Subtitle: Footprints of a Famous Gentleman Crook in the Times of a Great Detective. Brilliant detail and suavely superior humor thread these eleven tales about the Victorian gentleman safecracker, Raffles, and his friend ""Bunny"" Manders as they swirl through London night-fogs and sunsoaked Portsmouth regattas. Taking a tip from Doctorow, Perowne peoples his mysteries with famed figures--A. Conan Doyle and Dr. Watson, John L. Sullivan, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Winston Churchill and others--and admirably captures each's particular tone and edge (Doyle, however, talks like Holmes at his most acerb). Among the outstanding stories are that of the theft of Lord Nelson's bloodstained uniform (the one he died in) by a Greek millionaire who wishes the Thracian Marbles (read Elgin) returned to Greece; and a reworking of Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles. Raffles was dreadfully popular when invented by E.W. Hornung at the turn of the century, and Perowne's latest revival is more than up to snuff. Glittering detection.