Tag Archives: John Watson

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Beer Barons

29 Aug

“Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Beer Barons” is written by Christopher James and publishhed by MX Publishing.

The delivery of a beer barrel containing the body of a man to 221b Baker Street is the catalyst for a new adventure for Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson. This one takes them to the beer capital of Great Britain – Burton-on-Trent.

The story is fast paced and exciting with a fiendish plot that has more twists and turns than a corkscrew.

One thing I also look for in a Sherlock Holmes pastiche is the relationship between Holmes and Watson. In this book the friendship is rock solid.

There are many interestly and lively characters, including Miss Gertie Cresswell, private detective. Miss Cresswell is wonderfully well rounded and I would love to see her in a book of her own.

All in all an extremely fun read. Highly recommended.

My thanks to MX Publishing for the review copy.

You can get your own copy directly from MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/sherlock-holmes-and-the-adventure-of-the-beer-barons?_pos=1&_sid=c4f7ba5e9&_ss=r

The Peerless Peer

29 Jul

In “The Peerless Peer” by Philip Jose Farmer, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are sent to Africa in WWI on a mission for Mycroft Holmes to aid against the war against Germany. On the way they meet up with the villain from “His Last Bow” – Baron Von Bork, and assorted characters from popular culture & literature, including Lord Greystoke aka Tarzan, the ‘peerless peer’ of the book’s title.

The problem with the “Peerless Peer” for me was that it was impossible to tell whether I was reading pastiche or parody. I felt Holmes and Watson were caricatures, rather than interpretations of the the characters. Both felt horribly wrong to me.

The book was originally published in 1974, and reprinted in 2011 by Titan Books as part of their “Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” series. I rather feel this is one adventure that really didn’t need to be retold. I am sure people will disagree with me, and that is fine. Someone else reading the book may love it, and I really hope they do. It is just that for me, this book did not work.

I’m afraid I was deeply disappointed with this book.

Shadowblood

2 Jun

“Shadowblood” written by Tracy Revels ad published by MX Publishing, is the sequel to “Shadowfall” in which we learned that Holmes is half fae, Watson loses his soul, and then his memories.

In the opening to “Shadowblood” we learn that the events of “Shadowfall” have made Watson extremely ill. The story starts with his convalesence in the country with an old army buddy. But things don’t stay sane for long. The arrival of a nasty neighbour demanding that Holmes be sent for sets of a trail of events that lead Holmes and Watson across Europe and to America in search of a horrific murderer, and also a legend.

Tracy Revels has given as a book just as exciting as her first one. I quite literally read this one in one sitting. Ms Revels writes with warmth and humour, but there is no denying the chills her story generates as well.

As well as her superb Holmes and Watson, Ms Revels sprinkles the book with interesting characters, many of them historical.

If you like your Sherlock Holmes spiced with the supernatural and seasoned with chills, you will love this book.

Highly recommended.

“Shadowblood” is available directly from MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/shadowblood-a-novel-of-sherlock-holmes?_pos=5&_sid=8362b7cd4&_ss=r

The Watson Letters Vol 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes

21 Mar

“The Watson Letters Vol 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes” by Colin Garrow is a quirky and hilarious romp.

The book comprises correspondence between Watson and Holmes (and others), Watson’s diary entries, and some delightful passages that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle could have written. It’s not a narrative as such, but the tale it tells is one that reduced me to tears of helpless laughter on many occasions.

The book is loaded with more double entendres than a Carry On film. Not to mention people historical and fictional. The title is a play on the 1970s movie “The Wicker Man” and, yes, a similar scenario occurs in the book.

“Something Wicker This Way Comes” has a gorgeous weird steampunky vibe and is a truly delightful read. I will be adding the other volumes to my To Be Read list.

Highly recommended.

The Sign of Fear

27 Aug

It’s the tenth anniversary of the publication, by MX Publishing, of “The Sign of Fear” by Molly Carr.

I hadn’t read it before, but relished the opportunity to finally do so.

“The Sign of Fear” is not your typical Holmes and Watson story. The protagonist is Mary Morstan aka Mrs. John Watson.

We learn about the events of the The Sign of Four from her perspective which is greatly different to the story as previously published.

From that start the book jumps into a riot of colourful escapades and adventures with equally colourful characters, including Holmes, Watson, Moriarty, Emily Fanshawe aka Mrs. Neville St Clair, the father of Hercule Poirot, the mother of Miss Jane Marple, Raffles, Bunny, and the youthful Maigret.

“The Sign of Fear” is a delightful romp from start to finish.

Thanks to Steve Emecz at MX Publishing for providing a copy for review.

Sherlock Holmes: The Long Sleep

25 Aug

Those that know me know that I am quite fond of Sherlock Holmes with a side order of weird.

“Sherlock Holmes: The Long Sleep”, by William Meikle serves up an excellent portion of both.

John Watson meets up with an old army comrade at a funeral. The man, Jock Travers, a shadow of himself, tells Watson a tale of terror on the high seas. When Watson relates the story to Holmes, Holmes is keen to investigate and the scene is set for a horror-tinged tale of tomb robbing and its dire results.

William Meikle’s Holmes and Watson are well drawn and the friendship is strong and balanced. Lestrade makes a couple of appearances and is a good, solid character. The original characters, even the minor ones, are well-rounded and feel very real.

An excellent novella that I highly recommend to all lovers of both Sherlock Holmes and weird fiction.

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

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

12 Sep

My first Sherlock Holmes pastiche is now available to pre-order from Amazon USA and Amazon UK.  Publication date for the paperback is 25th October 2019.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1787054748?fbclid=IwAR3-7hP1PPm3R0edbYUbFEi-7l9Z5iZOOK_lFM4HO8XhXinJBF2tZqR5eP8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sherlock-Holmes-Molly-Boy-Murders/dp/1787054748/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=sherlock+holmes+and+the+molly-boy+murders&qid=1568325059&s=gateway&sr=8-1

“London, 1889. In a city still reeling from the depredations of Jack the Ripper another killer arises. Stalking the West End and Marylebone and striking at a seemingly unconnected group of victims, the murderer leaves fear and confusion in his wake. Mr. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, and Inspector Lestrade face a case like no other they have yet faced. A case that will leave each of them changed and bring personal danger as they race against a mounting death toll to bring down the Molly-Boy Murderer.”

The Bartered Brides

4 Feb

In “The Bartered Brides”, the thirteenth Elemental Masters novel by Mercedes Lackey, Sherlock Holmes is apparently dead, and Lestrade needs the help of Watson, along with Nan and Sarah to solve the crime of who is beheading young women dressed as brides, and throwing the headless corpses in the Thames.

Mercedes Lackey has turned out a gorgeous tale of magic and murder.

The joy of the Elemental Masters books with Sherlock Holmes in them is that Holmes isn’t a magician, and has difficulty with the concept, though, being the logical man that he is, when he is given evidence, he takes it on board.

Towards the end of the novel there is a delightful tip of the hat to Arthur Conan Doyle’s abysmal continuity, that made me chuckle.

This is the third Elemental Masters book with the cast of Nan, Sarah, John & Mary Watson, and Sherlock Holmes. In each book the characters grow and develop just that little bit more.

“The Bartered Brides” is a delicious addition to my permanent Sherlock Holmes collection.

Highly recommended.

I noted on Good Reads that a fourth book is due out towards the end of this year.  I will look forward to that with great anticipation.

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