The Case of the Russian Chessboard
A Sherlock Holmes mystery only now revealed
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Mr Holmes, save my sister from whatever nameless horror has just driven this friend of ours to her death! It is late on a foggy November afternoon and a desperate young woman arrives at Baker Street, imploring Sherlock Holmes to help her. She is terrified about what may be going on inside a secretive London refuge for Russian exiles, where her sister works. And so begins a frightening case which deeply strains both Holmes and Watson because of dreadful consequences of failure and the mystifying nature of the forces against them. The case leads into strange territory. Into the circles of Victorian London’s radicals and idealists, where early feminists and socialists rub shoulders with exiled foreign revolutionaries. To a utopian anarchist commune in Essex wilderness, which imitates Tolstoy’s farm communes in Russia. Into the dark political world from which London’s Russian exiles have fled. The trail leads on - to one shocking discovery after another, as Holmes unravels a conspiracy as evil and twisted as a labyrinth in hell. Lengthwise, The Case of the Russian Chessboard totals three original Sherlock Holmes Short Stories. Narrated by Dr Watson, the tale respects Sherlock Holmes traditions and 1890s historical facts. Mingling mystery with gaslight, it offers a gripping, atmospheric and thought-provoking read.
- Andrews UK, October 2011
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