The Baker Street Phantom by Fabrice Bourland (Gallic Books, Worlds End Studios, 134 Lots Road, London SW10, £7.99) is the most satisfyingly fantastic novel to have come my way in some time – since Gilbert Adair’s And Then There Was No One, at any rate – but then the French have a genius for this sort of thing. When they set up their detective agency in 1932, Andrew Singleton and James Trelawney could hardly have expected that their first client would be the widow of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, nor that she would commission them to investigate an apparent haunting at the house that had only recently been allocated the number 221 Baker Street. Lady Conan Doyle is desperately concerned to know if there is a link between the disturbances in Baker Street and the brutal murders that have cast a pallof fear over London. M. Bourland is not the first to use the ghost of Sherlock Holmes as the premise of a story, but he has a bolder imagination than most. Holmes isn’t the only phantom that our novice detectives must face… The Baker Street Phantom is the first Singleton and Trelawney mystery. I look forward to the second !
Par Mr Roger Johnson, District Messenger n° 305 du 9 août 2010