Some time ago I was given the opportunity to narrate a book by Andrew Lane. The novel, The Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins), is a prequel to the entire Sir Arthur Conan Doyle body of work. In fact, Mr. Lane was given official dispensation to pen that new book by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate. Imagine that? Quite a heavy mantle to don. But I think he did it quite successfully and enjoyed seeing how he set up the chain of events that would lead the teenaged Sherlock Holmes toward the life of an incomparable detective.
Imagine my happy surprise when several months ago I was handed the prequel sequel (actually, it’s the third book in a series of novels recounting young Sherlock Holmes’ story) entitled Black Ice. This time the still-teenaged Sherlock comes to the aid of his own brother, Mycroft, who is charged with murder and in doing so uncovers a diabolical international plot.
When Sherlock and Amyus Crowe, his American tutor, visit Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, in London, all they are expecting is lunch and some polite conversation. What they find shocks both of them to the core: a locked room, a dead body, and Mycroft holding a knife. The police are convinced Mycroft is a vicious murderer, but Sherlock is just as convinced he is innocent. Threatened with the gallows, Mycroft needs Sherlock to save him. The search for the truth necessitates an incredible journey, from a railway station for dead bodies in London all the way to the frozen city of Moscow—where Sherlock is afoot in a world of secrets and danger.