Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part

9 Aug

To many people the name ‘Jeremy Brett’ is synonymous with Sherlock Holmes.  His performance as the Great Detective in the Granada production made him a household name around the world.  But there was much more to Jeremy than Sherlock Holmes, and Maureen Whittaker in her monumental undertaking “Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part” demonstrates that at great length.

From Jeremy’s childhood in Warwickshire, to his years on the stage, his sojourn in Hollywood, to Sherlock Holmes, and to his final cameo role in “Moll Flanders”, Maureen gives us a wonderful in depth look at the life and career of this fabulously talented actor.

The book is large and packed with many photos that have not been seen before.  A beautiful foreword by Jeremy’s first Watson, David Burke, just adds to the delight.

Published by MX Publishing, Maureen Whittaker’s magnum opus is a testament to both the talent of Jeremy Brett and the love that so many people still have for him.

One thing that I really loved about this book was Maureen’s refusal to include gossip.  Everything in this book came from a substantiated source, resulting in a book that is both honest and respectful.

Well written and impeccably researched, “Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part” deserves a spot in the collection of every Holmesian.

I would like to thank Steve Emecz at MX Publishing for giving me a copy to review.

Link to Book: https://mxpublishing.com/products/jeremy-brett-playing-a-part-colour-paperback-edition?_pos=3&_sid=24525ff33&_ss=r

Sherlock Holmes and the House of Pain

16 Jul

One of the greatest gifts Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave to pastiche writers was a list of unrecorded cases, such as Merridew of the Abominable Memory, and the Case of the Politician, the Lighthouse and the Trained Cormorant. All ideas that pastiche writers have latched on to and given their take on Doyle’s carelessly chucked out gems.

In “Sherlock Holmes and the House of Pain”, by Stephen Seitz, the case in question is arguably the most famous: The Giant Rat of Sumatra.

A female missionary goes missing in London’s notorious East End, where rats of unusual size have been spotted. When Watson persuades Holmes to take on the case, the scene is set for an interesting story indeed.

Stephen Seitz’s use of H. G. Wells’ Dr. Moreau, as well as Arthur Conan Doyle’s other well known character, Professor Challenger, creates a nightmarish story of science gone mad.

The relationship between Holmes and Watson is a little uneven, but works well on the whole. I felt too much of the story revolved around Challenger, but that is a personal preference, seeing as I have never taken to the character of Professor Challenger.  Other readers will no doubt feel differently.

A fast paced and, above all, interesting take on the “story for which the world is not yet prepared”.  If you would like to read it, “Sherlock Holmes and the House of Pain” is available directly from the publisher, MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/sherlock-holmes-and-the-house-of-pain?_pos=1&_sid=490849197&_ss=r

Dead Ringers: Sherlock Holmes Stories

25 Jun

50609507._SY475_“Dead Ringers” (published by MX Publishing) is a volume of short stories from the pen of noted Sherlockian Robert Perret and is quite a treat.

The stories have all been published in a wide variety of publications and it is nice to have them all collected together in one volume.

Robert Perret’s style is tight and firm and the stories fairly bounce along. Perret’s Holmes rarely jars, and the relationship between Holmes and Watson is solid gold.

Writers sometimes concentrate so hard on Holmes and Watson that other canonical characters suffer. Not in these stories: Lestrade, Gregson, Mrs. Hudson, and others are all as well rounded, and the original characters solid and believable.

With any anthology there will be stories of greater and lesser appeal to each reader. For me, the absolute stand out stories were:

The Mystery of the Change of Art
The Adventure of the Pharaoh’s Tablet
The Adventure of the Twofold Purpose.

The latter story was my favourite; its gothic overtones making for quite a chilling tale.

An excellent volume of stories to while away a cold winter’s evening. Highly recommended.

Link to Book: https://mxpublishing.com/products/dead-ringers-sherlock-holmes-stories?_pos=2&_sid=3471def3a&_ss=r

Ghost Story

31 May

“Ghost Story” by G. V. Pearce is the latest book from Improbable Press. I was given a copy of the book by the editor to read and review.

“Ghost Story” is a Sherlock Holmes/John Watson story with a twist. It is set in the modern day and the pair are married. If that sort of thing isn’t your bag, then don’t bother reading on.

“Ghost Story” is a delightful tale of deduction, deceit, and death.

The characters are well-rounded and fleshed out. Pearce’s characterizations of Holmes and Watson are excellent. The author supplies some lovely back story. I particularly loved the reason that Holmes, though an excellent violinist, is banned from playing in orchestras.

