A Review by JOE R. LANSDALE:          


MICHAEL KURLAND – The Infernal Device.   Signet J8492, paperback original; 1st printing, January 1979.   [Finalist for an Edgar and nominated for an American Book Award.]

MICHAEL KURLAND The Infernal Device

   Professor Moriarty saved us all!

   At least that’s Michael Kurland’s report in The Infernal Device, a new departure from the Holmes and Holmes influenced stories. The Infernal Device deals with the truth behind that diabolical mastermind, the so-called Napoleon of Crime, Professor James Moriarty.

   It seems that the Russians — even then — were menacing not only The Empire, but all of the free world, with their nefarious schemes and dastardly deeds. This particular case in which Holmes is involved, peripherally at least, is no exception.

   But even before Holmes is involved in the case, the government of England has sought the aid of none other than the greatest mastermind of them all, James Moriarty. Of course, Moriarty is so clever, that although it is well known that he is the mastermind behind considerable wrong doing, there is no proof.

   But this, or so sees the Empire, is the edge. A master criminal against a master criminal. Moriarty against that Russian fiend, Trepoff.

   And terror of terrors, Trepoff is such a fiend, it takes the (gulp) unbelievable to stop him. The uniting of the greatest minds in Europe. The teaming of none other than Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes.

   Ain’t that a corker.

   Frankly, I for one, don’t believe a word of it. Moriarty is not a nice guy. Not even for money. Shame, shame, shame on Kurland for telling these lies.

   But it is an interesting, if a bit over long, book, and worth the 1.95 paperback price.

From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 3, No. 3, May/June 1979.



Editorial Comment:   Following my review of Michael Kurland’s The Empress of India (2006), a later Holmes and Moriarty adventure, I added a complete mystery-oriented bibliography for him here.