An American actress has come to London, seeking her unknown father who funded her education. She knows the money is sent from a particular bank, but she only has the account number, not the name of the account holder. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Inspector Gregson are on the trail of a major bank robbery that will happen today. It’s the same bank, and what goes down will be dangerous, even deadly. If the actress and her friend survive, it will be due to her intense, careful, attention to detail, and ability to reason out what the details mean.
The Crown Jewel Mystery (Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery #0.5), by Anna Elliott (author), Charles Veley (author)
Wilton Press, June 2017
Review By Lis Carey: Lucy James, an American actress, arrives in London, officially for a position in the D’Oyly Carte Opera which she has been offered. In reality, her main motivation is to try to find the identity of her father. The stipend that supported her and paid for her education came from the Capital and Counties Bank on Oxford Street in London. She has the account number, but no name. She wants that name.
Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Inspector Gregson, have been called to the scene of the seemingly sudden death of a bank clerk at the Capital and Counties Bank. They’re on the trail of a master criminal, and the death of this bank clerk, along with additional information from his brother, tells them this is the day a major attack on the bank will occur. In alternating chapters, we get the story from the different perspectives of Lucy and Watson.
Lucy is accompanied by her friend, Johnny Rockefeller–yes, John D. Rockefeller Jr., which is enormously helpful in getting to talk to the bank manager, and then getting him to take Johnny on a tour of the vault, while leaving the “claustrophobic” Lucy in his office. She has just enough time to find that there’s no name attached to the account, just a safety deposit box number. It’s after she’s gotten the manager to take them to the safety deposit boxes and leave them there briefly, that the bank robbers arrive and begin their attack.
From there on, Holmes outside and Lucy inside are each working to defeat the gang, each with that peculiarly high attention to detail that we expect of Holmes, but which surprises everyone who meets the young actress. It’s high stakes and dangerous, and exciting right down to the end. I find it a very good Holmes pastiche, true to the tone and the established characters, along with late 19th century London.
I received this book as a gift.