The set of a Sherlock Holmes film is disrupted by a murder even the great detective would find hard to solve.
'Delightful ... A surprise on every page' NEW YORK TIMES
The Baker Street Irregulars are a group of Sherlock Holmes experts, and when they get word that a Hollywood studio has plans to produce a tough, hard-boiled interpretation of the Great Detective, written by an author who dislikes both the group and Conan Doyle's original work, they make their feelings abundantly clear.
To placate them, the studio invites them to visit the set. But as soon as they arrive, things start to get strange. There are a series of ominous warnings, each one referencing one of Holmes's famous cases, warnings which are soon followed by murder ...
Set in 1939, this worthy addition to the American Mystery Classic series from legendary mystery critic Boucher (1911 1968) pits the Baker Street Irregulars, members of the real-life organization of Sherlock Holmes fans, against Stephen Worth, who has been chosen by Metropolis Pictures to write the screenplay for a major movie based on the Holmes story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." Worth, "the author of many stupid and illogical mystery novels of the type known as hard-boiled," has expressed a desire to show up the detective as a "cocky bastard." When the Irregulars protest Worth's selection to Metropolis Pictures producer F.X. Weinberg, Weinberg invites them to Hollywood to consult on the film. The Irregulars soon lock horns with the obnoxious Worth, and a fatal shooting follows. Weinberg's publicist, Maureen O'Breen, investigates, with varying degrees of help from the Sherlockians. Boucher tosses in plenty of shout-outs to Conan Doyle's originals, including an envelope containing five orange seeds and a coded message featuring stick figures of dancing men. Fans of humorous whodunits will be pleased.