People are being killed in London, and the police show no interest. When a cholera victim is found floating in the city’s water supply, Dr. Anton Kronberg, England’s most noted bacteriologist, is called in to investigate. There are indications that the dead man was held captive, but with no signs of foul play, the police write it off as just another cholera death. Kronberg thinks differently, as does noted police consultant, Sherlock Holmes, who also immediately discovers Kronberg’s secret; he is a she. Anna Kronberg has been posing as a man, an act that could get her thrown in jail if Sherlock discloses what he knows. But the famous investigator agrees that something foul is afoot, and he and Anna dig deeper and learn that a cabal of renegade doctors, financed by shadowy rich men, are conducting unauthorized medical experiments on the country’s paupers.
The Devil’s Grin by Annelie Wendeberg, puts a woman passing as a man in a society that devalues women as much as it does the poor with one of mystery literature’s most famous characters, in a story that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be proud of. This story has all the clues, red herrings, and amazing deductions Holmes’ fans love in the original stories of Doyle’s most famous creation, keeping close to the character Doyle created, while at the same time offering another view of the tortured genius as he and Anna play cat and mouse with a group of dangerous men who will stop at nothing to achieve their aims.
This is a book that you can’t put down. It keeps you turning pages as you try to match wits with two amazing detectives, similar in their obsessions, yet so different in so many ways. The ending will leave you wanting to know more about Anna Kronberg, and whether or not she and Holmes will meet again, and under what circumstances.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. I give it five stars.