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A contemporary Sherlock Holmes, the eccentric Bernie Quist is a consultant detective in the city of York.
Christmas is days away and once again the reclusive sleuth will be quietly celebrating alone. His assistant Watson, a teenager from the Grimpen housing estate, has other ideas, mostly involving parties, girls and beer. Yuletide plans are halted when three chemists die and the fiancé of one hires them to look into her apparent suicide. After discovering the chemist wasn’t engaged, they’re drawn into the mystery when their employer is killed. Added to this, Watson has a puzzle of his own - Quist is clearly hiding something and he’s curious to know what. The investigation leads to a shady cartel of northern businessmen, a forgotten Egyptian cult and an ancient evil lurking in the medieval alleyways of York. Quist’s secret is also revealed, and Watson doesn’t know what terrifies him the most.