The death of Queen Victoria immerses Britain in grief and Sherlock Holmes is no exception. However, his expertise is needed when Irish revolutionaries are threatening to disrupt the royal funeral…
A Sherlock Holmes Adventure #2
Sherlock Holmes has met Queen Victoria on a few occasions and he feels sad about her death, even more so when her funeral, which should, of course, be stately and solemn, threatens to descend into chaos. No wonder his brother Mycroft calls for his assistance! Dr Watson feels this task is beneath Sherlock’s capabilities, but we are about to learn that this is an erroneous assumption. Elsewhere in London, Denis Lyons of the Irish Republican Brotherhood is plotting an ingenious scheme to free Ireland which will jeopardise the Coronation of King Edward VII and thus destabilise the entire British Empire…
The year 1901 – a new millennium – had started splendidly but on January 22nd the entire nation and then empire was stunned by the news that their beloved Queen Victoria had died. Thus London is a city in mourning and Sherlock Holmes, having had the highest regard for the British Sovereign, is saddened by her death and appalled at the thought that her funeral could be made a target by Irish separatists, seeking independence for their land. Holmes sets out to investigate all the places that will be involved in the funeral arrangements, from Buckingham Palace to St. George’s Chapel and, finally, Windsor Castle. It seems that everything is almost in order and with Holmes’ recommendations, what could go wrong? All too soon they find out exactly what: the Coronation Stone has been stolen. If it were not such an audacious act on the day of the Queen’s funeral, you might think of it as a conjuring trick. The Stone weighs 336 pounds and is hardly something you can slip into your pocket.
The importance of the Stone lies in the fact that it embodies the Sovereign’s combined rule of Great Britain, including Scotland and Ireland. Since the time of Edward I, the Stone has been an integral part of both the Coronation Chair and the ceremony – no King or Queen has been crowned without its presence in the Abbey. No wonder King Edward VII is dismayed. The thieves have replaced the Stone with a papier-mâché copy which gives Holmes the first clue as to the identity of the perpetrators. Whilst we witness the Stone being transported to Ireland, Holmes and Watson are trying to find the creator of the copy. Only three people are capable of making it, among them Kathleen McMahon who works at Madame Tussaud’s. Afterwards, when he is attacked by Irish “Blackguards,” Holmes feels certain he is on the right track. What follows is an intriguing quest, involving Holmes and Watson travelling to and through Ireland and Holmes having to get his hands dirty in one of his ingenious plans.
This second Sherlock Holmes cameo by Richard T. Ryan again relates to historical facts, this time the death of Queen Victoria and the Irish revolutionary years. I love the period details and love reading more about this particular Sherlock Holmes. Richard Ryan created his Holmes’ character in an affectionate way, he is not as dismissive towards Dr Watson as we see elsewhere. Instead, he is friendly and kind, astute as always but not totally oblivious regarding social standards and relationships. His regard for Watson’s safety is touching and I love the warm friendship they have (yes, such a friendship can exist between two men – or women, for that matter; Dr Watson is obviously smitten by the lovely Kathleen). The Irish struggle for independence is fascinating and I love and admire it that the author shows us the Irish people without judging them. My only concern was that it felt like the story had ended before I reached the last word. All in all, the Stone of Destiny is a captivating and intriguing detective novel and another great Sherlock Holmes adventure!
The Sherlock Holmes Adventure Series:
About the Author
Author Richard Ryan has always been a reader – Tom Swift, the Hardy Boys and John Dickson Carr, Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. His love for reading is why he majored in English. As a lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan is the author of “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book” as well as a book on Agatha Christie trivia. “The Vatican Cameos: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure,” is his first novel, published by MX Publishing, London. He is also currently working on his next Holmes adventure. The author is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in Medieval Literature. He has been happily married for 38 years and is the proud father of two children.
‘the Stone of Destiny’ is available at Amazon: https://bit.ly/StoneofDestiny
|Publisher||MX Publishing (14 Sept 2017)|