Agent of the Empire:Mycroft Holmes is more than a simple agent of Her Majesty’s government—his immense mind calculates and guides the entire political and economic agenda of the British Empire.Paterson Guthrie, Mycroft’s secretary, accompanies his employer to secret negotiations with the Japanese, intended to secure England’s position in Japanese-controlled waters. But many highly placed Englishmen do not wish to ally themselves with a people they consider inferior, and the Japanese are wary of close ties with a society they find increasingly hostile. And why is the flirtatious Miss Gatspy, sometimes spy, sometimes assassin, lurking around the embassy—is she after information, or she after Guthrie?Despite misunderstandings and suspicious “accidents,” the agreement is near completion. But the night the papers are to be signed and sealed, a British diplomat firmly opposed to the negotiations is found dead with a Japanese dagger in his back. Mycroft and Guthrie must solve his murder, expose the agitators behind it, and see to the finalization of the agreement—without finding themselves on the wrong end of the knife.FROM THE PERSONAL JOURNAL OF PHILIP TYERS:Sutton has finally put Webster’s tragedy aside and is now taking his tea in the study. He asked me to join him, but I am determined to remain at my post, watching those who are without doubt observing this building. Much as I have tried to dismiss it, I have a growing sense of apprehension that has become more acute with every passing hour. I have recommended to Sutton that he avoid sitting near the windows, for it may be that those who are set to observe us have something more than observations alone in their plans.The messenger from the Admiralty arrived this afternoon with a small case of documents for M H to examine tonight regarding the current political situation in India. I have put this away against M H’s return tonight. I expect the contents will demand a good portion of M H’s time this evening.There is also another missive from Baker Street, this one confirming the first report, that none of the street gangs were involved in the attack on M H and G. This has provided me less comfort than I might have wished. Note:This use of the character of Mycroft Holmes is done with the kind permission of Dame Jean Conan Doyle.