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 www.danandriacco.com, 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.
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