Definitely not for the Sherlock Holmes purists! Sherlock Holmes’ wife, Mary Russell, reluctantly finds herself shanghaied into investigating the criminal activities surrounding Randolph Fflytte’s film studio.
As Fflytte believes being as realistic as possible, this means going undercover with the film crew on their way to Portugal where they are about to start filming the Pirate King based loosely on Gilbert and Sullivan’s the Pirates of Penzance. Disaster quickly strikes.
The ‘pirates’ Fflytte recruits before heading to Morocco are just a little too genuine, resulting in the crew finding themselves caught up real pirate activity. Just who is the Pirate King? Can Mary and her colleagues escape the harem? And where is Sherlock Holmes in all this? An entertaining, lively escapade in which the character of Mary really comes alive.
Sherlock Holmes plays a fairly minor role in comparison. The plot is definitely complex, and you need all your concentration to keep track of what is going on. Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of this book is the way it brings alive the problems facing the early film industry, and how they solved them!