The Oval, 1882.
WG Grace, the great champion of England cricket, and Fred 'The Demon' Spofforth, that diabolical Australian bowler, are locked in a titanic tussle as England and Australia play out a thriller of a match.
That was the day when giants clashed, sparks flew and it resulted in the lore of The Ashes.
We know all about that.
But, it has seldom been revealed that in the pavilion on that famous August day sat Sherlock Holmes, his services recruited by Charles W Alcock, Secretary of the Surrey County Cricket Club. After a century and a third thereof, the facts of the matter have finally been made public; Dr John Watson's account of the sensational events have at long last seen the light of the day.
We are taken on a journey of knuckle-cracking, nail-biting cricket action along with suspense, tension, villainy and death, and the Birth of the Ashes.
In this intricate tale of mystery and cricket, much of the described action and dialogues are scrupulously accurate and did take place at The Oval on that day. The narrative also remains faithful to the timeline, personal characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the Holmes canon.
A gourmet treat for the lovers of Sherlock Holmes, mystery stories, as well as a delight for the cricket fans.
Stephen Chalke: "The whole idea of the book is a delight, and Sengupta has gone about the writing of it with great playfulness which appealed to me very much. He has also mastered the language of a Holmes story and the period detail, not to mention all the cricketing history. I am most impressed."
David Frith: "I found it richly entertaining. I was on full alert throughout for historical inaccuracies - not necessarily expecting them, though the author's undertaking was fraught with risk. It rang true throughout. The fidelity to personality (such as we know it) was so pleasing. He knows his stuff."