ARTHUR H LEWIS
Pocket Books, New York, 1972
(price: 95 cents; 246 pages)
(first published by Trident Press in 1971)
This book is for Ken Souser, my Copper Beech sponsor, and for Charlie Howland, Jim Montgomery (who claimed kinship with Irene Adler), A Carson Simpson, Joseph W Spelman, MS, and all my other fellow Sons who have withdrawn from active membership on our rolls to join Mr Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, MD, and Mrs Hudson, wherever they are.
The blurb on the back:
The Sons of the Copper Beeches is a society that exists solely 'to perpetuate the legend that Mr Sherlock Holmes is not a legend.'
Imagine, then, the organization's outrage when Colonel H Wesley Eberhardt - one of their own members - declares that without Doyle's generous clues 'Holmes couldn't have found a missing guppy in a fish pond.' To prove the Colonel wrong, the Sons decide to have a 'Chase'. They will allow the Colonel and his wife three days in which to disappear, then track them down, using only the Master's detecting methods. But the chase which begins good-naturedly soon develops into something far more dangerous. And before it's over, the Sons are involved with another missing person, a very strange undertaker,a headless corpse and a full-scale manhunt.
Read those cover notes. Remembering this is American and it dates from 1971, does it sound like it's going to be any good? Precisely.