A rich elderly man has fallen to his death, and his will is nowhere to be found. A tragic accident or something more sinister?
The dead man’s nephew comes to Baker Street to beg for Sherlock Holmes’s help. Without the will he fears he will be left penniless, the entire inheritance passing to his cousin. But just as Holmes and Watson start their investigation, a mysterious new claimant to the estate appears. Does this prove that the old man was murdered? Meanwhile, Inspector Charles Bainbridge is trying to solve the case of the “iron men”, mechanical steam-powered giants carrying out daring jewellery robberies. But how do you stop a machine that feels no pain and needs no rest? He too may need to call on the expertise of Sherlock Holmes.
A Newbury & Hobbes Universe Novel
This novel has its origins in an original audio drama, ‘The Reification of Hans Gerber’, which I wrote for Big Finish Productions in 2011.
Writing that script gave me my first real taste of writing for Sherlock Holmes, a character with whom I’ve had a lifelong relationship, and when the opportunity came along to expand the story and turn it into a novel for Titan Books, I jumped at the chance.
The story presented here has developed quite a bit from the original script (of which I’m still terribly fond), with the addition of new scenes and an entirely new subplot involving mysterious ‘iron men’ who are stealing jewels from the rich households in London. I also beefed up the role of Inspector Charles Bainbridge, a character any readers of Newbury & Hobbes will be more than aware of. The novel is set in 1889, long before Bainbridge met Newbury, and before the divergent timeline we see in those books took root. Nevertheless, it was a joy to visit Bainbridge in this earlier guise and show a little of his early history, while still making sure that the novel was, first and foremost, a celebration of Sherlock Holmes and his keen deductive techniques.
“A thoroughly engaging story…excellent world building, captures the Sherlock Holmes feel…a hugely entertaining book.”