Michael Chabon’s previous novel, Summerland, was a sprawling fantasy set in another world, brimming with baseball and magic. This novella is a much tighter affair, and the only magic around is that of the human brain. But it has a dreamlike vividness which turns an everyday murder story into something enchanted.
The detective at the heart of the story is never named, but the clues are all there. It is the late 1930s. The great Sherlock Holmes is still alive, now old and physically wasted. Ogre-like, he inhabits a junk-filled cottage, where he keeps bees and ruminates on the past. He