It must have been nearly an hour later that I became aware of Holmes, sitting on a stump and tossing his jackknife repeatedly into the tree next to him.
Is it always so grey and awful at the end of a case?
He didn't answer me for a minute, then rose abruptly and stood looking down the road towards the house with the plane trees. When he looked around at me there was a painful smile on his lips.
Not always. Just usually.
The first in a series of novels starring Mary Russell and a retired Sherlock Holmes, now living (more or less) quietly on the Sussex Downs. The mysteries aren't especially complex, but that's not really the point; it's all about the characters, and the story is beautifully written.
This is another of those books where I'd ordered the next half-dozen in the series before reaching the end — thoroughly recommended.