No fewer than four of these tales are set in California. Will a surfer Holmes be next? Dude!

IN LEAGUE WITH SHERLOCK HOLMES

STORIES INSPIRED BY THE SHERLOCK HOLMES CANON

Fifteen new stories inspired by Sherlock Holmes in ways so inventively varied that Holmes and Watson appear in only one of them.

Introducing their fifth ever more wide-ranging collection, the editors indicate the principal originality of this one: The authors are all “not previously known to be friends of Holmes.” This promise is paid off in spades. Who knew that Kwei Quartey had in him a Ghana locked-room murder deftly solved by retired Superintendent Mensah Blay? Or that Joe R. Lansdale and his daughter, Kasey, could turn Holmes and Watson into a pair of female ghost hunters? Or that Maria Alexander could dream up a bride’s mother hopelessly smitten with Benedict Cumberbatch? Once the novelty of the concept has faded, the results are more inconsistent. On the whole, the entries that flaunt their cleverness—Lisa Morton’s sending a skeptical young Arthur Conan Doyle to a séance, Derek Haas’ rapid-fire deductions from a 19th-century printer’s apprentice, Robin Burcell’s investigation of whether Dr. John Watson was killed by his wife, Mary, or his partner, Dr. Joseph Bell, and especially Brad Parks’ Jersey Shore girlfriend's alternating brainy explanations and, like, totally throwaway dialogue—come off the best. Martin Edwards’ fictional review of the latest Sherlockiana by his jealous hero’s rival, Tess Gerritsen’s cheeky reevaluation of Holmes and Moriarty by their descendants, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s patient who believes he’s Sherlock Holmes, and Joe Hill’s graphic-fictional sleuth Shit-Talk Holmes all deserve honorable mention. Naomi Hirahara, David Corbett, and James Lincoln Warren update or deconstruct Holmes in ingenious ways, and James W. Ziskin features Holmes and Watson themselves.

No fewer than four of these tales are set in California. Will a surfer Holmes be next? Dude!

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64313-583-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Pegasus Crime

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A rousing legal thriller that’s also an acute study of female victimization and male privilege.

THE STOLEN HOURS

A law clerk still battling demons from her past must rise to dizzying heights in preparing a case against a serial sex killer.

Lila Nash has never truly recovered from her rape when she was 18. She’s cut herself, tried to kill herself, spent years in therapy, powered her way through law school, and landed a plum entry-level job with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office despite the fact that Frank Dovey, the new prosecutor, has hated Lila ever since she and her law school mentor, professor Boady Sanden, embarrassed him in court. Now Andi Fitch, the aggressive prosecutor to whom Dovey has assigned Lila as an assistant in the serene confidence that she’ll fail, presses her to make the case against wedding photographer Gavin Spencer, who’s accused of assaulting and nearly killing bridesmaid Sadie Vauk. Spencer, a serial predator who plans and executes his murderous assaults meticulously and has a special gift for seeing around curves and destroying the evidence that might incriminate him, is a ruthless antagonist. As Eskens demonstrates, however, he’s cut from the same cloth as Frank Dovey, whose bloodless campaign against Lila is every bit as unscrupulous. Even readers who predict the tale’s biggest twist before it arrives will still have the breath knocked out of them by the surprises that follow. And they’ll all cheer when fragile Lila finally gains the strength to stand up to the oppressors in her life and wrestle it back from them.

A rousing legal thriller that’s also an acute study of female victimization and male privilege.

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-31670-349-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Mulholland Books/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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