A Samba for Sherlock
Set in Rio de Janeiro in 1886, this internationally acclaimed literary thriller begins with the theft of a Stradivarius violin that has been presented by His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil to one of his more delectable mistresses--a harmless crime in itself but one that mystifies the authorities and (far more important) embarrasses the Emperor. At the suggestion of Sarah Bernhardt, who is on a triumphant tour through South America, the great Sherlock Holmes is summoned from London to solve the case. But by the time he arrives, events have taken a turn for the worse, as a series of grisly murders shocks the city--the victims all beautiful young women. In each case, the killer leaves his calling card: a violin string entangled in the woman's pubic hair, the corpse stripped of a flap of skin.
Holmes (and Dr. Watson, of course) are immediately off on the track of the killer, but although Sherlock succeeds in coining the term "serial killer," his celebrated powers of deduction don't get him very far with the case itself: overcome by the charm of the tropics, some spectacular digestive difficulties, and the strong appeal of a pretty young actress--at thirty-two, he's not exactly a sexual virtuoso--Sherlock finds himself in a thicker fog than he ever encountered back home in London.
And in dark counterpoint to Holmes's questionable ratiocinations and the novel's brilliantly re-created texture of nineteenth-century literary, social, and low-life Rio, is the chilling yet hypnotic voice of the killer himself, a monster of intelligence, evil, and ever-spreading fame. . . .
"A Samba for Sherlock is the work of a mind of encyclopedic knowledge, caustic wit, brilliant style, and, aboveall, a formidable ability to entertain.
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