Return to the Wild Frontier is the sequel to Sherlock Holmes on the Wild Frontier. In the first book, they went to the American frontier in search of Cathcart Pettigrew Plymouth, the errant son of a peer. During the search they met a great many individuals, one of which was Foster Keehoe, a trapper running a trading post after losing his leg to a bear. He taught the much younger Holmes sign reading, and Holmes taught him to read and write. He won Holmes’ respect and admiration. 14 years later, Holmes receives a letter from Keehoe asking him to find his daughter and bring her to America. He had married an English woman who left him taking their infant daughter back to England with her. In the intervening years, Keehoe has since found gold and become a wealthy man. It’s no difficult task for Holmes to find Hilda Keehoe; however the difficulty begins on the journey to America as Hilda is nothing like her father and has no admirable qualities whatsoever. Even poor old Watson is at his tether with her. She’s greedy, obnoxious and selfish. When they finally reach Phoenix, Arizona, they learn that Keehoe is dead – tortured and murdered by thieves looking for the map to his gold mine. They learn that Keehoe only brought a small fraction of what was in the mine to town, and the rest was still there for the taking. Hilda of course is devastated at the thought of losing the money, while Holmes and Watson are more concerned about apprehending Keehoe’s killers. Holmes finds the map cleverly concealed by Keehoe and decides the only way to catch the killers is to draw them out with the lure of gold, so undertakes to find the mine. Hilda insists on coming along, despite them trying to dissuade her. It’s the journey from hell for the two Englishmen until in a stopover at a small town, Watson rescues a half breed Indian boy from being maltreated by a brutal blacksmith. In the fight that follows, the blacksmith is killed. The boy—Spotted Deer—is grateful to Watson and refuses to leave his side. They meet the blacksmith’s widow, who is also grateful to Watson, however she is destitute and desperate. Hilda hires her to be her personal maid on the journey. While Holmes is not happy at the thought of another female travelling companion, Watson convinces him that with Emma Hancock on hand, they won’t have to deal with Hilda and her tantrums. That’s enough to change his mind. Spotted Deer tags along in the hope he can save Watson’s life in return. During the arduous journey, Holmes suspicions about Spotted Deer are proven when they find out that his mother was none other than Plump Beaver from Red Feather’s tribe. Names very familiar to Watson, who, in the first book having drawn the losing card was forced to marry the chief’s daughter after she took a fancy to them. They drugged the Indians in the camp but unfortunately for Watson Plump Beaver hadn’t drank the drugged water and so he had to fulfil his marital obligations before escaping, little knowing that a son had been conceived. Watson also becomes smitten with Emma, despite her being 20 years his junior. Holmes, of course, is disgusted by Watson’s behaviour. They experience adventure, danger and excitement along the way until they finally find the mine. In a brutal shootout with the killers they triumph and return to Phoenix with the gold, and with Keehoe’s killers under lock and key. Like the first book there’s a lot of humour, action and adventure, and there is definitely no romance for Holmes in this one. Hilda would turn any man into a bachelor! Holmes is his rude self in this, and as he points out to Watson: “I like it when Hilda gets hysterical, because then I can slap her and no one thinks badly of me.” Even fans of traditional Holmes stories will like this one. Holmes is at his best and worst.