Booklist Starred Review
Believe it! Sherlock Holmes actually said, “while the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty.” Thus does he foreshadow quantum mechanics in this pastiche that has the old bloodhound—he’s 73 now—moving through a literary detective novel. It’s to author McAlpine’s credit that he makes what might have been an arch exercise into a joy to read. The plot finds Jorge Luis Borges coming across a manuscript handwritten by long-deceased Holmes. Suddenly Borges is evading a killer, and seeking out a PI for help. Then we dive into the manuscript itself, and Holmes tells us he’s become a college professor with a phony German accent. He’s consulted by a midlist author named Conan Doyle about a problematic seance, and what follows is an engrossing display of Holmesian scholarship, bent on convincing us that Holmes was not the Victorian gentleman the late Watson portrayed. It’s a fascinating read, smart and entertaining for all that it’s based on those quantum mechanics. That’s right, it’s Holmes confronting alternate universes, and it’s wonderful.— Don Crinklaw
“A joy to read from start to finish…a thrilling, believable rendering of our beloved detective in his twilight years. I can’t recommend this novel enough.” — Mitch Cullin, author of A Slight Trick of the Mind, the basis for the film, “Mr. Holmes”.
“In this brilliant imagining by Gordon McAlpine… Prepare to have your mind blown!” — Leslie S. Klinger, editor of the Edgar Award-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes