Book Review: A Most Peculiar Adventure

The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols is written by Nicholas Meyer, who purports to be finding a long lost manuscript penned by Dr. John Watson. Meyer has a pretty distinguished career in pop culture in the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and Star Trek.

This tale takes place in 1905. Sherlock Holmes has gotten a bit older. Watson is on his second marriage or something like that. His marital history is a bit of a muddle, to be honest. They are summoned by Mycroft Holmes to the eccentric yet distinguished Diogenes Club. Holmes and Watson are tasked with determining the origins of a manuscript entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which supposedly outlines some Jewish plot for world domination. Of course, the documents are later found to be fraudulent, but they caused quite a stir back then. They are joined by a Russian activist who has some historical significance and board the Orient Express to Russia for their investigation.

This is one of those novels where a lot of history is blended into the world of 221 B Baker Street. Many of the guest characters are actual historical figures such as Chaim Weizmann, who later becomes the first president of Israel. There is some intrigue on board a train, which is something that always pulls on my macabre heart. There is kidnapping, murder, and torment which always adds some spice to Sherlock Holmes. The novel turns out to be solidly entertaining. I imagine Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would not find Meyer’s efforts here to objectionable.

This one has lots that history buffs and Sherlockians can debate, discuss, or cheer over.

Several years ago, the world of crime fiction lost one of the heavy hitters, Robert B. Parker, but his estate has refused to allow his creations to languish without some new adventures of their own. Ace Atkins has been writing new capers for Boston PI Spenser and continues that effort with Someone To Watch Over Me.

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