Title: Mycroft Holmes and Murder at the Diogenes Club (Mycroft Holmes #5)
Author: David Dickenson
Genre: Crime, Mystery
Published on: June 30th, 2012
Mycroft Holmes, auditor of all Government departments and Tobias, his young assistant are in the Strangers Room of the Diogenes Club. Tobias is learning the art of deduction. Tobias questions Mycroft about the ‘authenticity’ of his deductions. These people are complete strangers and there is no way to know if Tobias’ or Mycroft’s deductions about them are right or not. Before Mycroft could reply to Tobias’ question, the Diogenes club secretary – Evan Butterfield, rushes into the room and asks Mycroft to come with him – there is a dead body at the entrance hall. Evan coerces Mycroft to come and have a look by saying that Mycroft is superior to Sherlock.
Silence is golden at the Diogenes club. Only those in the stranger’s room are allowed to talk. With Mycroft and Tobias also present in the club during the murder, they are in the suspect list too. The dead man is identified as one William St. John Plunkett. With half a million inheritance going to his next of kin, who might have murdered Plunkett?
After having read the whole of the Sherlock Holmes series, this is the first Mycroft Holmes book that I read and I loved it. Though it is a short story, it is on par with Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories.
Being the eldest of the Holmes brothers, I have always liked Mycroft’s deduction skills more than Sherlock’s. Mycroft is not overly enthusiastic nor is he rude to Tobias. And at the same time, there are instances of Mycroft wanting to go home and rest – shows that he is not at his best of health. The sad part of the book was that Mycroft is still coming to terms with his younger brother’s death. It has been two years since Sherlock and his arch-rival Moriarty plunged to their deaths in the Reichenbach Falls.
Lestrade is portrayed as a short-tempered policeman. After reading a couple of Inspector Lestrade books by M.J.Trow, I really like Lestrade. Seeing him in a different mood here was a bit surprising. (I can’t see him being the silly guy here, especially not after reading his heroic works in Lestrade series!)
Though the ending was short and quick, the book was a pretty good read. I liked the author’s writing style. It was crisp and to the point. Mycroft solves the case (happens in all Holmes series, no surprises here!) but he’s too sick to proceed further in life. He’s 67 now and his health is failing him. Mrs. Hudson is worried about him and so is Tobias. It is heart-wrenching to see Mycroft give up on life. An intellectual and brilliant man losing hopes was not something that I wanted to read in the end.
My favorite part of the book was – no doubts about this one – Mycroft solving the murder. With no witnesses and everybody else at the Diogenes Club having an alibi, Mycroft’s deduction skills are praiseworthy. As extra dibs, you also get to read a detailed explanation of the workings and history of the Diogenes club. The ending was unexpected and unique. I enjoyed reading the Mycroft Holmes series and I have decided to read all the other books in this series.
If you love to read mystery novels, then do not miss to check out this book. It is unique in its own way and worth a read.