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Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage (MYCROFT HOLMES) Hardcover – September 24, 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars 374 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse's third pastiche (after 2018's Mycroft and Sherlock), their best yet, provides intriguing challenges for both Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes while continuing to present plausible backstories for the brothers. In 1873, Mycroft and his longtime friend and partner, Cyrus Douglas, agree to help Chinese businessman Deshi Hai Lin locate Bingwen Shi, the fiancé of Lin's daughter, Ai, who happens to be an old flame of Mycroft's. Shi, a land investor, disappeared in London en route to a meeting with a client. Meanwhile, 19-year-old Sherlock, who's not yet an encyclopedia of knowledge relevant to detecting crime, gets himself tossed out of college so he can tackle a sensational serial murder case. Someone has killed eight people across Great Britain, leaving near each corpse a note bearing the message "The Fire 411!" That the victims appear to have nothing in common adds to the puzzle. The authors do a stellar job of illuminating the siblings' developing relationship while concocting a clever and twisty plot. Sherlockians will be enthralled. Agent: Deborah Morales, Iconomy. (Sept.)
-Publishers Weekly

A third round of Victorian detection and domestic friction for the imperishable Holmes brothers.
If there had been a 24-hour news cycle in 1873, every hour would have been devoted to the Fire 411 killer, whose murders would never have been identified as such if he hadn't insisted on leaving his calling card at each crime scene, a message reading "The Fire 411!" The eight victims to date, ranging from a boy of 7 and a girl of 10 up to a retired barrister in his 80s, have been so marginal that the case wouldn't have enticed Mycroft, addict and sometime foreign agent, if the ninth victim, Elise Wickham, weren't the stepdaughter of Queen Victoria's cousin Count Wolfgang Hohenlohe-Langenburg. In fact, the Count, a bully and a swindler, had already attracted the attention of Mycroft and his Trinidadian friend, Cyrus Douglas, who now must switch gears smoothly from seeking evidence of him to solving his stepdaughter's murder to accommodate the queen. Their novel solution is to farm the case out to Mycroft's younger brother, who's a student at Downing College, Cambridge. Sherlock's eagerness to follow the crooked trail of the Fire 911 killer leaves Mycroft free to oblige shipping magnate Deshi Hai Lin, whose life he saved in Mycroft and Sherlock (2018) and who now, as if he weren't already indebted enough, begs Mycroft's help in seeking and recovering Bingwen Shi, the fiance of his lovely daughter, Ai Lin. The decision to assign each of the feuding brothers to a separate case is great for the family peace, but it soft-pedals a leading attraction of the series and produces enough back-and-forth plotting to put most readers in serious danger of whiplash. Against all odds, the riddle behind the kidnapping turns out to be more interesting, more surprising, and more logical than that of the Fire 411 killer.
All the usual pleasures--blood and thunder, sibling rivalry, historical walk-ons--but no great shakes as a mystery.
-Kirkus Review 

About the Author

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a huge Holmesian--7'2" tall, basketball's all-time leading scorer, and a U.S. cultural ambassador. He's written extensively, including What Color is My World (children's), Brothers in Arms (military history), and On the Shoulders of Giants (black history). His novel Mycroft Holmes, starring Sherlock Holmes lesser well known but far more talented older brother, was published in 2015.

Anna Waterhouse has sold and/or optioned several scripts, consulted on a feature-length doc for HBO, was supervising producer/co-writer of Netflix/Showtime's On the Shoulders of Giants which won an NAACP Image Award for best documentary, has taught screenwriting at both Chapman University and at U.S.C., and is currently working on a limited series with acclaimed writer Robert Towne.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Titan Books (September 24, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1785659308
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1785659300
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.35 x 1.14 x 9.55 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 374 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
374 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

mike A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great new Holmes adventure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 21, 2021
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good one !
Reviewed in Canada on December 15, 2019
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