Grade A #BookReview: Holmes, Marple & Poe by James Patterson and Brian Sitts

Grade A #BookReview: Holmes, Marple & Poe by James Patterson and Brian SittsHolmes, Marple & Poe: The Greatest Crime-Solving Team of the Twenty-First Century by James Patterson, Brian Sitts
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: hardcover, paperback, large print, ebook, audiobook
Genres: mystery, suspense, thriller
Pages: 352
on January 8, 2024
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBookshop.orgBetter World Books

Crime! Murder! Who are you going to call?
In New York City, three intriguing, smart, and stylish private investigators open Holmes, Marple & Poe Investigations. Who are these detectives with famous names and mysterious, untraceable pasts?
Brendan Holmes—The Brain: Identifies suspects via deduction and logic.
Margaret Marple—The Eyes: Possesses powers of observation too often underestimated.
Auguste Poe—The Muscle: Chases down every lead no matter how dangerous or dark.
The agency’s daring methodology and headline-making solves attract the attention of NYPD Detective Helene Grey. Her solo investigation into her three unknowable competitors rivals the best mysteries of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Edgar Allan Poe.

My Review:

Names to conjure with, aren’t they? Which is very much the point, when Brendan Holmes, Margaret Marple and Auguste Poe open their private investigation business in a formerly rundown bakery that no one else was willing to buy.

The bakery was, once upon a time in 1954, the scene of a grisly murder. A cold case that is right up Margaret Marple’s alley – whoever she might REALLY be.

It’s also the first link in a nearly endless chain of cases that doesn’t look like it’s even started yet – and doesn’t seem to have any end in sight.

As much as THIS Holmes, Marple and Poe resemble their originators – in both Holmes’ and Poe’s cases to their detriment – we know it’s mostly an act. Or a reconstruction. Or possibly three experienced operators taking on identities so blatantly false but so meticulously created that no one can find the seams where they were stitched together.

The NYPD certainly tries, and they seem to be far from alone in their attempts.

But whoever, and whatever, these fascinating detectives were once upon a time, in the here and now they’re the best chance that the city has of closing the toughest of cases, from a fake kidnapping to an impossible art theft to a real – and really old – body dump site under the subway. And everything in between and all the way up to the mayor’s office.

Along with the murder of a young, forgotten girl on the floor of a bakery.

Escape Rating A: To say I had misgivings going into this one would be an understatement. James Patterson is a publishing juggernaut, so at one point I felt sort of obligated to try one of his books just to see what all the fuss was about – because there certainly is lots of fuss. The book was 1st to Die, the first book in his Women’s Murder Club series, and I could not get into it and had not been tempted back.

Until now. Because I can’t resist a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, no matter how tangential, and got grabbed by the title of this book and couldn’t talk myself out of it.

I’m very glad that I didn’t, because Holmes, Marple & Poe is a terrifically fun read, whether you are there for the hints of the mystery giants they named themselves for, or are just there to help figure out whodunnit.

What made this so much fun was that it exists on two tracks. On the one hand, there’s the mystery wrapped around the identities of the people hiding behind those famous names. We don’t even get hints, merely a few unsubstantiated rumors, but we do get the fun of watching several investigations chase their own tails trying to figure it out.

(Also the fun of figuring out how those names are meant to reinforce the resemblance. C. Auguste Dupin was the detective in what is arguably the first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, written by Edgar Allan Poe. Margaret Rutherford was one of the earliest and most famous actresses to play the oft-portrayed Miss Jane Marple on the silver screen. I’m still puzzling about who Brendan was in relation to either Sherlock Holmes or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but I just know I’m going to facepalm when I figure it out.)

On the other, and much more prominent hand in this story, we get to watch three investigators who are all mostly and more or less at the top of their respective games follow the trails of several bizarre crimes to a grand conclusion that ties all the cases up, not each in their own neat bow, but in one gigantic neat bow – with a couple of smaller bows hanging off the side.

The way that one clue led to another – even in cases that did not seem like they had anything to contribute to the whole of the thing – gave me vibes of one of my favorite mystery series, J.D. Robb’s In Death series. I even see the nucleus of the ‘Scooby Gang’ forming, including a demon cat and a gigantic hound named (of course) Baskerville.

In other words, the particular string of cases they follow is riveting, and I enjoyed the vibe of the ‘gang’ coming together so much that I would love to see more of it all. If Holmes, Marple & Poe turned out to be the first book in a series I’d be utterly thrilled and absolutely there for it.

2 thoughts on “Grade A #BookReview: Holmes, Marple & Poe by James Patterson and Brian Sitts

  1. james brendan patterson- it’s neither sir arthur conan doyle nor sherlock holmes but himself-

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