A solitary spy slips into Turkey during World War I, to tangle with the German apparatus and find his brother's killer.
The Case of the Reluctant Agent

Historical Mystery
Sequel to Chronicles of the Lost Years

Outline Author's note
Casting the movie

Read an excerpt



Holmes must travel to Constantinople as a British operative to find his brother's killer.

It is 1917 and the Great War has been raging for three long years. Mycroft Holmes grows suspicious of one of his agents who reports back to him from the heart of the Ottoman Empire: Constantinople. Naturally, he wants to send out a man to investigate - one who knows the area, the language, the people, and has an exemplary war service record, including a fourteen-month stint posing as a German officer at the High Command in Berlin. But Sherlock Holmes proves to be, for once, stubbornly reluctant to fulfill his older brother's request.

When Mycroft is shot and left for dead, Sherlock Holmes is forced to go to Constantinople to uncover the man behind the deed. Unfortunately, before he was assaulted, Mycroft failed to communicate which agent was the turncoat.

So begins Holmes' reluctant return to the Near East. Not only does the adventure provoke a bagful of memories both bitter and sweet, but the hunt for the agent who betrayed them unravels with twists and turns and breath-robbing surprises that even Holmes, with all his skills, could never have anticipated.

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Author's note:

The Case of the Reluctant Agent was a double first for me: A sequel, and a book written in response to reader demand. It was also the first book I shaped in response to reader feedback -- I tested the first few chapters with dedicated Sherlockian readers and other readers who had contact me about the first book.

As I plotted the book I was very aware of the readers out there waiting for it, and worked very hard to make it a true mystery, one that would not be figured out in an instant. I laid in switches, surprises, anything that would keep the reader on their toes.

So I had a small fit when I saw the first cover art files. For any reader who had read Chronicles of the Lost Years, the cover gave part of the story away, and completely ruined one of my better surprises. But the marketing forces of the publishing industry prevailed: Sales reps liked the cover, so the cover would stay. Regardless, the book was enormous fun to write, and apparently just as much fun to read because no-one has come back to me to gripe about the give-away cover.

-- Tracy.

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Casting the Movie...

I often get asked who I would cast in the movie of my book, if it should ever come to pass, so just for fun:

Movie producer's pitch:
The English Patient meets Gallipolli, and Where Eagles Dare. The twists and reversals keep piling up.

Casting call:

Sherlock Holmes: Daniel Day Lewis.

Elizabeth Sigerson: Julianne Moore.

Dr. Watson: Denholm Elliott.

Mycroft Holmes: Oliver Platt.

Von Stein: Jason Isaacs

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