A thin but pleasant Holmes pastiche--not as moodily atmospheric as The Case of Sabina Hall or The Case of the Raleigh Legacy, but certainly a mild diversion for puzzle fans. Here, Holmes is called on to find the whereabouts of ""the thistle of Scotland,"" an heirloom amethyst clip that disappeared from Lady Caroline Mowbray's hair during her wedding breakfast. Who took it--the groom, who hied to the Continent immediately; the compulsive-gambler brother; one of the household staff; the specially hired security guard; the ubiquitous secretary?--is not nearly as important as how it was done: supposedly in plain view of the wedding party. With typical Hoimesian â€šclat, the Great Detective frets over certain water-stained books in the house library; the clip's curiously damaged setting; a bit of white thread; an unscheduled snooze; the placement of a tree; and Lady Caroline's damp hair--until he arrives at an ingenious (though deucedly improbable) solution and apprehends the guilty. Refreshingly uncampy and idiosyncratic--but unless all the nerve endings in Lady Caroline's scalp had gone dead, not very likely. A near-miss, and, alas, this series seems headed downward.