Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse’s intriguing sequel to 2015’s bestselling Mycroft Holmes again places Sherlock Holmes’s older brother in the lead. In 1872, 26-year-old Mycroft’s acumen has landed him a senior position in the War Office in London, and even brought him to the attention of Queen Victoria, who seeks his help in averting tensions with Scotland over a football match. Mycroft also serves in loco parentis for his 18-year-old younger sibling, whose interest in crime has manifested itself by an appetite for newspaper reports on the subject. The brothers join forces with Mycroft’s close friend from Trinidad, philanthropist Cyrus Douglas, to investigate a number of mysteries, including a series of bizarre killings dubbed the Savage Gardens murders after the name of the small street where they occurred. The murderer has claimed seven victims, six of them Chinese, who were all sliced into quarters and left to bleed out. Although the authors’ active Mycroft is a far cry from the canon’s sedentary genius, their depiction of what he was like as a young man works as a plausible backstory. Agent: Deborah Morales, Iconomy. (Oct.)
The year 1872 finds Mycroft Holmes, not yet known as Sherlock Holmes' smarter brother, pulled into a drug-tinged series of murders that, against all odds, entangles his younger brother too in a piquant case of sibling rivalry.
As London is devastated by the Savage Gardens Murders, whose victims are the owners or habitués of opium dens, Mycroft, recently promoted to the position of special counsel to Queen Victoria, looks forward eagerly to hands-on involvement in international intrigue at the highest level. Instead, he finds himself mired in family problems. A ship belonging to his old friend and Trinidad native Cyrus Douglas has been wrecked, and in order to take part in its salvaging, Cyrus must absent himself from Nickolus House, the residential school he runs for orphaned boys in memory of his own dead son. Could 18-year-old Sherlock possibly take a few days off from his studies at Downing College, Cambridge, to teach the boys some elementary principles of mathematics in Douglas' absence? Sherlock's first response is splenetic refusal, but once he settles into the job, his unorthodox instructional methods endear him as much to his temporary charges as they horrify Mycroft, and the fatal overdose of one of them makes him determined to investigate. Although Mycroft announces, "Unless that poor boy's death has implications for Queen and country, it is no matter for me," his own chance meeting with medical student Ai Lin, whose brother, Dai en-Lai, is a schoolmate of Sherlock's, leads him to both the same mystery and, even more unlikely, to a promise of romance.
The mystery, as so often in Conan Doyle, is less interesting than the Holmes-ian byplay. But fans will want to read this sturdy pastiche if only for the deathless query: "Do we bring Sherlock in? Or leave him in relative ignorance until after his exams?"
PRAISE FOR MYCROFT AND SHERLOCK
“Careful attention to details, lively characters, and thrilling plotting all make this entry from Team Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse a winner! It’s a joy to share the company of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes before they were--well, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes!” Leslie S. Klinger, Editor, The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
"A better than worthy successor to an extraordinary debut, Mycroft and Sherlock plunges Douglas, Mycroft, and his impossibly abrasive teen brother Sherlock into a dark conspiracy in which the mutilated corpses of Chinese immigrants are somehow tied to the disappearance of a narcotics-addicted street urchin. Told with sublime historical detail, keen plotting, and a warm heart, this marvelous sequel grants us new glimpses into the life of a young, vibrant, brilliant Mycroft Holmes." Lyndsay Faye, bestselling author of The Gods of Gotham
“The authors have masterfully captured the Victorian idiom. By dropping in clever references to the canon in this Mycroftian prequel, the overall chronology is linked seamlessly. Detailing the complex relationship of the Brothers Holmes and their extraordinary powers of observation--Mycroft’s low-key omnipresent talent vs. Sherlock’s pure performance art--is very satisfying, filling in blanks we never thought would be completed. Lovely reading… an excellent addition to Holmesian literature.” Michael F. Whelan, “Wiggins”, Baker Street Irregulars
“As a BSI for nearly a half-century I am fussy about pastiches and cannot praise Mycroft and Sherlock too highly. The tone is spot on, and the characters--nicely tweaked from Doyle’s portrayal--come to compelling life in this rousing adventure.” Otto Penzler, The Mysterious Bookshop
"Queen Victoria charges Mycroft with an impossible mission while a 19-year-old Sherlock investigates his first case; the death of a young boy; supposedly an opium addict, but Sherlock’s acumen tells him otherwise. The two stories twist around each other until cleverly tangling into one. The fractious brothers are a Victorian Odd Couple, bickering and competing their way into the darkest corners of London’s drug trade. The book is smart, fun and paced like a 100-meter sprint. Mycroft and Sherlock is a worthy addition to the Sherlock Holmes legend and lore." Joe Ide, author of the IQ novels and winner of the Shamus, Macavity and Anthony Awards, NYT Critics Best Books 2016, Washington Post’s Best Thrillers 2016
"I’ve written dozens of mysteries, but I’ve consciously stayed away from creating a hero who might be described as Holmesian. Here’s the thing: I’m not smart enough to write a Holmesian character, though I am self-aware enough to accept this sad fact. Nor do I have a keen eye for observational detail. Because of these limitations, my detectives have the qualities I can manage and are armed only with a sharp tongue and some moxie. Fortunately, Kareem and Anna are braver, and oh so much smarter, than I… I love these mysteries. I love the era. I love the language. On some level I resent Kareem and Anna as they deliver all the ingeniousness that eludes me while still imbuing Mycroft with a sharp tongue and moxie all his own. It doesn’t seem fair.” Rob Thomas, writer/producer, Veronica Mars, iZombie
"Fans will want to read this sturdy pastiche" - Kirkus Reviews
"In a sequel that takes place two years following the events detailed in the authors’ outstanding Mycroft Holmes (2015), Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse again nail the historical ambience, the dialogue, and the plotting, effectively paying tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle but also adding large dollops of humor and romance. This is a wonderful mystery in what one hopes will be a long-running series." -Booklist Starred Review
"Fans of Conan Doyle will appreciate the period accuracy, but a much wider audience will enjoy the intelligent treatment of race and social standing as part of a well-plotted, intriguing mystery."
