They are back. The celebrated detective and his friend – only this time, the forces that Holmes is required to pit his cerebral powers against, are not as awesome. Indeed not, it does not get more threatening than rampaging mice, parrots that swear and missing scarecrows. All of which Holmes tackles with characteristic panache (and much less success), while Watson is a loyal if not always enthusiastic collaborator. It is an excellent spoof on Conan Doyle’s stories, in his language and style, and the touches of burlesque do not degenerate into slapstick. The writer skilfully recreates the world of 221B Baker Street – its inclement weather, telegrams, blue-blooded clients, indiscretions and disguises. Doyle’s tools are used to singular effect to make this book a most enjoyable read.