When two boys find a body inside their snowman, unwittingly uncovering a fiendish plot, they run for their lives. One of them, Harry, has the fortune to encounter Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax, the Paternoster Gang. Can The Great Detective and her cohorts uncover the mystery of how the woman ended up inside the snowman and who killed her?
This short story features three of my favorite Doctor Who supporting cast members, Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax, in an adventure in Victorian London. They are well-written and true to their TV counterparts. Strax is just as unintentionally hilarious as he is on television.
The story proves to be much more complicated than originally suspected but the Great Detective is up to the challenge. More than once, I wished the powers that be would devote a Doctor Who special solely to the Paternoster Gang.
The only fault I can find with Devil in the Smoke is that it was very short. I'd gladly fork over some quid for a full length adventure featuring Madame Vastra and company.
Sontar-Ha! Four out of five stars.