This was a very good read which shows Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russel capturing the imagination in a classic mystery escapade.
Set alternately in England and a cruise ending in Japan we encounter the adventures of the couple on a seemingly random mystery - a passenger overboard, a blackmailing peer who never got caught, an unusual acrobat of an Oriental - all seemingly unconnected and with no connection to the couple who were seeking a pleasant holiday and rest.
All is not what it seems though. Breaking journey in Japan was on the cards as it is a country they have not been to. They did not plan that they would spend it the way they did. Travelling third class and on a schedule which was tough, they follow a mysterious plan to meet a mysterious man not knowing that their target is the highest in the land - the Prince Regent of Japan who is now being blackmailed and seeks their help in getting an article back from the devious Lord Darley.
How the story goes back again to England and the resurgence of our Haruki Sato - who very quietly and efficiently pulls the wool over both Russel and Holmes's eyes is masterful. Both are played by the inscrutable Japanese - all in a good way for a good cause.
Humorous, detailingly descriptive and slow paced on the whole, it kept my interest from beginning to end.
This was a book sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Random Group Publishing House - Bantam Deli. Many thanks for this book.