Rendezvous at the Populaire by Kate Workman puts us into familiar territory; the world of the Phantom of the Opera. This has been a happy hunting ground for pastiche writers, Sam Siciliano springs to mind. What we have here is a stripped down version, the tale being told in a straightforward and exciting manner. Holmes and Watson are perfectly drawn and it's refreshing to see Watson fully involved; I felt the 'Phantom' novels of Siciliano and Nicholas Meyer both suffered by Watson's absence from the main events. The Holmes of this tale is a vulnerable man, injured and doubting himself, but of course rises to the occasion, particularly in the fight scene with Erik. For fans of the Canon this is more satisfying than previous pastiches on this theme, its heart is in the right place and it is an undeniably exciting read.