An intriguing premise: the last case of an elderly, retired to the coast Sherlock Holmes, investigates the disappearance of a parrot repeating some sort of number code, set against the backdrop of the Second World War and the Holocaust. Holmes is never mentioned by name but from his first appearance in the book its very clear it is the great detective being coaxed back to life. While well drawn and never less than engaging, my reading was frustrated by two things, Chabon’s tendency to have key action take place between chapters and the absence of a Watson figure telling the story. Chabon could have used his shifting p.o.v. to show those things that an account by Watson would have had to exclude if he were at present at the time. By subtracting Watson but also failing to show key events Chabon avoids using the best his chosen tools offer the narrative. Though in places slightly frustrating, an enjoyable read.