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Saturday 16 November 2019

‘The Devil’s Due’ by Bonnie MacBird

Published by Collins Crime Club,
10 November 2019.  ISBN 978-0-00-819507-6

In 1890, in a freezing November! Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson become embroiled in a nasty case entitled The Devil’s Due.  The records were found by this author in a mysterious box from the British Library.  Since the lights of her flat in modern London went out as soon as she opened the particular envelope, she feels the title of the case to be rather ominous.

Dr. Watson decides to move back in with Sherlock Holmes while his wife, the former Mary Morstan, stays with friends in the countryside.  Holmes is already involved in this case searching for the self-styled  ‘Lucifer’.  Holmes acts in his usual peremptory way with Watson faintly pursuing and often putting his foot into delicate matters.   Watson’s medical skills help when he has to deal with Sherlock’s broken wrist after an altercation with the new police Commissioner, Titus Billings.  Not only has Billings forbidden any involvement by Holmes in police cases but a newspaper reporter is busy building up a picture of Holmes as a devilish lying incompetent.

The case concerns mysterious and bizarre deaths of members of the secret club of Luminarians, which Holmes realises are occurring in alphabetical order.  Holmes is really battling against the odds with his brother, Mycroft, as an eminence gris behind Government actions appearing to stand in his way.    There is also a society lady demanding his attention for her problems.   This is a very exciting story fully in the Conan Doyle tradition.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Bonnie Macbird has published two previous adventures about Holmes and Watson.

Bonnie MacBird was born in San Francisco, educated at Stanford. Bonnie MacBird lives in Los Angeles and London. A fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle since age ten, she's active in the Sherlockian community in both the UK and the US, and speaks regularly on Sherlock Holmes, writing, and creativity. A longtime veteran of Hollywood, MacBird has been a screenwriter (original script for TRON), an Emmy winning producer, a playwright, studio exec (Universal) and actor.  MacBird attributes her enjoyment in capturing "voice" to both her acting and screenwriting experience and her music training as well. She teaches a popular screenwriting class at UCLA Extension, which approaches writing for film using techniques of other art forms.  In her Sherlock Holmes novels, she aims to accurately portray the brilliant detective and his friend as closely as possible to Doyle yet expanding the original short form fiction to full length novels. Art In The Blood features a child who has disappeared, and a bloody art theft and touches on the theme of the perils and blessings of the artistic temperament. Unquiet Spirits features a murdered girl, a threatened scientist, and a haunted whisky estate, while considering the dangers of not dealing with the ghosts of one's past. She is a regular speaker on writing, creativity, and Sherlock Holmes. She lives in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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