Enjoy this exclusive excerpt from Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box by George Mann, a historical thriller featuring the Great Detective, teamed again with Dr. Watson, as his talents are summoned to England's defense amid the turmoil of World War I (available August 19, 2014).
Summer, 1915. As zeppelins rain death upon the rooftops of London, eminent members of society begin to behave erratically: a Member of Parliament throws himself naked into the Thames after giving a pro-German speech to the House; a senior military advisor suggests surrender before feeding himself to a tiger at London Zoo; a famed suffragette suddenly renounces the women's liberation movement and throws herself under a train.
In desperation, an aged Mycroft Holmes sends to Sussex for the help of his brother, Sherlock.
“So, are you going to tell me why you’re here?”
I was once again ensconced in the back of the automobile, bouncing along the King’s Road and feeling decidedly green around the gills. Beside me, Holmes appeared to be faring little better.
“I received a telephone call from my brother yesterday morning, just after breakfast,” he said, resting his head against the seat back and closing his eyes. I wondered if he were trying to imagine he were somewhere else, instead of flying along the road at an unconscionable speed inside a metal box. I certainly was. “He outlined for me his desperate concern regarding the situation in London, the effect the Kaiser’s bombing raids are having upon the morale of the people, even their support for the war.”
“Well, he’s not wrong,” said I. “I’ve felt it myself. The thought of Londoners dying in those dreadful blasts, the burr of the zeppelins drifting overhead – it sometimes feels as if the end times are upon us.”
“You always have had a penchant for melodrama, Watson,” said Holmes, with a chuckle.
“Melodrama!” I returned, with some consternation. “Holmes, the country’s at war! The enemy fly uncontested above the streets of the capital, dropping incendiary weapons upon the rooftops of our people. I hardly think it is melodrama of which I speak.”
[Continue reading Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box by George Mann]