Mary Russell and husband Sherlock Holmes are at home in England in 1923 when they receive a shocking visitor. It is none other than Ali, whom they first met in Palestine along with his fellow compatriot, Mahmoud. They get a further surpriseAli is no Arab but rather Englishman Alistair Hughenfort and Mahmoud is really Maurice "Marsh" Hughenfort, recently made a duke.

Alistair would like Holmes and Mary to accompany them to Justice Hall. Marsh would like to turn the dukedom over to his nephew Thomas. The problem is that Thomas may not really be his nephew.

The trio journeys to Justice Hall to put things right. Unfortunately, someone does not want the transferral of title to happen and will stop at nothing to prevent it.

JUSTICE HALL is an intriguing tale that turns a sharp eye to the policies and politics that prevailed during and after the Great War. Unfortunately the moth-eaten plot device of Alistair and Marshtheir identity as English aristocratsstrains credulity and weakens the story. (Apr., 334 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg