surprising) climax and satisfying resolution of most of the book’s mysteries.
Sherlock Holmes fans will enjoy the electrifying adventure and value the insights into the character traits that make the adult Holmes so fascinating. (Mystery/adventure. 13-17)