The Fangs of Scavo (Stoker & Bash #1) by Selina Kray 5*
At Scotland Yard, DI Timothy Stoker is no better than a ghost. A master of arcane documents and niggling details who, unlike his celebrity-chasing colleagues, prefers hard work to headlines. But an invisible man is needed to unmask the city's newest amateur detective, Hieronymus Bash. A bon vivant long on flash and style but short on personal history, Bash just may be a Cheapside rogue in Savile Row finery.
When the four fangs of the Demon Cats of Scavo' trophies that protect the hunters who killed the two vicious beasts' disappear one by one, Stoker's forced to team with the very man he was sent to investigate to maintain his cover. He finds himself thrust into a world of wailing mediums, spiritualist societies, man-eating lions, and a consulting detective with more ambition than sense. Will this case be the end of his career, or the start of an unexpected liaison? Or will the mysterious forces at play be the death of them both?
And just who is Hieronymus Bash?
My Review: I received an ARC for reviewing purposes. Have you ever heard the quote "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma"? If you have, and know the follow up, then the 'key' in this case is not the Russian national interest but the personal aggrandisement of the main character of Hieronymus Bash - or is it?
Over all this book was a lot like that quote, both in terms of the complex but intriguing Heiro and in the mystery of the Fangs of Scarvo and why they are being stolen. I think this is very much like a wonderful Sherlock Holmes type detective novel with Tim Stoker having all the intelligence of Sherlock with the self effacing demeanour of a Dr. Watson. It is also an historically accurate portrayal of how Gay men had to live their lives in the late 1800's with all the theatricality and danger of their lives. A truly enjoyable read that actually kicked me out of the reading slump I was heading into (having tried a number of books only to lose interest in them) I can only say that I hope Ms Kray writes many more stories with Stoker and Bash, I know I for one will be devouring them avidly.