The Isolated Séance

Severn House. (Irregular Detective, Bk. 1). Jun. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781448310746. $31.99. M
What happens to Sherlock Holmes’s street urchins, the Baker Street Irregulars, when they outgrow their usefulness? Timothy Badger follows in the footsteps of his mentor and becomes a consulting detective. As much as Badger tries, he only occasionally stumbles on a clue, so he partners with Benjamin Watson, a Black man who has turned his hand to a little of everything. They’re desperate for a successful case when Holmes sends Thomas Brent to them. Brent was valet to Horace Quinn until the night Quinn held a séance in his house. The oil lamp went out, and by the time Brent found a light, Quinn was dead with a knife in his chest. It’s a tough case for the duo as they’re followed by a determined woman reporter and trace a suspect to a Travellers’ camp; while investigating, Badger ends up in jail and has to be bailed out by Holmes.
VERDICT The author of the Crispin Guest mysteries writes about Victorian street life and desperation in a pastiche relieved by humor. Suggest Vicki Delany’s “Gemma Doyle” series as a read-alike.
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