Review and Excerpt from Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil by Tim Symonds

Review

“Whether you are a lover of detective stories, period pieces, or a combination thereof, it simply isn’t possible to go wrong choosing this Sherlock Holmes story.” ~ Gabrielle Sally

Read the full review here.

A new adventure awaits Holmes and Watson

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SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE
NINE-DRAGON SIGIL

Tim Symonds

Genre: Mystery and Thriller
Publisher: MX Publishing

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It’s the year 1907.

Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching – not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London’s Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes’s task – discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch’ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain’s vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake.

Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.

excerpt

Watson Sets Off For the Forbidden City

Much of Tim Symonds’ writing is done in all weathers in nearby woods, seated on canvas chairs left dotted around at favourite spots.

Much of Tim Symonds’ writing is done in all weathers in nearby woods, seated on canvas chairs left dotted around at favourite spots.

The day of departure arrived. A two-horse Hansom carriage dropped me at the boat-train platform for Southampton. The same high excitement coursed through me as thirty years earlier when I set off from exactly the same platform to catch a troop-ship for Bombay to begin my life as an Army doctor. This time a second Hansom accompanied me with the overflow of baggage.

The elderly porter ran an inquiring eye over the assemblage of trunks, bags, leather valises, battered tin-box and packages crowding the platform at my feet. He took off his cap, scratched his head, peered at me and asked waggishly, ‘Away for the entire weekend, are we, Sir?’

I handed him a half-crown – a handsome gratuity – and advised him to keep it to place on a horse called The White Knight at the next Ascot Gold Cup.  Exhaust steam vented upwards into the atmosphere through the monster chimney, giving rise to the familiar chuffing sound at the start of many an adventure. The seat opposite me was vacant, empty of a Sherlock Holmes clad in his Poshteen Long Coat with its many flaps and pockets. I wondered what Holmes would make of it when eventually I was able to let him into the secret, that for once I was the principal player in the mission – and at the request of His Majesty’s Government. For the first time since my India and Afghanistan days I would not be the side-kick or, as a rude American described me – in print – ‘the great Detective’s Performing Flea’.

The platform guard waved his green flag with a flourish worthy of a colour guard. I was about to slam the carriage door when the chauffeur who had delivered the invitation from Grey and Haldane came running down the platform and thrust a package into my arms. He fell back as the train pulled away, hand still held to forehead in a salute.


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About Tim Symonds

Tim Symonds was born in London, England, and grew up in Somerset, Dorset and the Channel Island of Guernsey, off the coast of Normandy. After spending his late teens farming in the Kenya Highlands and driving bulldozers along the Zambezi River, he moved to California and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with an honours degree in Politics.

He lives in the ancient woodland known as the High Weald of Sussex, where the events recounted in Sherlock Holmes and The Dead Boer at Scotney Castle took place. His second novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bulgarian Codex (MX Publishing 2012), took Holmes and Watson into the very depths of the Balkans in 1900. Holmes and Watson were back in the region – Serbia – in Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter (MX Publishing 2014), and not long afterwards in ‘Stamboul’ investigating a plot against the despotic Sultan, in Sherlock Holmes And The Sword of Osman (MX Publishing 2015).

Official Tim Symonds website: http://tim-symonds.co.uk/

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