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The Case of the Reluctant Agent: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery [Paperback]

Tracy Cooper-Posey
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 16 2001
It is 1917 and the Great War has been raging for three long years. Mycroft Holmes grows suspicious of one of his agents who reports back to him from the heart of the Ottoman Empire: Constantinople. Naturally, he wants to send out a man to investigate--one who knows the area, the language, the people, and has an exemplary war service record, including a fourteen-month stint posing as a German officer at the High Command in Berlin. But Sherlock Holmes proves to be, for once, stubbornly reluctant to fulfill his older brother's request.

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Review

Looking for some good, old-fashioned adventure tale in the manner of Arthur Conan Doyle? Then you can't go wrong with Cooper-Posey's first Holmes narrative, Chronicles of the Last Years, which won the Best Pastiche prize from the Sherlock Holmes Society. This one carries on in the tradition of "secrets within secrets, within more secrets [with] everyone wearing two or three faces." Sorting out who is who doing what to whom turns out to be another variation of cherchez-ing la femme-this time, of a different sort.
Sherlock is the reluctant agent of the title, unwilling to go to Constantinople in November of 1917 despite the fact that his brother, Mycroft, suspects some double-crossing in progress. But when Mycroft is shot and may be dead, Sherlock heads to the exotic locale to find the turncoat. He arrives in one of his customary disguises only to discover a lost love he met at the Reichenbach Falls. She, too, is masquerading as a special agent. But that's not the only secret Sherlock learns about Elizabeth Sigerson. She has a special connection with Mycroft.
It's a year later before everything is sorted out in the novel but in the meantime the reader is in for a rollicking tale of vengeance in a locale suffused with the whiff of anticipatory excitement. Robert Allen Papinchak (Books in Canada) -- Books in Canada

About the Author

Tracy Cooper-Posey has won the Emma Darcy Award and the Sherlock Holmes Society's Best Pastiche Award. Her short stories and articles have appeared in various Canadian and Australian magazines and periodicals. She teaches creative writing when she isn't writing it. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.


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3.0 out of 5 stars Satisfactory! June 22 2002
Format:Paperback
I happened to purchase this novel and the author's previous Holmes effort, CHRONICLES OF THE MISSING YEARS, simultaneously. That was fortunate, because if I had purchased and read COTMY first, I would never have purchased another novel by this author, and so would have missed out on this one.
In short, this pastiche has everything that the first novel lacked: plot, vivid characters and characterizations, continual new developments and unexpected incidents. There's a good, scenery-chewing villain, Von Stein, and plenty of frantic action, as various secret agents practice the double- and triple-cross. As in any novel which mixes Holmes into WWI, there's not a lot of opportunity for Holmes to be Holmes--- instead, he's a rather elderly, but still spry action hero.
The novel's only liability is the return of a preposterous character from CHRONICLES, among whose many absurdly exaggerated abilities is that of being in two widely-separated locations at what is apparently the same instant, both timewise and plotwise. It is also a bit disappointing not to have Watson around, and further to be left at novel's end with no clear indication as to the current status of Mycroft Holmes.
If you don't mind some bending of the willow, you'll probably enjoy this adventure of Holmes in the middle East during the height of WWI.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Satisfactory! June 22 2002
By Rory Coker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I happened to purchase this novel and the author's previous Holmes effort, CHRONICLES OF THE MISSING YEARS, simultaneously. That was fortunate, because if I had purchased and read COTMY first, I would never have purchased another novel by this author, and so would have missed out on this one.
In short, this pastiche has everything that the first novel lacked: plot, vivid characters and characterizations, continual new developments and unexpected incidents. There's a good, scenery-chewing villain, Von Stein, and plenty of frantic action, as various secret agents practice the double- and triple-cross. As in any novel which mixes Holmes into WWI, there's not a lot of opportunity for Holmes to be Holmes--- instead, he's a rather elderly, but still spry action hero.
The novel's only liability is the return of a preposterous character from CHRONICLES, among whose many absurdly exaggerated abilities is that of being in two widely-separated locations at what is apparently the same instant, both timewise and plotwise. It is also a bit disappointing not to have Watson around, and further to be left at novel's end with no clear indication as to the current status of Mycroft Holmes.
If you don't mind some bending of the willow, you'll probably enjoy this adventure of Holmes in the middle East during the height of WWI.
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