Thursday, October 13, 2022

Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, by Kim Krisco (author), Dominic Lopez (narrator)

MX Publishing, August 2017

This new Sherlock Holmes novel is set in post-World War I London, and prominently features the Baker Street Irregulars.

Holmes, now spending much of his time at his country cottage, receives an invitation to a photography exhibit by S.P. Fields, at the Royal Photographic Society. The name is unknown to him, but it's an interesting puzzle, and he wants to know why S.P. Fields invited him. Holmes arranges to visit Watson in London, and stay overnight, because the show is in the evening, too late to conveniently travel home.

At the show, alone, he sees pictures taken in Spitalfields, one of the poorest sections of London. It's the area where his Irregulars lived, and the largest pictures in the show are portraits of the children who were his Irregulars.

As Holmes studies the portraits in between looking for the photographer who invited him, he relives his first meetings with the individuals in the portraits, including Wiggins, Snape, Ugly, and Tessa. The photographer is nowhere to be found, however, and the portraits become too overwhelming for him. He's off to Watson's for the night, and home the next day.

The real adventure starts when he gets another invitation from the mysterious S.P. Fields, an invitation to a friendly gathering with what are now more clearly indicated to be the Irregulars. Wiggins is the host, and it's a celebration. He has a windfall of money to share with his friends.  

However, there's the question of where the money came from, and Wiggins is wounded from his recent adventures. Once Holmes gets the story from him, he realizes they are all, including himself because he's attended this gathering, are in terrible danger. Wiggins himself is hustled off to Benji's rented room, and when Holmes returns, he finds that everyone but himself, Wiggins, and Tessa, who took them to Benji's, is gone. One of the Irregulars, the only one who had a gun, is dead.

Holmes soon finds himself, Watson, Wiggins, and Tessa entangled in Mycroft's War Office business, and a ruthless opponent that Mycroft doesn't think well of, but finds not as purely evil as Sherlock believes. They track the missing Irregulars to what is to be the site of a weapons test the Mycroft is able to get himself and Sherlock invited to, and they, Tessa, and Wiggins work to find out what's really going on, where the Irregulars are, and who is really behind it all.

To me, this feels like the real Sherlock, more so than most "new Holmes stories," and the portrayals of Watson, Mycroft, and the Irregulars are also very good. It's an interesting story that forces Sherlock, Wiggins, and Mycroft to confront their own beliefs and values, and make some hard decisions.


I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

No comments:

Post a Comment