In 1868, teenaged Sherlock Holmes discovers that his American tutor is hunting a notorious killer who was supposedly killed by the United States government, but who is apparently alive and well in Surrey, England.
Sherlock and John Wilkes Booth
Sherlock is enjoying a quiet life with his aunt and uncle when his brother Mycroft shows up. Mycroft doesn't really want to talk to Sherlock; he's more interested in discussing the possibility that John Wilkes Booth has gotten out of Japan and is now in England with Sherlock's American tutor, Amyus Crowe. In his typical fashion, Sherlock goes off to investigate the house where Booth supposedly is holed up, and ends up sending the group packing... with his friend Matty in tow. Mycroft decides that in order to catch Booth and his cronies, Sherlock, Amyus and his daughter, Virginia will go to the US. Off they go on a boat, but of course they are being watched. Sherlock manages to dispatch that spy, and the trio land in New York. There, they have a lot of luck and manage to find Matty, but eventually get captured by the crazed Duke Balthassar, who is using leeches to manage his rare blood disease. Balthassar is the one who is trying to use Booth to rally pockets of Confederate sympathizers, and has managed to rally an army in Canada. When the US government finds out about this, they are willing to use the new technology of balloon travel to bomb the troops, but Sherlock believes there has been enough death. Can he stop the destruction and save his friends? What will Mycroft think? And will Sherlock ever get to kiss Virginia? Perhaps we'll get to find out in the next book, Black Ice.