"The Hound of Justice" By Claire O’Dell: Review/Giveaway

by Terrance McArthur

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of this book and a link to purchase it.

What if…Holmes and Watson were Black women?
What if…Holmes was a super-secret government agent?
What if…Watson was a lesbian?
What if…Watson had a cybernetic prosthetic arm?
What if…there was a New Civil War?

That would be the world of Claire O’Dell’s The Hound of Justice, the second book in The Jane Watson Chronicles, the follow-up to A Study in Honor.

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A presidential inauguration is disrupted by “confederate” terrorists and an attempted assassination, and Adler Industries is involved with new weaponry (In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories, Irene Adler was the only person ever to best the detective. Sara Holmes investigates…and disappears. Watson, while trying to get approved to perform surgery with her new arm, is recruited by one of Sara’s relatives to help Holmes in enemy territory.
Image Source Harper Voyager

It’s a convoluted, intricate plot where African Americans in rebel territory are either subservient or freedom fighters…or both. The rebellion is along Red State/Blue State lines, often blamed on the Trump presidency and red hats. Allies can turn on you, there is danger at every turn, and Nadine Adler is more of a Moriarty, responsible for the deaths of many troops and civilians…and she’s why Watson lost an arm.

Watson’s romance with a bookseller is low-key, tentative, and far from consummated. This entry in the new canon is focused on Watson, just as The Hound of the Baskervilles had a minimum of Holmes (O’Dell’s title is a nod to Doyle, and A Study in Honor name-checked the first Sherlock story, A Study in Scarlet). It’s less detection and gathering clues than techno-thriller journey, with a lot of angst on Watson’s part.

Janet feels that she doesn’t deserve her job or her adaptive hardware or the fancy apartment she shared with Holmes; she frets about her feelings for her Lady of the Bookstore, and she gets flashbacks to her late mentor and the war. Her return to surgery keeps getting set back, her therapist can’t be told many things that have national security implications, and both sides of the war seem to dislike people of color. There is very little male presence in the story—mostly memories of the medical mentor, and slimy characters that could have stepped out of Deliverance.

The Hound of Justice
is political, it deals with many kinds of obsession, and it will send you back to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle again and again (which is a good thing).

To enter to win a copy of The Hound of Justice, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “justice" or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 14, 2019. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast featuring mystery short stories and first chapters read by actors. A new one went up this week featuring a Christmas mystery short story by Donna Andrews.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Opens to author website

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Librarian in Fresno County, California. He is also a storyteller, puppeteer, magician, and maker of pine needle baskets. On top of that he writes stories that range from rhymed children's tales to splatterpunk horror. He's an odd bird, but he's nice to have around.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I enjoyed A Study in Honor so much and am so very excited to read The Hound of Justice <3


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