Geri Schear Review

These Scattered Houses by Gretchen Altabef

The story takes place during The Great Hiatus, that period in Sherlock Holmes’s life when the world believed he was dead. For two years he avoided Professor Moriarty’s men and traveled under the identity of a Norwegian explorer called Sigerson.

Ms Altabef’s novel takes place in Poughkeepsie, New York during this ‘lost’ period. The author has meticulously researched and depicted the delights and horrors of that world remarkably well. The novel shows a deft handling of a landscape unfamiliar to most of us.

The author also captured Holmes’s voice very neatly. As I wrote my first three novels from Holmes’s point of view, I know all too well how difficult it is to make that voice sound authentic.

In addition to Holmes, the novel introduces several intriguing characters including Harry Houdini. Each was well drawn and three-dimensional.

There’s always a danger when writing a review of a mystery story. It’s unfair to the reader to reveal too much of the plot. Suffice it to say, These Scattered Houses offers plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader hooked.

These Scattered Houses is a daring adventure in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As Professor Sigerson the pansophic gentleman of justice, Holmes is confronted by the evil that lurks within the smiling and beautiful countryside.

Posted on June 3, 2020 by Geri Schear, edited slightly.

These Scattered Houses is available from MX Publishing and the usual outlets.

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