Britain has entered the twentieth century. Queen Victoria is dead and the Boer War rages on. Inspector Lestrade is called upon to investigate the brutal death of Ralph Childers MP in the first of a series of perplexing murders which clearly has a link with politics. Is someone trying to destroy the government? And who is responsible? Was it the Fenians who placed a bomb in the Palace of Westminster? Or have the Suffragettes decided on a more drastic course of action to further their cause?
During his investigations, Lestrade meets the brother and cousin of the late Sherlock Holmes, who died eleven years ago at the Reichenbach Falls. But is Holmes really dead? Dr Watson doesn’t think so. Someone wants to keep the World’s Greatest Detective alive and Lestrade is forced to ‘tread the boards’ (playing himself) to discover the truth.
And as if things aren’t serious enough, the King is kidnapped just before his coronation.
Yet another Sherlock Holmes pastiche by M.J. Trow, this book was quite different from the first two books in the Inspector Lestrade series.
If you missed my reviews of the first two books, then click on the links below:
The third book in the series – Lestrade and the Hallowed House is not a continuation of the second book but I wouldn’t recommend to read it as a standalone. There are references made to the Struwwelpeter and Jack The Ripper murder case (Book #1) and Sherlock Holmes’ death (Book #2). Believe me, when I say this, the reason behind the death of Sherlock Holmes is not Moriarty! There seems to be a simmering feud going on between Watson and Holmes for quite some time now. Holmes tries to push Watson into The Reichenbach Falls but Watson manages to escape and Holmes falls to his death!
This is not something that a Holmes fan would want to read but having said that, this book is a pastiche. So, anything and everything can happen. For instance, in this series, Lestrade is a very dashing guy who can solve any damn case and Holmes is an imbecile of sorts. Each of these stories has a quirky side to it and a very absurd humor that not many would like.
This is the fourth Inspector Lestrade series book that I read and I must say that I found a slight change in the quality of quirky humor. It was also annoying at times, especially when Lestrade mis-pronounced Aumerle Holmes’ name the whole time! And it was quite shocking to see a grieving Lestrade. Sarah, his wife is no more – no reasons as to what happened to her. And then there’s Lestrade’s daughter – Emma, who now lives with the Bandicoots. The Bandicoots have two kids of their own. So when uncle Sholto (Lestrade) comes to visit them, three Bandicoots (one of them is actually a Lestrade) come running from behind a tree! – The book is full of such silly humor!
The suspense behind the mysterious deaths was mind-blowing. The thing I like about these series is, the story starts with 3 or 4 murder cases that are not at all connected … until Lestrade finds a common factor. The study in Scarlet and Hounds of Baskervilles – there are all in this book. (Remember, this is a pastiche.) His Nims aka Nimrod Frost dies midway – obesity kills! Women fighting for their right to vote also forms a part of the story and so does the coronation of the king. There’s also a murder in Diogenes Club and Mycroft Holmes plays a part that you just cannot imagine! Members of Parliment start
dying falling like flies and there’s a serial killer on loose. There’s Rudyard Kipling – the poet and Charles Dickens – no connection to the famous writer!
Overall, this was not one of the best books in the series that I have read – it was a tad bit lengthy and boring at times. The ending was just okay, nothing great about it. Nevertheless, I have decided to read all the books in this series – 4 down, 13 more to go!
Character Development: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Title: Lestrade and the Hallowed House
Author: M.J. Trow
Published on: 17th June 2013 – kindle edition by Thistle Publishing (first published in 1999)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime and Mystery
Featured Image Credits: Goodreads.com