Craig Stephen Copland Review

These Scattered Houses by Gretchen Altabef

Henry Gritten, Mathew Vassar’s Springside, View of Gardener’s Cottage, Poughkeepsie, New York, 1858.

Of the hundreds of Sherlock Holmes pastiche mysteries available to the Sherlockian, very few can match this book for a depth of historical research, finely crafted sentences and paragraphs, and a heart-stopping thrill of a story.

Ms. Altabef takes the reader on a journey during the great hiatus and brings Sherlock Holmes to New York state where he is led to investigate that horrifying world of the insane asylums of that day. The characters she creates–especially that of the child, Rachel–are distinct, colorful, and memorable. The plot builds through incident after dangerous incident, culminating with a frantic climax. A great read. Now, all we need is more like this from this very capable Sherlockian.

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