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Secrets are every where

Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire

Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire, November 2015
Whitechapel Vampire #3
by Dean P. Turnbloom

MX Publishing
Featuring: Sherlock Holmes; Antonio Barlucci; John Watson
ISBN: 1780928181
EAN: 9781780928180
Kindle: B012WQ8L28
Paperback / e-Book
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"Sherlock Holmes is alive and thriving!"

Fresh Fiction Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire
Dean P. Turnbloom

Reviewed by Monique Daoust
Posted October 15, 2015

Mystery Historical

Sherlock Holmes is now a country squire who has retired to Sussex to tend to his bees and write monographs. He hadn't written to his friend Dr. Watson in a few months, so when the post brings news from Holmes, Watson is pleasantly surprised. But Holmes has more than a few banalities to tell his old comrade: bodies have been surfacing near the coast of Newfoundland, drained of blood, but there's no trace of a shipwreck. Holmes fears their old nemesis, Baron Barlucci, after laying low for over two decades, is up to no good again. Barlucci is a painful thorn in Holmes' side. The Baron is the only villain the great detective hasn't captured, and of course, Dr. Watson must sail with Holmes to Manhattan Island, where more bodies have been found.

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE is not the pastiche I thought it might have been, but the almost real deal. Right from the opening paragraphs, I was overjoyed because I felt I was reading a brand new Conan Doyle mystery. Being a die-hard fan of the original, I then became wary: could a modern author be successful in this tremendous undertaking? The answer is a resounding yes! SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE is more than an homage to Conan Doyle: Mr. Turnbloom essentially captures everything that is Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson but makes it his own, without the reader ever having the impression of the author "trying"; never does the author endeavour to copy, but he in fact prolongs the formidable legacy of Conan Doyle. Mr. Turnbloom's writing is eloquent and vivid, he captures the early twentieth century as accurately as a photograph, the tone is impeccable, the dialogues and the banter are entirely evocative of Conan Doyle's, and Holmes and Watson are exactly how they should be. The pacing is perfect, and the story is as gripping as any Sherlock Holmes book.

If I have one regret it's not knowing that SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE was the third book in this series, and while obviously this installment can be read as a standalone, the previous books figure now on my to-be-read-pile because it is simply brilliant. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE is absolutely splendid from beginning to end, and should be read by anyone who hasn't had enough of Sir Arthur's great detective, and everybody who likes a good mystery!

Learn more about Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire


Bodies washing up along the eastern coast of New England and the mysterious grounding of a "ghost ship" near Manhattan combine to bring Sherlock Holmes out of retirement to resume his pursuit of the villainous Baron Antonio Barlucci-the Whitechapel Vampire. But when he arrives in London to enlist the assistance of Dr. Watson, the good doctor has reservations.

It's been twenty-five years since Holmes and Watson hunted Barlucci, twenty-five years since they learned the baron was buried beneath a mountain of ice and snow. Has Holmes' preoccupation with Barlucci driven him to see connections where none exist? Have his powers of deduction gone stale while in retirement? Has Watson's worst fear, that Holmes' obsession with the baron has unbalanced his finely tuned psyche, come true? Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire is the exciting finalé to the Whitechapel Vampire Trilogy. In this final chapter, Holmes must face more than evil. He must face his own mortality- the only certainty in an uncertain world.


We got out of the cab and descended into the as yet unfinished subway station. Holmes led the way into what appeared a depthless abyss. Although at ground level this section of the underground—subway to the native New Yorkers—had a grand looking entrance with marble pilasters and a rich looking stone staircase covered with an archway of wrought iron, one did not have to travel far before the light became thinner and the tunnel rough and unfinished. As we descended I got the uncomfortable feeling of a fly entering beneath a web.

At the bottom of the stairs we could see to the north that this was the direction in which the main thrust of the excavation work was concentrated. The work to this point had consisted of excavating from above and covering over as the excavation was completed, but from 53rd Street on for approximately a mile the construction was being carried forth in true tunneling fashion. The 42nd Street Underground station was the last one prior to the beginning of the tunnel construction. To the south the track was laid and the tunnel was completely covered over, although the interior was still unfinished relative to the fancy brickwork and painting we’d witnessed in the completed lines. It was in this, the southerly direction, where Holmes led.

