The Disappearance of Alistair Ainsworth (The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries #3)
Author: Leonard Goldberg
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
The year was 1915, and England was embroiled in World War I. It was a frightful rainy evening, and the Watsons were at home for they evening. They were sitting around analyzing a previous case of Sherlock Holmes’s when they were interrupted by an old friend of the elder Dr. Watson, a Dr. Verner. Dr. Verner had quite the disturbing story to share with the group. Dr. Verner was visited by a representative of a seemingly distinguished person. The man arrived to inform Dr. Verner that a man who was to remain unnamed was suffering from some kind of abdominal trouble. He asked Dr. Verner to go with him and examine the patient. After a peculiar, roundabout trip, they reached the house of the patient. Dr. Verner came to realize that this man was not sick, but was in need of help, and was most likely being held against his will. Although Dr. Verner had little to offer in the way of proof or clues to the man’s whereabouts, the Watsons’ agreed to look into the matter.
By the next morning, Joanna had deduced that the man must be a British citizen and was very much being held against his will by German operatives. Joanna was also sure that Dr. Verner’s life was in danger, and they rush to his practice to warn him. Unfortunately, when they arrived he was already dead. The threesome headed home and scoured the paper for news that may help them with this case. A notice in the paper about a missing person caught their eye. They surmised that this missing person, Alistair Ainsworth, was most likely the same man that was being held captive. Their theory was reinforced when they discovered that Ainsworth was one of England’s top cryptologist. The elder and younger doctor Watsons and Joanna become entangled in an extremely urgent case. They must find Alistair Ainsworth before the Germans are able to break him, and extract some of England’s biggest war secrets.
The Disappearance of Alistair Ainsworth is the third book in the Daughter of Sherlock Holmes mystery series. This book is an excellent addition to the collection. Joanna’s deductive skills are right up there with her father’s, Sherlock Homes, but with a slightly softer touch. She has an uncanny ability to see clues that the other characters and the readers tend to overlook. Once she explains her reasoning, however, her assertions seem more than credible. Her impeccable reasoning skills are the only thing standing in the way of the German spies fulfilling their mission. The Germans are not without their own advantage though. It seems they have a spy placed very high within the English intelligence community which keeps them one step ahead of their pursuers.
Joanna, and her husband, Dr. Holmes, along with the elder Dr. Holmes are joined by other familiar characters to help them solve the case. Toby Two is back and his sniffer is as good as ever. Also back, and in charge of the murder investigation, is the younger Inspector Lestrade.
This book is a truly fun and exciting mystery. In line with the urgency of this case, the plot moves at a very fast pace. I can highly recommend this book to fans of Sherlock Holmes and historical mysteries. While this book could be read as a stand alone story, I recommend starting with the first book. Not only will you find yourself reading a great mystery, you will get to see the development of the characters. I’m very excited to see that there will be a fourth book in this series that is due out in June 2020.
Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of this book. #NetGalley #TheDisappearanceOfAlistairAinsworth