The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore By Dan Andriacco: A Sherlockian Mystery

Aug 17, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Kaska

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

When I first met Sebastian McCabe, Jeff Cody and Lynda Teal, (No Police Like Holmes) life was rocking along in the college town of Erin, Ohio. Getting to know these delightful characters, created by author Dan Andriacco, resulted in my putting this series on my “always-read” list. That was three books ago and I’m delighted to report that the murder-solving Sherlockian trio is back, this time in London. They are searching for the infamous Mr. James Phillimore who, as many of your Holmes fanatics know, went back into his house for an umbrella and disappeared.

Dr. Watson, from the original Sherlock Holmes canon, briefly mentioned the character in the Arthur Conan Doyle story “The Problem of Thor Bridge.” Phillimore’s disappearance was one of Holmes’ unsolved cases, the notes of which Dr. Watson stored the tin dispatch box housed in the vault of the Cox and Co. Bank. Since that time, many writers of Holmes’ pastiches have told their own version of what happened to Mr. Phillimore. When Dan Andriacco spun his tale of this event in his new Sebastian McCabe/Jeff Cody mystery, I set aside the novel I was reading and cracked the cover of The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore.

As with any great series, life moves on. Jeff Cody and Lynda Teal are now married and are winding down their European honeymoon in London. Joining them are Sebastian and Kate McCabe (Jeff’s sister). McCabe is in town to participate in a Sherlock Holmes debate. Before the debate takes place, he is invited to meet another famous Holmesian (English term for Sherlockian), Arthur James Phillimore, at his country home in Berkshire outside of London. The plan is to pick up Phillimore and drive to the Bear and Beaver. As they were getting ready to leave for the local pub, Phillimore darts back into Headley Hall for his umbrella and–well, you know the story. He doesn’t come out! The next time anyone lays eyes on the billionaire, he is dead.

Suspects pop out of every corner and the list keeps growing. When McCabe’s name is added, the hunt for the killer escalates. McCabe is having the time of his life; Cody is a bit miffed because he is still in the honeymoon frame of mind and investigating a murder is not on his romantic agenda. When Lynda’s (who’s a news reporter, by the way) interest in the case grows, as well as her fascination with the Great Detective, Cody is forced to swallow his frustration and join the search.

The fast-paced, nail-biting suspense will draw you in from the moment the two couples meet at the King Charles Hotel in the Big Smoke.

Oh, and here’s a side note (spoiler alert). The topic of the Holmes’ debate: Who Was the Most Important Fictional Detective–Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin or Sherlock Holmes? This was a debate McCabe, being a sharp cookie and Holmes’ authority, was confident he could win. He didn’t. Reading about how debater, Sir Stephen Fresch, used McCabe’s knowledge of the topic against him is a bonus to this engaging must-read mystery.

Dan Andriacco has been reading mysteries since he discovered Sherlock Holmes at the age of nine, and writing them almost as long. His popular Sebastian McCabe–Jeff Cody series so far includes the books No Police Like Holmes, Holmes Sweet Holmes, The 1895 Murder, The Amateur Executioner, and The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore. A member of the Tankerville Club and the Illustrious Clients, scion societies of The Baker Street Irregulars, he is also the author of Baker Street Beat: An Eclectic Collection of Sherlockian Scribblings. Follow his blog at, his tweets at @DanAndriacco, and his Facebook Fan Page.

To enter to win a copy of The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, with the subject line “Disappearance”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 24, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Kathleen Kaska is the author the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Alfred Hitchcock Triviography and Quiz Book, The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book, and The Agatha Christie Triviography and Quiz Book. All three have just been reissued in by LL-Publications. Kathleen also writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mystery series set in the 1950s. Her first two mysteries, Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queen Book Group, the largest book group in the country. The third book in the series, Murder at the Galvez, was released in December 2012 (LL-Publications). Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story, was released on September 16 and has been nominated for the George Perkins Marsh award for environmental history.
Learn more on her website.


  1. I would love to read this book. Pick me! Pick me! (waves hands)

  2. I would love to win a copy of this novel. I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and I recognized this as one of Holmes’ unsolved cases as soon as I read the title.Thanks.

  3. The mystery sounds fun, but I’m also intrigued by how the debate was lost.

  4. This sounds like an interesting read. Please include me in the drawing.

  5. I don’t know that I ever actually read a Sherlock Holmes book, but I’ve seen several different movies of the stories. However, this book of the murder-solving trio sounds like one too good to miss reading.
    Hope I’m not too late for the chance to win the novel.

  6. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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