Shadowwraith

20 Jan

“Shadowwraith” is the last of the Sun and Shadow books by Tracy Revels.

A ‘ghost’ leaving gifts for a distraught young woman starts off a terrifying case that rockets from Whitechapel to the famous crypts in Palermo, Sicily and sees Sherlock Holmes’s immortal soul in peril.

“Shadowwraith” is every bit as exciting and thrilling as the two previous books.

Even with the supernatural nature of the book, Holmes and Watson are very traditionally drawn and the friendship is strong. The supporting characters are well-drawn and interesting. Dr. Revels’s depiction of Mrs. Hudson is a delight.

As with the other books, historical figures abound. I can’t say whom without given too much away, but Dr. Revels’s gives life to characters long dead – in more ways than one!

I highly recommend this book.

You can buy the book (and the previous two) directly from MX Publishing

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Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon

3 Jan

Any book that has the opening words: “Father Christmas! Halt right there!” is bound to be interesting.

In “Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon”, by James Lovegrove, Eve Allerthorpe arrives to consult Holmes with a haunting tale of demons and death, leading to Holmes and Watson journeying to Yorkshire in search of the mysterious Christmas Demon – Black Thurrick.

The story is fast paced and interesting, with a cast of entertaining characters. A lively take on the house party trope.

James Lovegrove never fails to create characters that are rich with personality. His Holmes and Watson are also outstanding, with the friendship between the two men shining through strongly.

The ending has enough Christmas cheer to be delightful, without sticking to the palate like overcooked fudge.

Highly recommended.

Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders Goes Italian

20 Dec

My first book “Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders” will be published in an Italian language edition by Mondadori early in 2022.

I am really excited for this. When I first started writing the book, I did not expect it to be published, let alone published in a different language.

The title of the book is “I Delitti Della Notte” (The Crimes of the Night) with the tag “C’e un nuovo Squartatore per le vie di Londra” (There is a new Ripper on the streets of London).

The cover is exciting to look at. I cannot wait to hold a copy in my hand.

Thanks are due to MX Publishing for arranging this publication.

When I have an exact date of publication, I will share it.

Update and Apologies

24 Nov

I know I haven’t done a blog post for awhile and I apologize for this. There is a reason.

The reason is that I have had to find a new place to live as, after fifteen years, my landlord decided that they didn’t want to give me a new lease. I have been frantically trying to find a new flat.

I have found a new flat and I am now trying to pack up, or dispose of, fifteen years worth of accumulated stuff. So much stuff!

I haven’t even had time to begin to read the book that was selected as my next read and review book, James Lovegrove’s “Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon”.

The move takes place in just under three weeks. Hopefully before December is out I will be able to sit down and read the book and do a review for you.

Again, my apologies for the lack of blog posts.

A Curious Beginning

2 Nov

“A Curious Beginning” by Deanna Raybourn is the first in the Veronica Speedwell mysteries.

Miss Veronica Speedwell is almost abducted on the afternoon of her aunt’s funeral. A mysterious German baron comes to her aid.

This is the start of a rollicking story that bounces from adventure to adventure like Tigger on a pogo stick.

It’s mostly background setup for the series, but the characters are rounded and interesting.

The heroine is not your usual fainting Victorian damsel, but a strong, intelligent, young woman with a zest for life and a passion for lepidoptery. There is a good range of supporting characters including the grumpy and somewhat enigmatic Stoker.

A fun book. Highly recommended.

The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes

24 Oct

“The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes” by James Lovegrove is a collection of the author’s short stories, most of which have been printed in various anthologies.

I like collections like this, because I get a chance to read stories I may well have missed upon their original publication.

With any anthology there are going to be stories that you don’t like, but also ones that really stand out for you. In “The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes” the stand out stories for me were:

The Adventure of the Marchindale Stiletto
The Strange Case of Dr Sacker and Mr Hope (originally published in one of my favourite anthologies “Gaslight Gothic))
Pure Swank
A Bauble in Scandinavia.

The last mentioned story being one that gives Watson a mystery of his own. It’s complex, sweet, and delightful.

One thing I did really love about the anthology was the fact that each story had a separate introduction with interesting facts behind it. Including original publication, and in some cases, the genesis of the idea.

“The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes” is a must read book for all Sherlock Holmes fans.

The Complete History of Jack the Ripper

10 Oct

“The Complete History of Jack the Ripper” by Philip Sugden was a frustrating book to read.

On one hand the book was a carefully researched and well written look at the murders, including possible suspects, witness reports, police reports, post mortem reports etc, making the book a fascinating read.

On the other hand, the author spent a lot of time bagging the work of other Ripperologists. I felt that it was detrimental to the book. To me it broke up the information flow and irritated me no end.

If you can ignore that aspect, then the book is a worthwhile read.

The Casebook of Inspector Armstrong Volume One

26 Sep

“The Casebook of Inspector Armstrong Volume One” is written by Martin Daley and published by MX Publishing.

Inspector Cornelius Armstrong is a police inspector in the Northern English city of Carlisle in the Edwardian period.

The book contains two stories:
“The Italian Murder” in which Armstrong investigates the murder of a young Italian immigrant, and
“King Edward’s Ghost” in which ghost stories told at Christmas lead Armstrong into a case of deceit and betrayal going back to the reign of Kind Edward I.

Both stories are excellent reads. They are well-plotted and fast-paced, and salted with interesting historical details. “King Edward’s Ghost” had a slight supernatural frisson that just adds to the story’s depth and delight.

I am looking forward to reading Martin Daley’s other Inspector Armstrong stories.

Highly recommended.

“The Casebook of Inspector Armstrong Volume One” is available directly from MX Publishing

Wobble to Death

19 Sep

A six-day “Go As You Please” footrace, otherwise known as a ‘wobble’, was a strange phenomenon in the late 19th century. Men basically waled and rested at their own pace along a carefully set out course over a designated time period.

A wobble in Islington, London, is the setting for the first novel about Sergeant Wally Cribb on the London Metropolitan Police.

Peter Lovesey wrote this delightful book for a novel writing competition, which it won.

“Wobble to Death” is a well plotted, well written, crime story with lots of suspects and a satisfying conclusion.

While Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes got me interested in crim fiction, it was Peter Lovesey’s Sgt Cribb who lead me to expand my interest further into the Victorian era.

Although the book is well over 50 years old, it is still a crisp and delightful read. If you want to read it, it is still in print and available from Book Depository.

Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen

11 Sep

“Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen” is written by Wendy Heyman-Marsaw. The book comprises thoughts, recipes, & memoirs from the long-running column published in the Sherlockian journal ‘Canadian Holmes’.

This collection is publishing by MX Publishing and illustrated with lovely old advertisements.

The book talks about how the column started and how the book came about.

There are loads of interesting facts, not to mention some absolutely delicious recipes, several which I intend to at least attempt to cook.

This delightful little book is so interesting and so useful that it has earned a permanent place in my research library.

Highly recommended for all those with an interest in the world of Sherlock Holmes and in life during the Victorian period.

The book is available directly from MX Publishing: Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen

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