The Case of the Cosmological Killer: The Rendlesham Incident (Displaced Detective, #3) By Stephanie Osborn

I enjoy this series, and this installment is pretty interesting. We get to see more of the multiverse and get a classic murder mystery! I can't wait to read the next installment to see how it all ends. 1606191934 Originally published at Reading Reality

I’m going to combine my reviews of books three and four in Stephanie Osborn’s Displaced Detective series because they read as one “case” even though they were divided into two books. The stop between book 3 in the series; The Rendlesham Incident and book 4; The Case of the Cosmological Killer: Endings and Beginnings, felt a tad artificial to me. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

And if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, and you enjoy Sherlock Holmes adaptations, start with The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival and The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed, previously reviewed. (A new omnibus edition including all 4 ebooks has just been released to make this easier) The game is definitely and marvelously afoot!

The case that Holmes and Chadwick have to solve is quite marvelously convoluted; a farmer in Suffolk, England has died of fright during a UFO encounter. The whole thing is of course patently ridiculous, and yet, the man is quite definitely dead.

And the whatever it is, UFO or not, is showing up on radar and all sorts of other high-tech instrumentation, moving at speeds that current aircraft, even top-secret military aircraft, are simply not capable of. Something is going on that is making some alphabet agencies extremely nervous. There are secret intelligence bases under the green fields of Suffolk, and that “UFO” is spooking MI-5 and MI-6. These are not the kind of people who enjoy being nervous. They much prefer making other people nervous.

The Intelligence services do something, well, intelligent. They request that Holmes and Chadwick come to Suffolk to investigate these strange happenings.

So they re-direct their honeymoon trip to London into an investigative trip to Suffolk. And thereby hangs a case. As well as a book or two.

And if you, like me, think that one version of Holmes is fun, just wait until you try it with two!

Escape Rating B: This series is solidly fun. If you enjoy Holmes’ stories, it’s an absolute blast. This one reads like an action-adventure story with romance added to give it flavor, and there were a few points where I expected a version of Indiana Jones to show up just for more fun.

The first half of the Rendlesham Incident is mostly taken up with wedding and honeymoon arrangements and the romantic aspects of the relationship between Holmes and Chadwick. I enjoyed that part, it’s the payoff for having watched them struggle to figure out whether they could manage a relationship. While it takes up a lot of book, I would have felt cheated if these issues hadn’t been resolved.

Also, it was a great setup for introducing the other version of Holmes and Chadwick, the ones who didn’t figure out how to have a romantic partnership, and just how badly they screwed up their lives. The fact that in their continuum, they didn’t avert the sabotage and made their world much messier only adds to their stress, but we get to see different versions of the relationship.

Also the sabotaged continuum resulted in a sabotaged tesseract which is having a ripple effect across spacetime. It’s case number one, so we see the two couples working together to avert one major crises while watching each other to see what might have been in its various permutations. This part is excellent.

Then we have the crazy case of the man who supposedly died of fright. This one turns out to be of very worldly motivations. No, he didn’t die of fright, he died of radiation poisoning. Holmes has to investigate the source of the radiation. What got buried in Suffolk during World War II and what certain idiots think got buried in Suffolk during WWII are quite dangerous worlds apart. This case was the point where I was half expecting Indiana Jones.

What I got was Dr. John H. Watson. His appearance was marvelous and sweet and amazing. But it slightly tripped my willing suspension of disbelief meter. Both Moriarty and Watson were real in this universe but not Holmes. I’m not sure Holmes would take that case.

But I still enjoyed every flick of every page, so I’m thrilled there will be more. 1606191934 The Case of the Cosmological Killer: The Rendlesham Incident by Stephanie Osborn is brilliantly written, as has everything else been in this series. There is so much going on in this episode, that it was very difficult to even look away. A sweet holiday wedding, then honeymoon lead Skye and Holmes into another mystery. But Osborn isn't satisfied with that, they also need to have an impending continua catastrophe to keep things even more tense. This is my favorite episode so far because we spent more time getting to know the characters and what makes them tick. 1606191934 How in the world is she ever going to merge these two plot lines?
That was my thought, as I began 'The Rendlesham Incident.' Strange things, zipping through the skies in England; meanwhile, back in Colorado....
And then it turns out not to be TWO plot lines, but THREE: An old geezer is found dead just off the road.
With burns....
Okay, here's the old plot: old geezer sees the UFO, gets sunburn from the glowing exhaust (Close Encounters of the Sun Screen Kind) and orbital mind control lasers, exploding spaceships, girls in metal bikinis...
HA! NONE of that happens. NONE! I am SO not going to tell you what the relationship is between the UFO sighting and the dead geezer, but if you think Stephanie Osborn is going to fall into THAT trap, you haven't been paying attention.
However, we DO have two very distinct investigations going on, and both of them rely on both of the investigators: Sherlock Holmes, and his new wife, Skye Chadwick-Holmes. The geezer death is primarily the investigative property of Mr. Holmes; the UFO, and the opening of another link between alternate worlds, is primarily that of Mrs. Chadwick-Holmes. However, SHE makes contributions to HIS work, and HE makes contributions to HERS. And they both get stressed out, and they have a little marital opportunity-for-discord because of hard work, but if you are expecting soap opera whining, you won't get it here. Instead, you get mature and responsible adults, who are both capable of understanding the demands placed on their partner, and have the ability to talk. They are, fortunately, neither one of them codgers.
As it happens, I recently had the opportunity to view a young man pour vitriol over another episode in this storyline, pouting and ranting because the characters weren't behaving in ways that HE felt they should behave. He may, in fact, be quite the authority on how mythical figures truly behave when transported from the past into the future (because that happens a lot). For those who AREN'T operating under such a disability of informed expertise, the development of a new social skill set may seem to be appropriate. But, what do WE know? Well, we (and by we, I mean Stephanie Osborn) know how to write a great revenge scene. Holmes and Skye are visiting a Holmes museum in London, curated by one Mr. Soames. Holmes is struck by how true to life it seems, particularly since it is (in this timeline) something that never existed, apart from the fiction of Doyle.
Almost absent-mindedly, he repositions the Persian slipper containing his pipe tobacco to its' correct place on the mantle, only to be lambasted by Mr. Soames. 'How can we keep things in their proper place if every ignoramus insists on moving things about! ' (umm, not an exact quote)
Quite properly, in the book, Soames is put in his place, not only about this, but about the Sherlock-Skye marriage. And, thus chastised, he repents.
This is revenge of which I approve: write your critics into a book, and let them have what's coming to them!
Without going into Spoiler Land, I can't really divulge the second great method of the author's in showing the essential nature of Holmes' growth, but you will recognize it when you read it. Good experiments have a control.
You aren't going to be content with this third volume without reading the fourth, so get that as well. Or get the omnibus. 1606191934

summary The Case of the Cosmological Killer: The Rendlesham Incident (Displaced Detective, #3)

In 1980, RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge were plagued by UFO sightings that were never solved. Now a resident of Suffolk has died of fright during a new UFO encounter. On holiday in London, Sherlock Holmes and Skye Chadwick-Holmes are called upon by Her Majesty's Secret Service to investigate the death. What is the UFO? Why does Skye find it familiar? Who - or what - killed McFarlane? And how can the pair do what even Her Majesty's Secret Service could not? The Case of the Cosmological Killer: The Rendlesham Incident is the third book in an exciting and popular science fiction and mystery series. The Case of the Cosmological Killer: The Rendlesham Incident (Displaced Detective, #3)