Book Reviews - Through a Glass Starkly - A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

Posted by Steve Emecz on

Sherlock Holmes Society of London 

This is Richard T. Ryan’s fifth pastiche: a lively and intriguing tale in which Holmes is recruited by his brother Mycroft to ensure the safety of some international diplomats at a secret peace conference convened in 1907. But in serving ‘King and Country’ — and doing their best to prevent the continent of Europe from slipping towards a possible war — Holmes and Watson are also drawn into a number of other seemingly unrelated cases which threaten to derail their investigations. Ryan’s Watsonian voice is superb, and as with his earlier novels the author has included several affectionate nods to the characters, stories, and intrigues of the original canon. The numerous twists and turns make this an engrossing and enjoyable read, as do the variety of colourful locations chosen for the action. From a secret pied-a-terre in Paris, to the Whispering Gallery in St. Paul’s Cathedral, we are carried along at a frenetic pace.

I previously read, and thoroughly enjoyed, The Druid of Death. Through a Glass Starkly is even better! The blurb on the back cover says that Ryan’s next pastiche will be entitled, Three May Keep a Secret — it’s on my purchase list already!


Wendy Heyman Marshaw

Mr. Ryan masterfully creates a totally engrossing and suspenseful adventure of international intrigue, kidnapping and murder. The story occurs in June, 1907 amidst growing European tensions; when high stakes diplomacy must forestall the seemingly inevitable outbreak of war in Europe. Sherlock Holmes is recalled from retirement to thwart an attempt on the life of a member of the French delegation at a peace conference at The Hague by a member of the German representatives. He returns to 221B exhausted, having not eaten anything for two or three days. Dr. Watson is on hand per Holmes’ request.

Wendy Heyman Marshaw (author, Mrs Hudson's Kitchen)


Through A Glass Starkly is available in paperback and hardcover.

After surviving an attempt on his life in Paris, Sherlock Holmes returns to London, where the Great Detective is almost immediately enlisted by his brother to secure the safety of the delegates at a top-secret peace conference. With Europe a veritable powder keg in the years before World War I, Holmes understands any misstep on his part could prove fatal and possibly plunge the continent into war.


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