After an exciting wild goose chase on Struwwelpeter case, Inspector Lestrade is back again! His old boss – McNaughten has retired – the sudden and unexplained death of his dear daughter was too much to bear. Lestrade now has a new boss – His Nims aka Nimrod Frost.
Nimrod sends Lestrade on yet another wild goose chase. Goose or no goose, something terrifying is happening in Cornwall. Lestrade learns from the vicar that 30 sheep were recently killed by a beast. He even claims that he’s seen the beast – a lion! A constable arrives saying that “the beast” has claimed its next victim – Lamb. But this “Lamb” is actually a shepherd named William Lamb.
As Lestrade solves the mystery behind “the beast”, he is called back to London and sent on another wild goose chase. And finally, Lestrade manages to get himself suspended – courtesy of His Nims. After going undercover and four deaths later, Lestrade realizes that the four deaths have one thing in common – Eleventh Hussars, Crimea, and Poison. Sholto Lestrade decides to solve this sinister mystery behind the deaths of these soldiers.
Yet another book by my favorite author – M.J.Trow! I really cannot stop praising Trow’s writing and Lestrade’s quirky yet excellent detective skills. The writing is one of a kind, with puns and quirky humor that makes you laugh till your tummy hurts, like literally! Then comes Lestrade – this handsome fella with a mustache and an air of royalty in him, though he is not of royal descent.
The Inspector Lestrade series is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche and the stars – Conan Doyle, Dr.Watson and Holmes himself make guest appearances. In the first book – The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade, there is a scene where Lestrade visits 221B, Baker’s street. He sees an old woman at the door and immediately recognizes ‘her’ as Sherlock Holmes! However, in this book, it has been eighteen months since Sherlock fell to his death in the Reichenbach Falls. The London Charivari has been printing their own version of Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. They call it The Adventures of Picklock Holes and it is written by Cunnin Toil. And the story is as narrated by Dr.Potson.
The characters were superb – from His Nims to Bandicoot to Hector Charlo to Mrs.Manchester, each play a wonderful role in the story. Bandicoot has now retired from the force – the Etonian couldn’t gel well with the department and its works. Hector Charlo was like the star of the show – the guy is always down with pneumonia or cold and yet he’s dedicated to his work and, there’s much more to him than just pneumonia. His Nims is his usual self while Lestrade is up to something or the other. In each of Lestrade series, Lestrade manages to hurt himself. In the first book, the tip of his nose was cut off during a sword fight, and then a military vehicle ran over his foot. In this book, he manages to hurt his fingers…repeatedly. Lestrade and disasters go hand-in-hand!
As Lestrade’s work takes him to rural England, one gets to read the local dialect – ‘e instead of he, ‘appy instead of happy… you get the gist, don’t you? The story takes you literally on a wild goose chase. Unlike the first book, there was not much of suspense. I wouldn’t call it a bore but there was not much of a thrill. The final chapter was INTENSE. I loved the way Lestrade solved the mystery. I loved the killer’s part in the story – yes, I did! And Mrs.Manchester was… I really thought she was the other version of Mrs.Hudson but boy oh boy! The last paragraph of the story was the second most surprising part of the story!
Lestrade is a ladies’ man. In the first book, it was Constance and in this book it is Daisy. Lestrade is a pretty romantic bloke… The ending says it all! There were far more puns in this book when compared to the first one. And the story was a bit slow. I wouldn’t call this M.J.Trow’s best book but I absolutely enjoyed reading it. There are a total of 17 books in this series and I am going to read them all. I am totally addicted to Inspector Lestrade series.
Character Development: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5
Title: Brigade: The Further Adventures of Inspector Lestrade (Book #2)
Published on: 17 June 2013 (by Thistle Publishing)
Genre: Crime/Mystery, Historical Fiction
Featured Image Credits: Goodreads.com