The devil's blaze Sherlock Holmes 1943

Robert J. Harris, 1955-

Book - 2022

"London, 1943. Across the city, prominent figures in science and the military are bursting into flame and being incinerated. Convinced that the Germans have deployed a new terror weapon, a desperate government turns to the one man who can track down the source of this dreadful menace--Sherlock Holmes. The quest for a solution drives Holmes into an uneasy alliance with the country's most brilliant scientific genius, Professor James Moriarty. Only Sherlock Holmes knows the truth that behind his façade of respectability, Moriarty is the mastermind behind a vast criminal empire. As they together pursue the trail of incendiary murders, Holmes is quite sure that Moriarty is playing a double-game--and that there lies ahead a duel to the... death from which they will not both survive"--

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Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Historical fiction
New York : Pegasus Crime 2022.
Main Author
Robert J. Harris, 1955- (author)
First Pegasus Books cloth edition
Physical Description
276 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Sherlock Holmes never existed. His fans know that, but we see the bright side: he can never die. He's kept going by movies, teleplays, graphic novels, and pastiches. Harris' effort is among the last, though its inspiration is those Basil Rathbone films from the 1940s, one of which has Holmes and Watson battling Hitler, as they do here. The two heroes, along with archvillain Moriarty, plodding Inspector Lestrade, and Holmes' brother, Mycroft, leap decades and play their roles without aging (though Holmes and Lestrade have outgrown hostilities and become colleagues). Here, Holmes is an action hero, believable if one recalls the river chase in "The Sign of the Four." He duels, brawls, swims, and climbs cliffs, all described in prose so vivid one can almost watch the action. In addition to tracking the efforts of Holmes and his team to keep Moriarty from peddling superweapons to Hitler, Harris also explores a melancholy side to the sleuth's personality. Could the great man not be as happy in his solitude as he pretends? Sure enough, Holmes now reveals his fear that his friend will be "leaving me here in desolate loneliness."

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

At the start of Harris's strong sequel to 2020's A Study in Crimson: Sherlock Holmes 1942, Holmes is consulted by Inspector Lestrade after three men--an army major, a Home Office official, and a government scientist--spontaneously combust in a matter of weeks, causing a panic. Those fears are exacerbated by an evangelist who claims that the deaths are a divine judgment on sinners incinerated by an "avenging fire." The stakes rise when Sir Anthony Lloyd, the head of the Intelligence Inner Council, summons Holmes and Watson to a meeting in an ultra-secure location, where one attendee fatally combusts in front of them. Holmes's investigation into the seemingly impossible killings overlaps with his efforts to bring Professor James Moriarty to justice. But despite his belief that Moriarty is a master criminal, the professor is so unsuspected of villainy that he's been placed in charge of a top-secret facility similar to Bletchley Park, and Lloyd wants Holmes to seek Moriarty's help with the devil's blazes. While this is more thriller than whodunit, Harris makes his conceit plausible. Fans of the Basil Rathbone Holmes movies will be eager for more. Agent: Fiona Brownlee, Brownlee Donald Assoc. (U.K.). (Nov.)

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