The red ribbon

H. B. Lyle

Book - 2018

"In 1910 London, Captain Vernon Kell's fledgling secret intelligence service faces being shut down before it has even begun its job of saving the British Empire from German and Russian spies. Harassed by politicians like the ambitious Winston Churchill, bullied by Special Branch, undermined by his colleague's ill-advised foreign ventures, and alarmed at his wife's involvement with militant suffragettes, Kell is making no progress in tracking high-profile leaks from the govern...ment. To make matters worse, his best (and only) agent, Wiggins, would rather be working cases of his own. Wiggins grew up on the streets of London, one of the urchins trained in surveillance by Sherlock Holmes and known as the Baker Street Irregulars. He has promised to avenge the death of his best friend, and to track down a missing girl from the East End. But when his search takes him to an embassy in Belgravia--an embassy that's actually a high-class brothel presided over by the fearsome "Big T," one of his fellow Irregulars--Wiggins is drawn into a conspiracy that will test both his personal and professional resolve"--Provided by publisher.

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

FICTION/Lyle, H. B.
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Lyle, H. B. Checked In
Review by Booklist Reviews

The Sherlock Holmes pastiche industry has a large cast of possible detectives. His landlady, Mrs. Hudson, has been given her own case to solve. Irene Adler, who showed up the Master, has a detective series of her own. Here's Wiggins of the Baker Street Irregulars, the urchins that served as Holmes's eyes and ears on the mean streets. Author Lyle re-introduced him in last year's The Irregular and we visit him again in his new, grown-up life. Wiggins works for Vernon Kell, an actual historical personage who heads up the Secret Service Bureau. England is drifting into the Great War, and the two are charged with exposing the German moles in the British government. This plot is a clothesline Lyle uses to hang an excessive number of subplots. Like Mrs. Kell's new life as a suffragette. Wiggins' attempt to find a missing person. Kell's struggle to do his job amid the thickheaded politicians. This makes for a fractured read that needs a stronger narrative line. It's best enjoyed as a smorgasbord of Edwardian vignettes. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Lyle's entertaining if uneven sequel to 2017's The Irregular, it's 1910 and the new British Secret Service is up and running with Vernon Kell heading domestic operations and Wiggins, a former Baker Street Irregular, as his sole investigator. When Kell is tasked with probing high-level leaks that benefit Germany, Kell must consider some of the government's most powerful officials as potential sources. Rival agencies are trying to shut Kell's office down, Home Secretary Winston Churchill demands a loan of Wiggins's services, and Kell's suffragist wife, Constance, is hiding secrets. Meanwhile, Wiggins is also helping a friend look for a missing 18-year-old girl. Wiggins's search leads him to the so-called Embassy of Olifa, actually an elite brothel engaged in not just sexual but also violent crimes. The rapid switching early on between story lines and secondary characters can be confusing, but later scenes between the irrepressible but infallible Wiggins and Constance, who shares his remarkable gift for detection, are clever and witty. Readers will hope to see plenty more of Wiggins. Agent: Jemima Hunt, Writers' Practice (U.K.). (Nov.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Following leads to an embassy in Belgravia that is actually a high-class brothel, agent Wiggins of a fledgling British secret intelligence service is drawn into a conspiracy that tests his personal and professional resolve. 35,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"In 1910 London, Captain Vernon Kell's fledgling secret intelligence service faces being shut down before it has even begun its job of saving the British Empire from German and Russian spies. Harassed by politicians like the ambitious Winston Churchill, bullied by Special Branch, undermined by his colleague's ill-advised foreign ventures, and alarmed at his wife's involvement with militant suffragettes, Kell is making no progress in tracking high-profile leaks from the government. To make matters worse, his best (and only) agent, Wiggins, would rather be working cases of his own. Wiggins grew up on the streets of London, one of the urchins trained in surveillance by Sherlock Holmes and known as the Baker Street Irregulars. He has promised to avenge the death of his best friend, and to track down a missing girl from the East End. But when his search takes him to an embassy in Belgravia--an embassy that's actually a high-class brothel presided over by the fearsome "Big T," one of his fellow Irregulars--Wiggins is drawn into a conspiracy that will test both his personal and professional resolve"--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"OUR MOST TALENTED HISTORICAL MYSTERY WRITER TODAY." --ANDREW GULLI, STRAND MAGAZINE

"THE GAME IS MOST DEFINITELY AFOOT." --MICK HERRON

In 1910 London, Captain Vernon Kell's fledgling secret intelligence service faces being shut down before it has even begun its job of saving the British Empire from German and Russian spies.

Harassed by politicians like the ambitious Winston Churchill, bullied by Special Branch, undermined by his colleague's ill-advised foreign ventures, and alarmed at his wife's involvement with militant suffragettes, Kell is making no progress in tracking high-profile leaks from the government. To make matters worse, his best (and only) agent, Wiggins, would rather be working cases of his own.

Wiggins grew up on the streets of London, one of the urchins trained in surveillance by Sherlock Holmes and known as the Baker Street Irregulars. He has promised to avenge the death of his best friend, and to track down a missing girl from the East End.

But when his search takes him to an embassy in Belgravia--an embassy that's actually a high-class brothel presided over by the fearsome "Big T," one of his fellow Irregulars--Wiggins is drawn into a conspiracy that will test both his personal and professional resolve.