Title: The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure
Author: Richard T. Ryan
Publisher: MX Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2017
During the elaborate funeral for Queen Victoria, a group of Irish separatists breaks into Westminster Abbey and steals the Coronation Stone, on which every monarch of England has been crowned since the 14th century. After learning of the theft from Mycroft, Sherlock Holmes is tasked with recovering the stone and returning it to England. In pursuit of the many-named stone, which has a rich and colorful history, Holmes and Watson travel to Ireland in disguise as they try to infiltrate the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the group they believe responsible for the theft. The story features a number of historical characters, including a very young Michael Collins, who would go on to play a prominent role in Irish history; John Theodore Tussaud, the grandson of Madame Tussaud; and George Bradley, the dean of Westminster at the time of the theft. There are also references to a number of other Victorian luminaries, including Joseph Lister and Frederick Treves. For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, for the great detective the stakes have never been higher as he must mollify a king who refuses to ascend the throne until “order has been restored.”
I have never read a Sherlock Holmes mystery that wasn’t written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was always worried the author wouldn’t capture the true essence of Sherlock. Luckily, Richard Ryan did a great job at creating a new mystery for the iconic detective.
Watson’s narration read just like the original stories. He went along with whatever Sherlock suggested. Also, like many Sherlock mysteries, I learned something new along the way. I didn’t realize that contact lenses were invented so long ago (and now you’ll have to read the story to find out how/why Sherlock encountered contact lenses!).
I also liked the way that the narration alternated between Watson’s account and a narration of the theives. I could see the whole story unfolding, but it still wasn’t clear how Sherlock would find the missing stone (and I knew he would because Sherlock always figures out the mystery). When John and Sherlock were separated, Sherlock explained to him later what he was doing in his absence. This was a great way of explaining what was happening without a narrator present for it.
One thing that I would have liked to see more of was Sherlock’s deducing. That was always one of my favourite parts of his mysteries. There was some seducing but I would have liked to see more of it, because that skill is what makes Sherlock unique.
I loved this story! I highly recommend it for any fans of Sherlock Holmes.