Nov. 25, 2016

A creepy little alleyway…

Sherlock Holmes and a Hole in the Devil’s Tail by Viktor Messick

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my review copy of this book. May Undershaw stand forever!

“The Devil’s Tail” is a narrow, twisting alley sometimes used by passersby to reach McGeady Street in Merton. A Mr. Richard Cockright was murdered there in his office. Cockright was a lawyer by trade.

The difficulty of this case is determining just how the murderer got in and out of the room. There seems to be no discernible secret entrance, but Holmes is certain that one is there. Curiously, there is a hole in the Devil’s Tail across from the back wall of Cockright’s office…

Meanwhile, there is another series of murders taking place. The so-called “Tarot Master” has been dropping bodies, seemingly at random, each marked with a Tarot card from a certain deck. The cards are linked to the method of murder. Stabbed victims are marked by the suite of swords, blunt force trauma victims by the suite of staves, and poison victims by the suite of cups.

Worse, the “Tarot Master” has actually contacted Holmes to dare the detective to catch him! The “Tarot Master” tells Holmes in advance there will be further victims. Cockright’s murder has no Tarot card with the body, and yet Holmes sees a connection between the cases. Even Watson wonders if the Great Detective is off his game for once…

I found the story to be a nice little mystery. There are twists, turns, and trails that run cold. A number of suspects are mentioned, and Holmes weighs the evidence with a scale that can find differences in weight to a microscopic degree. For Holmes the Devil is in the details which might just point back to a hole in the Devil’s Tail…

I give the book four stars. Unfortunately the pace varies, almost reaching a standstill at times. Overall, the book does have a real mystery and is within plausible limitations.

Quoth the Raven…

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