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 compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

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THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE

In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8272-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Combines disarming sensitivity to the nuances of the tangled relations among the characters with sledgehammer plotting.

FALSE WITNESS

A master of the no-holds-barred law enforcement thriller turns to legal intrigue, with shattering results.

A week before he’s to stand trial for the aggravated assault and rape of DataTel district manager Tammy Karlsen, car-dealership scion Andrew Tenant fires his lawyer and asks for a new one: Leigh Collier, a rising star at an Atlanta white-shoe firm. Originally baffled by the request, Leigh quickly realizes that her new client has a special reason to have asked for her: He’s recognized her from a magazine photo as the older sister of Callie, the babysitter who killed his father, Buddy Waleski, when his latest pedophile assault on her turned violent 23 years ago. In fact, the truth is even darker than that. Leigh was an active participant in the killing. Now she's determined to do everything she can to torpedo the defense she's preparing for Andrew, who’s accused of stabbing Tammy Karlsen in exactly the way Callie stabbed his father, while persuading both her client and her watchful senior partner that she’s doing her utmost to represent him. As she learns more and more particulars about the case and her client, Leigh realizes that her plan doesn’t go nearly far enough. Andrew is guilty of this assault and others, but he doesn’t just want her to get him off: He plans to blackmail her into complying with a potentially endless series of demands. How can she strike back at a monster who holds all the cards? Only by tapping into the depthless power of sisterhood with Callie, who’s descended into addiction but still loves Leigh with a ferocity that makes the pair of them as dangerous as the man who’s targeted them.

Combines disarming sensitivity to the nuances of the tangled relations among the characters with sledgehammer plotting.

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-285809-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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