Cover image for The Scottish ploy : a Mycroft Holmes novel, [authorized by Dame Jean Conan Doyle]
The Scottish ploy : a Mycroft Holmes novel, [authorized by Dame Jean Conan Doyle]
Fawcett, Quinn.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 2000.
Physical Description:
352 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


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The Brotherhood is trying once again to throw Europe into chaos but Mycroft Holmes has a bigger problem on his hands. Actor Edmund Sutton has been kidnapped and the detective must act as his double in Macbeth while Guthrie and Pauline Gatspy scour London for the missing actor.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In Victorian London, Mycroft Holmes and secretary Patterson Guthrie are looking for a missing Turkish man and negotiating the reconciliation of a blustering Scottish knight and his German wife. After an Admiralty courier is shot at Holmes' Pall Mall flat, he realizes the seemingly unrelated events are the opening gambit of the shadowy Brotherhood's plans to conquer England. This fourth Mycroft Holmes novel is longer and slower than Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes stories, but it's not without some pleasures of its own. Fawcett nicely develops some of the series' supporting characters, and he offers a rousing finish, with much gunfire and an exciting rescue from a dark asylum. When the villains are unmasked, their identities are a surprise. If Fawcett could write more concisely and with a bit more verve, this series could become one of the better latter-day variations on the Holmes theme. --John Rowen

Publisher's Weekly Review

International intrigue, phrenology and the theater (the title puns on the historical euphemism for Macbeth, i.e. "the Scottish play") concern Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older, smarter brother, in his fourth adventure in Fawcett's popular series (The Flying Scotsman, etc.). Once again Patterson Guthrie, Mycroft's secretary, serves as the Watson-like narrator. Unfortunately, for all the excitementDa threat to the government, marriage difficulties among the aristocracy, poisonings, disappearances and chasesDmany details jar. In a key plot development the "portly" Mycroft engages his friend, actor Edmund Sutton, who's playing the lead in Macbeth, to be his body double, yet Sutton is described as "lanky." There are more gunshots in central London than you might expect in Victorian times, while the official force oddly keeps a low profile. Dr. Watson can dress the wound of an admiralty runner shot on Mycroft's doorstep, then commit the unlucky man to the hospital with no fuss from the public or the police. Any mystery requires the reader to suspend disbelief to some extent, but this one at times requires a suspension apparatus that could support London Bridge. You can't help wondering why Mycroft didn't do the really smart thing and let Sherlock handle the case and Watson write about it. (Dec. 6) Forecast: Holmes purists have tended to look down their noses at this series, authorized by the late dame Jean Conan Doyle, but fans should welcome this as enthusiastically as Fawcett's previous Mycroft Holmes titles. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved