Jun. 21, 2017

A Cult obsessed with ancient Greece...

Sherlock Holmes: The Labyrinth of Death by James Lovegrove

Hannah Woolfson has disappeared. Her father, Sir Osbert Woolfson has come to 221B to hire Holmes to find his missing daughter. It is discovered that she was in close contact with Miss Sophia Tompkins. Miss Tompkins had become involved with a sort of cult involving education and fitness training after the example of ancient Greece.

Upon tracing Miss Tompkins, Holmes discovers Miss Woolfson as a member of the cult of Elysians, under the false name of Shirley Holbrook. The cult is led by Sir Philip Buchanan and is located at his estate of Charfrome Old Place. Miss Tompkins is nowhere to be found.

The Elysians train in classical Greek writing, theology, and rituals. There is a huge ceremony that takes place on the full moon. The Delphic Ceremony involves animal sacrifice, apparent passion by the Gods, and the revelation of the two people who will graduate.

The graduates are chosen by a seemingly possessed Sir Philip but are actually chosen in advance by the “elders” which include the ancient scholar Dr. Archibald Pentecost and a young rake named Edwin Fairbrother. Upon graduation, there is one more hurdle. Sir Philip is very much in love with ancient Greece and his favorite Greek hero is Daedalus, who built the Labyrinth of the Minotaur for King Minos. The Labyrinth lies underground beneath Charfrome Old Place…

In this tale, we see more of Watson as a person because Holmes has ordered it to be so. Watson has a new love interest in Miss Hannah and is furious with Holmes for allowing her to continue undercover work inside the cult. Watson is angry, but Sir Osbert is apoplectic! He even threatens Holmes in no uncertain terms to no avail. Holmes will not tell Sir Osbert where his daughter is…

This is a tremendous story! We have the Elysian Cult, the ex-military Guards, the possibly mad Sir Philip, the creepy but friendly Dr. Pentecost, the woman chasing Edwin Fairbrother, and the secrets of surviving the deadly labyrinth… This is a perfect storm of quality Holmes story-telling! I thought the challenges of the Labyrinth were excellently plotted, along with the clues and methods of solving the Labyrinth. The villains are cunning, the girl is tough, and Holmes and Watson must strive to survive against all odds! My hat is off to you, Mr. Lovegrove!

I give the book five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…

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