After we’d gone no more than a hundred yards Holmes handed me his match tin and held up the dark lantern while I lighted it. What little illumination there was from the subway entrance was fading fast, both with the distance between us and it and with the approaching night. In another hundred yards we would be completely at the mercy of the darkness were it not for Holmes’ lantern. I followed closely behind as Holmes quickened his pace. The air, which had been thick and cloying with humidity when we’d entered the station, had suddenly grown strangely cool, most probably due to the increasing depth underground and perhaps the proximity to the East River.

Since we had exited the hansom Holmes had barely spoken. Now he turned and said, “Just ahead, we’ll need to remove the grating.” He motioned to a large metal lattice structure covering a ventilation duct. “Ever since the police found that Braden fellow at Grand Central, I’ve been studying the ventilation system. This shaft connects to the one at Grand Central, and if you look from this angle,” he descended to one knee, looking from the lower right-hand corner of the grate into the shaft up towards the upper left, “you can just catch a glimpse of what may be a shelf upon which there appears to be some clothing or rags. I believe this may be where Barlucci has been hiding during the day.”

“Ah, yes, his nest didn’t you say?”

“Exactly. Give me a hand here, will you?” He was busy prying off the grate with a coach wrench he’d produced from under his jacket. I took my handkerchief from my pocket and removed my tie. Wrapping them around my hands as makeshift gloves, I grabbed the lower edge of the grating pulling as Holmes pried. It was extremely heavy and as it came loose, it crashed to the ground.

“Well, if he’s in there, I’m sure that woke him up. Thank you.”

“My pleasure,” said I, feeling a little annoyed.

“Quite all right, I don’t think he was using this particular nest today. I’m hoping, however, he will return to it this evening, or next. In the meantime, I shall search for others during the day until I discover him. Now, take the lantern. I’ll go first.” He stepped up onto the ledge and entered. The duct was of such size that once he’d entered past the opening, he was nearly able to stand. But as he turned, the twin overlapping doors of a steel ventilation damper slammed shut.

“Holmes,” I called. “Holmes, can you hear me.”

After a brief silence he said, “Yes, Watson, I can hear you. And although I can’t see much, this appears to be some sort of emergency damper meant to seal the shaft in the event gas is detected.”

“Gas? I don’t smell anything.”

“Nor do I, but I suppose there is the chance the gas may be odorless. In that event, I wouldn’t risk discussing this too much further. The damper has a self-latching mechanism and I think it would behoove each of us to vacate the area as best we can.”

“But Holmes, I can’t leave you trapped like this.”

“Nonsense, Watson. You forget I’ve studied the ventilation system in some detail. By the time you reach the street, I’ll have found my own way out, most probably at a street grating near the 42nd Street station.”

“Are you certain?”

“Yes, now let’s waste no more time arguing the matter. If there is a poisonous gas leak, the longer we tarry the greater our peril.”

“Yes, yes, of course. I’ll await you at the station grate.” I felt like a villain, leaving my friend trapped in the duct, but there was nothing I could do. I was also quite aware that having studied the ducting, he would most probably find his way out prior to my own escape. I hurried back to the station, aided by the light of the dark lantern. In just a few minutes I’d emerged onto 42nd Street and made my way to the grating just above the station. The rain had stopped and the air was heavy and warm. After ten minutes and no Holmes, I began to become worried.

It must have been time for a shift change in the tunneling endeavor because just then a wagon loaded with workers drove by in the direction of the dig. I hailed it and engaged the foreman in coming to my aid. I explained that Holmes and I had been investigating the ducting when the damper, apparently triggered by a gas leak in the tunnel, had slammed closed trapping my friend inside. He told me that this was impossible since the dampers were not yet connected. A panic consumed me as I realized Holmes must have fallen into a trap.

The foreman and three of his crew followed me back into the tunnel, back to where Holmes had disappeared. Using the tools of their trade, the men worked on the damper, finally prying it open. I raised the lantern I’d only minutes before taken from Holmes. Climbing inside, I called, “Holmes.” He was nowhere to be found. I was answered only by silence.

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