Sherlock Holmes and his cousin, Dr Henry Vernier, travel to Whitby, to investigate a curious case on behalf of a client. He has fallen in love, but a mysterious letter has warned him of the dangers of such a romance. The woman is said to be under a druidic curse, doomed to take the form of a gigantic snake. Locals speak of a green glow in the woods at night, and a white apparition amongst the trees. Is there sorcery at work, or is a human hand behind the terrors of Diana’s Grove?
Siciliano skillfully utilizes plot elements from an obscure Bram Stoker novel in his stellar fourth Sherlock Holmes pastiche (after 2013's The Grimswell Curse). Adam Selton, the young heir to a large estate, comes to Baker Street after getting a note warning him away from his fianc e, Diana Marsh; the letter was accompanied by a copy of the legend concerning her family curse, originated by a woman who had the ability to transform herself into a gigantic serpent. The family's lands at Diana's Grove in Whitby are rumored to be haunted by such a creature. Holmes and his friend and cousin, Dr. Henry Vernier, travel to the region, where they meet Diana and her aunt, Lady Verr, whose husband recently blew his brains out. Despite the incredible nature of the reports, they're lent credence when the half-devoured corpse of a missing cow is found floating at sea and the cousins spot a glowing green light in the grove. The explanation is ingenious and plausible. Siciliano again offers a Holmes who will be familiar to fans of the canon.