Sherlock Holmes fans should take heed of the newest novel by Richard T. Ryan, The Merchant of Menace. In classic Sherlockian fashion, Mr. Ryan once again brings Holmes and Watson to life.
Author Blurb for The Merchant of Menace:
Reluctantly, Sherlock Holmes agrees to assist Inspector Lestrade who is being hounded by an obnoxious nobleman whose jewel-encrusted dagger has gone missing. However, what Holmes initially believes to be a simple theft turns out instead to be his first encounter with a master criminal, who is as ruthless as he is brilliant, and whom Watson dubs “The Merchant of Menace.”
Soon Holmes finds himself matching wits with a man who will steal anything – if the price is right. Moreover, this thief will go to any lengths, including blackmail and murder, to achieve his desired goal.
As Holmes comes to understand his adversary, he also begins to realize he can only react to the Merchant because he has no idea where this criminal mastermind will strike next. All Holmes knows for certain is the Merchant seems to specialize in priceless, one-of-a-kind articles. Will that be enough information for the Great Detective to outwit his foe?
From the British Museum to the Louvre to Blenheim Palace, Holmes finds himself in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Set against the backdrop of early Edwardian England, the Great Detective and his Boswell encounter an array of luminaries from the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough to a young Winston Churchill.
For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, this time around Holmes must try to bring to justice a villain who might well be the next Napoleon of Crime.
Richard T. Ryan’s Sherlock Holmes Adventures Series:
Kimberly’s Review of The Merchant of Menace:
I am in love with Rich Ryan’s portrayal of the Sherlock Holmes universe. The fascination began with The Stone of Destiny, and now with The Merchant of Menace, I am hooked.
The goings-on at 221B Baker Street are delightful and enchanting.
The thing that strikes me the most about Mr. Ryan’s work is the sheer amount of research that goes into these novels. I am a history buff and to run into Winston Churchill at a party is nothing short of gleeful. Seeing these tidbits of historical accuracy kept me turning the pages to see what might be coming up next.
Now, that isn’t to say that Sherlock and Watson are poor schlubs who are just along for the historic ride. The magic is in the way these two gentlemen connect us to history. I never get tired of reading about Sherlock’s newest scheme and Watson’s doubts. The combination of everything is what brings the novels to life.
My only complaint about the novel is that the story did drag in a few places, but honestly, it was nothing so awful that I would deduct any stars.
That said, I happily award The Merchant of Menace a solid 5 out of 5 stars.
As an aside, I admitted in my review for The Stone of Destiny that I am not a Sherlock fan, and that novel was the first of any Sherlock in my life. I have now come to love Sherlock, and I am gearing up to read even more. This newfound love is all thanks to Rich Ryan, who came to me to ask me to review The Stone of Destiny. He gave me the bug, and now I am hooked.
A lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan
is the author of “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book” as well
as a book on Agatha Christie trivia, and his series, the Sherlock Holmes
Adventures, now consisting of four books, all available from MX Publishing,
Richard Ryan obtained his master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in medieval literature; he is a die-hard fan of the Fighting Irish — it doesn’t matter what sport. He has been happily married for 40 years and is the proud father of two children.