As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I’m always excited to see a new take on the genre, and this is the first one I’ve ever seen featuring Conan’s wife as the detective. The author did an outstanding job of recreating the time period and characters, utilizing one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s publicity trips to America as a jumping off point. As a female reader, this was a difficult book at times, dealing with society’s attitude toward women at the time, including Doyle’s relationship with his wife. I was so outraged about Louisa’s treatment at times that it interfered with my enjoyment of the novel. All in all though, this was a superb new take on Sherlock, and I look forward to more novels by this author.
Arthur Conan Doyle has arrived in New York City in early 1896 with his wife Louisa, to start his first American publicity tour. The couple checks into the very British Britannic Hotel for a few days of relaxation before starting out. Louisa quickly finds herself intrigued by the murder of a young woman, who Louisa had seen in the hotel lobby just days before. When Louisa is forced to stay behind due to an injury, she finds herself in the middle of the murder investigation that seems to center around the hotel. This mystery though threatens to be more dangerous than any faced by her husband’s literary creation, and may end up costing Louisa her life.
In January 1896, Arthur Conan Doyle, the renowned creator of Sherlock Holmes, arrives with his wife Louisa at the Britannic Hotel in New York for his first American tour. Louisa is instantly mesmerised by this vibrant, dangerous city. When a woman's mutilated corpse is found in a Bowery alley, she becomes convinced from the artist's sketch that she'd seen the victim at the hotel. As more bodies start appearing, Louisa starts piecing together clues to reveal a story of madness, murder and depravity which leads inexorably back to the hotel itself and a madman who is watching her every move.