It is February, 1912 and Sherlock Holmes is called out of retirement by brother Mycroft, acting on behalf of the British Government, to investigate a break-in at the Norfolk home of a wealthy German financier. Holmes is soon at work dismantling a German spy ring, but the investigation becomes clouded by his suspicions concerning Mycroft’s pivotal role in events.
What agenda is Mycroft pursuing? What is the truth behind the loss of the fishing vessels the Misty Jane and the Yarmouth Adventuress in the North Sea? And why is the Royal Navy seemingly operating incognito along the Norfolk coast? Before long a number of disparate events crystallise to reveal a dangerous conspiracy.
As the story unfolds against the background of an International Opium Conference, Holmes and Watson find themselves embroiled in espionage and arms smuggling in the tense period leading up to the First World War.