Pub Date 07 Nov 2017
"OUR MOST TALENTED HISTORICAL MYSTERY WRITER TODAY." --ANDREW GULLI, STRAND MAGAZINE
"A TWIST-FILLED ADVENTURE." --THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"THE GAME IS MOST DEFINITELY AFOOT." --MICK HERRON
London 1909: Vernon Kell, head of counterintelligence at the war office, wants to set up a Secret Service, but to convince his political masters he needs proof of a threat. And to find that proof, he needs an agent he can trust who is smart, ruthless, and able to blend in with the hoi polloi.
As it happens, the man Kell needs is Wiggins. An ex-soldier with a talent for deduction perhaps second only to the Great Detective, Wiggins was a Baker Street Irregular, part of a gang of urchin investigators trained by Holmes himself.
Unfortunately, Wiggins "don't do official," but when his best friend, Bill, is killed by Russian anarchists, Wiggins realizes that accepting the role of secret agent could give him the cover he needs to pursue revenge against Bill's killers.
Tracking down the Russian gang responsible for the murder and assembling a motley network of allies and informants in the process, Wiggins begins to unravel a deadly international conspiracy.
"HB Lyle has found the golden thread between Holmes and Bond in a thriller which engages on every page."
--- Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland
"A thrilling story of espionage, murder and the creation of the Secret Service."
--- Charles Cumming, author of A Divided Spy
"A fine first entry in what promises to be a great new series. Wiggins is a captivating hero, and Lyle draws his Edwardian backstreets in convincing color. The game is most definitely afoot."
--- Mick Herron, author of the Slough House series
"An exciting, action-packed adventure set in London in 1909 . . . takes the Sherlock Holmes legacy in a new and thrilling direction."
--- Stephen Thornley, Shots Magazine
--- Sunday Express
"A flavoursome smorgasbord that features not only Holmes but also Winston Churchill, this is irresistible stuff"
--- Barry Forshaw, The Guardian
"Impressive period detail and sharp dialogue add charm to the strong plot"
--- Daily Mail
"It is hard to generate something new in such an avalanche of well-worn tropes, but H.B. Lyle has managed to do that quite cleverly in The Irregular"
--- Crime Time
"A fast-moving, hugely enjoyable story with interesting characters and authentic background... It is the first of a series, and I look forward to the sequels"
--- Historical Novel Society