“The Amateur Executioner: Enoch Hale Meets Sherlock Holmes by Dan Andriacco and Kieran McMullen. MX Publishing. 2013. 180 pp. Enoch Hale, a native Bostonian, is a reporter for London’s Central News Syndicate (where, in 1920, Horace Harker is still a familiar figure, though far from revered) and a friend of Chief Inspector Wiggins of Scotland Yard. As it becomes evident that the apparent suicide of a Music Hall artiste was only the first of a series of murders by hanging, Hale’s determination to find the link between the victims is variously helped and hindered by a cast of remarkable characters that includes his friend T S Eliot, W B Yeats, Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, Alfred Hitchcock and Winston Churchill. The presence of each person is rarely gratuitous and is never forced. Given Hale’s personality and background, and the edgy mixture of crime and politics in which he becomes involved, their participation is almost to be expected. So, of course, is that of Sherlock Holmes. In contrast to most tales involving Holmes, The Amateur Executionertakes us into an ambiguous and murky world where right and wrong aren’t always distinguishable. I look forward to reading more about Enoch Hale.”
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