Arrowood opens in South London with Norman Barnett entering the home of his employer William Arrowood who is ranting about the great Sherlock Holmes.
Like the great detective Barnett is a private investigator but unlike Holmes he does not solve cases quickly, does not have the police and newspapers on his side, and most of all Holme’s wealth.
He also drinks heavily and has a relationship on the side with a woman in his favorite drinking establishment. Norman too drinks but not as heavily and he remains with is wife. Although at the novel’s opening she is very ill.
They have not had a case in weeks until a Miss Caroline Cousture comes to them asking for help in finding her missing brother who used to work at the Barrell of Beef run by the sinister Stanley Cream.
He is a gangster who pretends to be legit and has friends in all the right and high places.
The last case the two men involved Cream and a someone they worked with died. Since then both men have tried to avoid anything involving Cream. Yet despite the great harm they could face, they accept the missing person’s case.
Arrowood uses psychology and reading body language as part of his deductions and Bartlett uses street wise knowledge and brawn. I would have liked less Holmes rants and more insight into his relationship with Bartlett. Still this is a decent beginning to a new mystery series and I hope with the next book The Murder Pitt the two characters pull away more from their models.
Arrowood by Mick Finley: Book one in a new mystery series
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