With the international bestseller The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Nicholas Meyer brought to light a previously unpublished case of Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Dr. John H. Watson. Now Meyer returns with a shocking discovery—an unknown case drawn from a recently unearthed Watson journal.
January 1905: Holmes and Watson are summoned by Holmes' brother Mycroft to undertake a clandestine investigation. An agent of the British Secret Service has been found floating in the Thames, carrying a manuscript smuggled into England at the cost of her life. The pages purport to be the minutes of a meeting of a secret group intent on nothing less than taking over the world.
Based on real events, the adventure takes the famed duo—in the company of a bewitching woman—aboard the Orient Express from Paris into the heart of Tsarist Russia, where Holmes and Watson attempt to trace the origins of this explosive document. On their heels are desperate men of unknown allegiance, determined to prevent them from achieving their task. And what they uncover is a conspiracy so vast as to challenge Sherlock Holmes as never before.
Set in 1905, Meyer's memorable fourth Sherlock Holmes novel, his first since 1993's The Canary Trainer, convincingly mimics Conan Doyle's writing style and characterizations. After the murder of British operative Manya Lippman, Holmes's brother, Mycroft, the dead woman's employer, asks for help in tracing the origins of the papers found on her corpse. Lippman apparently paid with her life for somehow obtaining a French version of the anti-Semitic tract known as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which describe a Jewish plot for world domination. Mycroft is concerned about a possible connection between the documents, the annual meetings of Jews committed to the establishment of a Jewish homeland, and the untimely death of Zionist leader Theodor Herzl, who apparently suffered a heart attack right before he could be interviewed by one of Mycroft's agents. Holmes and Watson's pursuit of the truth takes them to France and Russia, where their ethics face a severe test. Meyer cleverly plays with his audience's expectations, noting at the outset that the case was one of Holmes's rare failures. Sherlockians will hope for a shorter wait for his next pastiche. Author tour.