1901 historical fiction based on 1950’s fact!
The Stone of Destiny A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Richard T Ryan
My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Books for my copy of this book!
The year is 1901. The tension in the British Empire is growing. Ireland and Scotland are both pushing for independence. The Irish Brotherhood is seeking a way to force Britain to allow Irish Home Rule.
The death of long reigning monarch Queen Victoria has given the Brotherhood an audacious idea. For centuries the monarchs of Britain have accepted the crown while seated upon the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey, which contained the Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone. Shortly, Queen Victoria’s son Edward VII will be crowned King.
But what if the stone were stolen and hidden somewhere in Ireland? That plan is swiftly put into action, and the crown receives a letter with the Irish demands. The way the Irish Brotherhood sees it, Britain has three choices: Edward can be crowned without the Stone, which the Brotherhood will make certain is an embarrassment to the Crown. Britain can free Ireland, in which case the Stone will be returned, and the Coronation can proceed. Or they can do nothing, and the Stone will remain hidden and the conflict will continue.
Not surprisingly, the Crown chooses option four: Hire Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to find the stone…
Richard Ryan’s prose flows as easily as a stream in the summer. I thought the way the Stone was stolen, how it was transported out of England under the very noses of the army of police, and its hiding place in Ireland was brilliant! There is a bit of the story that drags while Holmes and Watson are pursuing the Stone, but overall the story is a plus.
I don’t know that I would say that it is better than Ryan’s The Vatican Cameos, but it certainly is within the same class. Ryan is an author I would love to see more of in the future. I give the story four stars…
Quoth the Raven…