Synopses & Reviews
In a momentous period of British history, Donald Thomas’s latest Sherlock Holmes adventure pits the Great Detective and his faithful biographer, Dr. John Watson, against an international conspiracy led by a disgraced English officer. Colonel Hunter Moran bears upon him “The Mark of the Beast”; his satanic ingenuity leaves a spectacular trail of devastation. It runs from the annihilation of a British armored column by Zulu tribesmen armed only with shields and spears, to a life-and-death struggle on the sinking passenger steamer Comtesse de Flandre
The heir to the French empire lies dead in the African dust. Europe is brought to the brink of war by forged despatches, designed to enrich gun-runners and assassins. The gold-fields and diamond mines of South Africa become the playground of organized crime.
Only the detective genius of Holmes can prove a match for the unfolding criminality of Moran and his associates. With Watson and Mycroft at his side, Sherlock Holmes again demonstrates although the powers of the state and the underworld may try to overpower him, they will never out-think his splendid analytical mind at the height of its powers.
"Master pasticher Thomas demonstrates that his gifts at creating new Holmes short stories, most recently in 2010's Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly, extend to the harder task of sustaining character, atmosphere, and plot over a full-length novel, something that Conan Doyle himself struggled with. The opening section consists of the narrative of Col. Rawdon Moran (brother of Moriarty's chief of staff, Sebastian), who took his revenge on English forces arrayed in southeast Africa in 1879, after he was drummed out of his regiment for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. The colonel's betrayals come to the attention of Holmes and Watson while they're in India consulting on the mysterious death of another army man. As with the best emulations of the originals, Thomas maintains both the proper tone and spirit, while presenting new facets of both the doctor and the detective that ring true. Agent: Charles Schlessiger, Brandt & Hochman Literary." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Sherlockians will hope Thomas continues to turn out these faithful and imaginative recreations for years to come." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Donald Thomas is the all-time best at Sherlockian pastiche."—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
About the Author
Donald Thomas has published forty books, including poetry, fiction, biography, and true crime.