There are several scenes where the creepy-factor is through the roof. The first one in a cave when John was a boy; the other in an abandoned house. Pearce’s ability to manipulate atmosphere put me very much in mind of M. R. James.

The only thing to I didn’t care for was the way the story flipped about time-wise, going back and forth from the present day to the past. This isn’t a criticism as such, merely that I prefer stories to be linear. But that is on me, not the author.

“Ghost Story” is an excellent read and I am hoping for more stories from G. V. Pearce in the future.

If you want to read this delightful book for yourself it is available via the publisher:

Ghost Story

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Quintette of Questions: Margaret Walsh — Narrelle M Harris: writer and crafter

7 May

 

Today I’m asking Margaret Walsh 5 questions about her latest book! 1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title? My latest book is Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Perplexed Politician. It was very hard to pick a title, because everything else I came up with…

via Quintette of Questions: Margaret Walsh — Narrelle M Harris: writer and crafter

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Perplexed Politician

16 Apr

My second book, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Perplexed Politician” is released today.

It is available directly from the publisher, MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/sherlock-holmes-the-case-of-the-perplexed-politician?fbclid=IwAR0Xy74SeUc3o4maqWBV0Jhm51xo2M9Rq3E1uGXndTMFRRrLyYBD3GpmJgw

But also from Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, and the various Amazon sites worldwide.

“When the fiancé of the sister of a Member of Parliament is found dead in mysterious circumstances, the man turns to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson to get an answer to the puzzle. Journeying to the small Wiltshire village of Barrow-upon-Kennet, Holmes and Watson are soon deep into a murder investigation. With few clues and a mounting death toll, Holmes and Watson realize that they are facing something much more sinister than a perplexed politician.”

A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure.

29 Jan

I thought 2019 was a good year, with my first novel, “Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders” released by MX Publishing.  2020 looks to be even better.

I am delighted to announce that on 16th April 2020 my second Sherlock Holmes novel, “Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Perplexed Politician” will be released by MX Publishing.

“When the fiancé of the sister of a Member of Parliament is found dead in mysterious circumstances, the man turns to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson to get an answer to the puzzle.  Journeying to the small Wiltshire village of Barrow-upon-Kennet, Holmes and Watson are soon deep into a murder investigation.  With few clues and a mounting death toll, Holmes and Watson realize that they are facing something much more sinister than a perplexed politician.”

Has the blurb whetted your appetite?  I hope so.  As soon as I have pre-order details I will share them with you.

 

Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders Released

27 Oct

 

My debut novel, “Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders” was published last week by MX Publishing.

It is available in paperback from a variety of sources as well as being available on Kindle.

If you like Sherlock Holmes and thrilling stories, please do consider giving my book a try.

A Baskerville Curse

10 Oct

The combination of Sherlock Holmes and Lego isn’t one that naturally occurs to most people.  It is, however, a truly delightful one.  “A Baskerville Curse: Another Sherlock Holmes Alphabet” by P. James Macaluso Jr., tells the story of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in a simple A-Z format using Lego.  The result is a charming and whimsical book that should delight Sherlock Holmes fans and children alike.

The book is soon to be published by MX Publishing, and this Sherlock Holmes fan plans to add a copy to her collection as soon as it becomes available.

If you would like to make this book a reality, please consider supporting the kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mxpublishing/a-baskerville-curse-sherlock-holmes-re-imagined?fbclid=IwAR22WcWjxvKBVRP1pkwDmKBwDFoiybRX2Ip_8hwKajcdQ_7_qaYfvmDMezs

Below is an illustration from the book: W is for Witness.  Holmes and Watson talk to Mrs. Laura Lyons.W is for Witness

Getting to Know Margaret Walsh

25 Sep

It was a delight to be interviewed by Geri. If you haven’t already done so, follow her blogs and read her books.

Geri Schear

I’m always happy to welcome a new MX author. I can’t believe there are more than 100 of us now. One of the most recent to join us is Margaret Walsh. I recently had a chance to get to know her a little better. Here’s what she told me:

Tell us a little about yourself, Margaret.

I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and moved to Melbourne, Australia in my late twenties, where I currently live.

I started writing when I was a child. My first published work was a poem in the children’s pages of the New Zealand Women’s Weekly! My real interest in writing stories was fired by the 1970s BBC series “Blake’s 7” for which I wrote several short stories, none of which survive. After that I mostly just kept a journal and wrote a few poems before I really caught the fan fiction bug with the…

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