-Library Journal - Starred Review
"Engrossing, emotional...fun... Readers will find plenty of reasons to celebrate this latest Sherlockian adventure." -BookPage
"Mycroft and Sherlock has a well laid out plot with many twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing. And for Sherlock Holmes fans, it is a perfect edition to sit next to Conan Doyle on the library shelf." -New York Journal of Books
"Here is a Victorian London both as seamy as you could wish for and more diverse than you might expect, through which Sherlock Holmes’s smarter older brother strides with sleek authority, solving a tantalising mystery (with just a little help from his sibling). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has scored another slam-dunk Holmesian hit." James Lovegrove, New York Times bestseller
"The smoke of the London Underground, the funk of the Devil's Acre, the vapors of opium. The atmosphere rises off the pages in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse's sequel to their hugely entertaining Mycroft Holmes. Now, in Mycroft and Sherlock, the Holmes brothers--each brilliant in his own way--must solve a case that lays bare the dark heart of Imperial London: a fraternal duo in a story paced like a whirlwind ride through the night." - Martin Rosenstock
“A clever pastiche in the world of Sherlock Holmes that expertly captures the tone of the originals while creating a world all their own"..."Updates the canon by presenting us with newfound depths, both to the characters and to the situations they find themselves in. I absolutely loved this book” - Criminal Element
"This book gave me so much to think about when it comes to the Holmes brothers." - Editing Everything
"An energetic and clever tale about the young Holmes brothers--sure to thrill fans!" Lois H. Gresh, New York Times bestselling author
"A worthy addition to the groaning shelves of new Holmes stories, “Mycroft and Sherlock” stands tall." - Seattle Times
"Well-written, strongly paced, a chewy mystery. A must for any Sherlock Holmes fan, and just downright fun for any fan of Victorian mysterious fiction." - Bookgasm
"The book's a thriller as well as a mystery, with interesting major and minor characters, and it offers an intriguing look at Victorian London." -Sherlockians and Doyleans
“Mycroft and Sherlock adds yet another wrinkle to the Holmes-canon that is equally refreshing and a return to classic Holmesian mystique and intrigue." - Electric Literature
“another phenomenal novel...Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse continue to raise the bar for historical fiction that aims to make a point while it entertains” - CrimeReads
“The titular characters are beginning to embody their canonical selves in this book, and it was a lot of fun to read” - Interesting Though Elementary
"Mycroft and Sherlock is a worthy story bringing the two Holmes brothers together. It’s time to stop comparisons with Arthur Conan Doyle. Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse stand on their own, carrying on the proud Sherlock Holmes tradition. " - John Koenig, Stuff I Like
When six Chinese males are found dead—quartered and mutilated—on London streets in 1872, 26-year-old Mycroft Holmes investigates. He is special consul to the secretary of state for war and already a major force behind government officialdom. His best friend, Cyrus Douglas, older and from Trinidad, sponsors a home for orphaned boys, one of whom dies of a drug overdose. Mycroft's younger brother Sherlock, 18 and at Cambridge, delves into the drug connection while Mycroft pursues the Chinese mystery. Each withholds vital information from the other. Sherlock plunges into many physical scrapes, but Mycroft prefers that others follow his intellectual guidance. It takes both to solve this mystery, neither fully willing to credit the other. VERDICT Basketball legend Abdul-Jabbar is also a pro writer, having done memoirs, nonfiction, essays, children's books and, with Waterhouse, Mycroft Holmes, the precursor to this novel. Fans of Conan Doyle will appreciate the period accuracy, but a much wider audience will enjoy the intelligent treatment of race and social standing as part of a well-plotted, intriguing mystery.—Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale