SECRETS AND LIES
Sherlock Holmes's latest case takes him to Paris in pursuit of Marguerite Hardy: a Frenchwoman who fled her London home in mysterious circumstances. Holmes discovers she left after receiving a mysterious letter, containing an obituary and the words "four for the devil". Holmes's investigations will take him and his cousin, Henry Vernier, into a world of seduction and betrayal - and lead them to uncover a secret buried for over twenty years.
In Siciliano's superior sixth Sherlock Holmes pastiche (after 2017's The Moonstone's Curse), Marguerite Hardy, a Frenchwoman living in London, is badly frightened when someone sends her a newspaper clipping describing the death, apparently from a heart attack, of French artist Gaston Lupin, along with a letter identifying Lupin as the first of "Four for the Devil" and herself as the third. When her husband, John, a wine and spirits dealer, suggests employing Holmes, she forbids it before departing for Paris to seek the aid of a female amateur detective. John ignores his wife's wishes and consults Holmes, who agrees to carry on a discreet parallel inquiry. The detective accompanied by Dr. Henry Vernier, his cousin who serves as the series' Watson stand-in travels to Paris, where he discovers that the dead man was a talented art forger and comes to suspect that Lupin was given a fatal overdose of morphine. The case takes a major unexpected twist when the identity of the investigator Marguerite turned to is revealed. Although this Holmes is not always the same as Conan Doyle's, Siciliano makes the divergences plausible under the circumstances.