What is this about?: Mycroft and Sherlock are thrown together — or rather reluctantly start working together to solve the death of a young boy — which in turn leads them elsewhere.
What else is this about?: Insight into Mycroft and Sherlock’s relationship within the confines of this series, and we see the start of some familiar habits and relationships of Sherlock’s.
The new novel by NBA All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, starring brothers Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes.
Now a force to be reckoned with in the War Office, the young Mycroft Holmes is growing his network of contacts and influence, although not always in a manner that pleases his closest friend, Cyrus Douglas. A Trinidadian of African descent, Douglas has opened a home for orphaned children, while still running his successful import business.
When a ship carrying a cargo in which Douglas was heavily invested runs aground on the Dorset coast, Mycroft convinces his brother Sherlock to offer his services at the orphanage while Douglas travels to see what can be salvaged. Sherlock finds himself surprisingly at home among the street urchins, but is alarmed to discover that two boys show signs of drug addiction. Meanwhile Douglas also finds evidence of opium use on two dead sailors, and it becomes clear to Mycroft that the vile trade is on the ascent once again.
Travelling to China on the trail of the drug business, Mycroft and Douglas discover that there are many in high places willing to make a profit from the misery of others. Their opponents are powerful, and the cost of stemming the deadly tide of opium is likely to be high..
Mycroft and Sherlock is the second book in a series about Mycroft Holmes. The first book is, of course, titled Mycroft Holmes and lays the foundation from what Goodreads says (I haven’t yet read it) for a relationship that intrigued me so in this one — that with Cyrus Douglas, his best friend.
When the book opens, Douglas has created a home for the lost boys in the city — the ones without parents or homes of their own — in honour of his child who has passed away. The book make it clear how close he and Mycroft are, and you don’t need to read the first book to realise that. It’s in their easiness together, in the way they converse without the sense of animosity that is under Sherlock’s and Mycroft’s conversations that made me think if Mycroft had to have a brother, it should have been Douglas (but at least this way he has the best of both worlds within this book). Perhaps, it’s best to consider him Mycroft’s Watson.
Meanwhile Sherlock who is studying is roped into teaching at the home and despite hating the idea finds himself teaching the mathematics of fighting with a class filled with boys who have lived their lives on the street, and are extremely interested in anything that makes them better fighters. To Sherlock’s confusion, they like him. And you can see the shades of his future relationship with his Baker Street Irregulars begin with these baby steps.
I have to confess, I liked the scenes and interaction between Douglas and Mycroft more than I did Mycroft and Sherlock. Perhaps, I am already to used to their relationship? This book attempts to show how that relationship we know may have begun, and there are moments between the brothers that made me smile at their familiarity and the tension between them.
I haven’t yet spoken about Mycroft have I? There are hints of his heartbreak from the loss of a great love in the previous book, but also there are hints that this is a man who might consider himself ready to move on as well. He loves his brother, and worries about him, even more so after events in this book. We also see the power player Mycroft will one day be, even if he is not quite there yet.
The mystery in and of itself was kind of paled next to the characters, their interactions and that shades of the men we know they come to be as Sherlock fans. A young boy just moved to Douglas’ home dies, and Douglas and Mycroft, and Sherlock on his own (naturally) begin their own investigations before they realise — or more likely admit — they are working on the same case – which ends up involving drugs, gold and a threat to England.
All in all, this book gave me so much to think about when it comes to the Holmes brothers!