Thomas (Dancing in the Dark, 1993, etc.) drags the inimitable detective out of retirement still again to investigate seven mysteries closely based on historical fact, from the alleged bigamy of George V (a case that brings him to the attention of Professor Moriarty) to the theft of the Irish crown jewels from an impregnable strongroom. Holmes journeys with a grumbling Watson to Paris to vindicate Captain Dreyfus (embroiling himself in the death of French President FÇlix Faure), books passage to Yokohama for the second of two cases of arsenic poisoning, and allies himself with the pyrotechnical barrister Sir Edward Marshall Hall for two cases closer to home. Holmes’s repeated defense of hopeless cases casts him as an unlikely Perry Mason, and the cases themselves--spacious and leisurely, unfolding over a period of months or years--do more justice to history than to Holmes. But dedicated Sherlockians will appreciate the novelty of the great detective’s incursion into real-life crimes that don’t involve Jack the Ripper.