I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I love period mysteries of all sorts, but nothing quite beats the acid tone and deliciously complex mind games of Holmesian cases. Ruse beautifully plays with the Holmes mythology, featuring a razor sharp but emotionally distant detective, Simon Archard, and his beautiful and equally witty partner, Emma Bishop. Note that Ruse avoids one of the major problems with Holmes’ world: the lack of admirable women. Set in Partington, on the planet Arcadia, a world very much like Victorian England, with slight differences–the magic here is real, gargoyles swarm the city rather like pigeons. Fighting equally wonderful villains, from the bewitchingly seductive Miranda Cross (Archard’s Moriarty, perhaps?) to Archard’s devious ex-partner, Ruse is replete with worddplay, action, magic, and, of course, feats of deduction Holmes would, if not embrace, acknowledge with an eloquent eyebrow.