night-watch.jpgNight Watch by Stephen Kendrick, the second of the Holmes pastiches on my list, is slightly unusual, introducing as it does another famous detective as a young man, namely Father Brown. It is Christmas Day, 1902, and Holmes’ brother Mycroft seeks his involvement in the investigation of the murder of a priest in a London church. The murder is significant as a secret conference of leaders from various religious denominations is being held there, and the murderer is likely to be among the distinguished guests.

Father Brown is attending the conference as assistant to the Pope’s representative, and is himself under suspicion; I’m sure I’m not giving anything away if I reveal that he is not only not the murderer, but he provides some assistance to the great detective.

Although most of the novel is set in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the church itself, there are some thrilling outdoor scenes including a chase through the snow on the Thames, and the climax takes place high above the streets on the roof of the church itself.

I really enjoyed the story; I failed to guess the murderer, but loved the Edwardian setting and the short timeframe in which the story takes place. Of course, it made me want to buy the complete Father Brown stories, but that’s for another day.

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