"This story has great richness of voice and will take you on a fascinating journey. It is both an adventure and a colourful experience." —Calvert Markham, Treasurer of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London
Still wondering what Sherlock Holmes was doing between his reported death at Reichenbach and his reappearance in The Empty House? Only Dr. Watson knew the truth. From 1891 to 1894, Sherlock Holmes was dead to the world—and having the grandest adventures of his career.
It begins when an Italian scholar travels from Venice to 221B Baker Street to beg the help of the legendary detective. He carries an ancient parchment, a rubbing made from a copper sheet found in the libraries of Kublai Khan. It was torn in half centuries ago to protect the world from a terrifying secret, one that, apparently, first Marco Polo, then another great traveler, the Moroccan Ibn Batuta, took dramatic steps to guard. Where, if anywhere, is its missing half?
Holmes springs into action. He fakes his death at Reichenbach, and proceeds undercover to Venice. A murdered scholar, an archivist from the Vatican, British imperial politics and, of course, the dire hand of Moriarty propel Holmes and Watson, playing the roles they assumed in Morocco, on a perilous journey down the Sahara to the ancient city of Timbuktu... and beyond. In deepest Africa, Holmes will confront ruthless criminals, an ancient culture, and a staggering surprise.