Review: The Case of the Rondel Dagger by Mark Mower

It is always a joy when the reader gets to learn something (in a respectful way) about a chapter in history.  Mr. Mowers is an established historian of crime and we are treated to his original character, Mr. Mickleburgh who may possibly reflect an aspect of the author’s voice.  The Rondel Dagger of the title is the linchpin clue brought to this humble expert of ancient weapons by a young Sherlock Holmes. We enjoy his voice, which is markedly different from Watson, but equally good.  He simply sees things in a different way and traces of an avuncular admiration tinge this (sigh) short story.

1880 shows us the meeting of these two men, both masters at their field regardless of the disparity in ages. Mr. Mickleburgh is entrenched, respected, and largely invisible to the world but Holmes is already rising in what he calls his “financially precarious vocation.” The conversation between the men flows easily; they both like each others’ company and we enjoy watching them puzzle out the matter of a brutal murder in which a rondel dagger is significant piece.

Without giving away the plot (sometimes avoiding spoilers is just agony), the two men discover that the Dagger is a relic of a personal piece of history for a group of “gay blades” and one fond story leads to less fond one; the deeper the men go the darker the stories until a well-concealed fact is finally brought to light.

I rate this one of the best of the book!

 

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  1. Reblogged this on Mxpublishing's Blog.


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