This is an action packed adventure that should have broad appeal. This book is set in the time of the original Sherlock Homes and opens with Sherlock disembarking from a ship in Galway. He had been kidnapped two years earlier by an organisation called Paradol Chamber. He hopes to find his way back to his home in England. However, he is met by his brother, Mycroft, who has other plans for him. Paradol Chamber is still around and Mycroft, who works for the British Government, wants to see what they are up to. He needs Sherlock’s help. The theme of the afterlife and contacting the dead was popular in this period. Representatives of various world powers are gathered in a castle near Galway to witness a séance. If convinced, they will bid for the future services of the medium, Ambrose Albano. Sherlock Holmes is sceptical but must set out to prove the facts.
The action in this book flows all the way through. At the beginning there is the séance and the tension of wondering if there is a magic trick behind it. Then there is the abduction of Albano. Real or faked? There is still more tension as Sherlock walks through underground passageways below the castle. Were they used for smuggling years ago or are they still serving a purpose? Can he find his way out? The climax comes with a dramatic confrontation that made me think this book would make a good film.