Category Archives: Book Reviews

Another Winning Sherlockian Adventure from Tim Symonds – Review of Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The Bulgarian Codex

“Different editors of Dr. Watson’s manuscripts have different specialties. Denis O. Smith brings us incredible stories set in the 1880’s. Marcia Wilson brings an unsurpassed understanding about the world of the Scotland Yarders that has no equal. Tim Symonds offers a number of well-researched, compelling, and full-length Sherlock Holmes adventures and short stories specializing in Our Heroes’ activities in the early 20th century. In “The Bulgarian Codex”, set in 1900, Holmes and Watson become involved in the quest to recover an ancient document – the Codex in question – before the various empires and Kingdoms on every side of the Balkans can ignite into a world war.

As always, Symonds understands the intricacies of history at the beginning of the twentieth century, and those events that eventually led to World War I – along with Holmes and Watson’s efforts to prevent or at least delay it. Once again, Holmes and Watson are in the very center of events that – if not handled properly – could lead to global catastrophe.”

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The Bulgarian Codex is available from all good bookstores including in the USA The Strand MagazineAmazonBarnes and Noble, in the UK AmazonWaterstones and for everywhere else Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleNookiPad and Kobo.

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Review of Sherlock Holmes and The London Particular

“Daniel D. Victor has made a name for himself by bringing us some really great Sherlock Holmes stories in his ongoing series, “Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati”. These books feature encounters between Holmes and famous American writers, including “The Final Page of Baker Street” (Raymond Chandler), “The Baron of Brede Place” (Stephen Crane), “Seventeen Minutes to Baker Street” (Samuel Clemens), and “The Outrage at the Diogenes Club” (Jack London). Now, in “Sherlock Holmes and the London Particular”, he gives us Holmes’s fascinating encounter with Richard Harding Davis, a famed American reporter and novelist at the turn of the twentieth century.

The novel begins by throwing us in the thick of the action – Holmes and Watson, in a dense London fog, see an open door. They enter the building and find themselves immediately involved in a murder investigation. From there, the action only gets more exciting, with a stolen necklace, foreign intrigue, a problem with an inheritance, and a curious group known as “The High Table Club”.

As usual, the appearance of a new novel by Dan Victor is cause for Sherlockian celebration. Run – don’t walk – to dive into this one!“

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and The London Particular is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in KindleNookKobo and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).



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The Hound of The Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Play

“The Hound of Baskervilles doesn’t easily lend itself to the theatre, but dramatists seem unable to resist the challenge. I’ve not had the chance to see it performed, but Simon Corble’s play is pretty close to the top of my list of favourites. It was written to be performed out of doors, with the audience following the actors from place to place. Mr Corble boldly adapts the story rather than simply dramatising, and the result is clever, witty, exciting – and refreshingly intelligent. David Stuart Davies contributes an appreciative foreword, and the text is enhanced by a dozen photographs and superb atmospheric cover, using photos taken during a production at Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire.”  – The Sherlock Holmes Society of London

Hound of The Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Play is available from all good bookstores including in the USA Amazon and Barnes and Noble, in the UK WaterstonesAmazon and Book Depository (free worldwide delivery). In ebook format it is in KindleKoboNook and iPad.



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Sheerluck Versus The Paranormal Volume 1

The world’s only kid consulting detective is on the trail of the supernatural. Ghosts, ghouls, witches – indeed all manner of phantasmagoria – beware because Sheerluck, his sister Watson and the atomic sprite Mycroft have your details!

In this volume:





Are they real?

Or what?

You will thrill to the terrifying and frankly bizarre cases Sheerluck and co have dealt with. So sit down, strap in and unexpect the expected!

The characters of Sherlock Holmes world, Sheerluck, Watson, and Mycroft have evolved into eerily wacky versions of themselves. They take the reader on a journey through paranormal situations and find their way through. Open to the first page and find a world that is packed with humor, with their analysis of ghosts, ghouls, Slenderman, and a mime.” – Gretchen Altabef

Sheerluck is a brilliantly funny intro for kids to the world of Sherlock and Conan Doyle….plus they stand up brilliantly as an entertaining read for kids who might not always want to spend time reading…” – J.Marley

Sheerluck Holmes Book 1 is available from all good bookstores including  Amazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.



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Review of Sherlock Holmes and The Sword of Osman

It is rare that I pick up a Holmes pastiche and immediately fall in love with it – but it happened with this book. Symonds managed to catch the voice of early retirement Watson so perfectly and with so much love and whimsical sarcasm that it is a joy to read from beginning to end. The story itself is set in a time when European powers were slowly realizing that a war unlike any before was approaching. Holmes and Watson come together for an adventure set in 1906 to make sure that the Sword of Osman, an insignia of the emperor of the Ottoman Empire, will remain in the hands of the ruling king in order to keep the brittle stability between several European nations and the Ottoman Empire intact. The initially mysterious client who sends the duo to Istanbul is Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary and a great admirer of both Holmes and Watson.

The adventure is complex, the case more difficult and dangerous than Holmes or Watson anticipate and rife with references to historical and political events – an intertextual feast. I do not want to give away too much of the story, but Symonds manages to write Sherlock Holmes and John Watson very close to how Doyle wrote them and yet manages to make them his own. The story is never boring and there are enough questions and mysteries to keep the reader on edge, especially with some knowledge on the political context (I recommend reading up in the relationship between Britain and the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the century for even greater enjoyment of the book).

Symonds also manages to do what very few pastiches manage: He makes the ending surprising even after Holmes offers us the solution to the mystery. It’s entertaining and educational and offers deeper insight into Holmes’s role in European politics, which results in his role as a double agent in Doyle’s “His Last Bow” as well as his relationship with John Watson and Mycroft Holmes.

It is definitely one of my favourite Holmes pastiches so far, and I am excited to read more of Symonds’s work.

Reviewed by The Baker Street Babes

Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in KindleKoboNook and Apple iBooks(iPad/iPhone). Available on Audio.



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Review of The Adventure of the Wordy Companion: An A-Z Guide to Sherlockian Phraseology

As a writer of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, I’ve been waiting years for a book like Nicko Vaughan’s “The Adventure of the Wordy Companion: An A-Z Guide to Sherlockian Phraseology.” A glossary of selected terms, phrases, and references from the original canon of Sherlock Holmes stories, this collection offers writers and readers alike a treasure of Holmesian information. Oh, sure, most of the alphabetical listings appear in the annotated versions of the Holmes stories (if you own such collections), but specific references are most difficult to locate if you don’t know the exact place to look. Want to know what a “lumber room” is? Or a minstrel’s gallery? How about a Penang-lawyer? You can easily discover the answers in “The Wordy Companion.”

To be sure, a stickler can find things to quibble about. Some adverbs and adjectives are defined as verbs (the definition of the adverb “askance,” for instance, begins with an infinitive verb: “to perceive something, or someone as suspicious…”). And at the expense of the celebrated actor William Gillette, whose world-famous performance as Holmes premiered in 1899, the book’s introduction misidentifies the 1908 performance of German actor Alwin Neuss as the “first depiction of Sherlock Holmes.” But in light of the practical nature of the book, such distractions are negligible.

As someone who out of necessity has constructed his own list of important terms from Holmes stories, I’m thrilled to be able to flip through this book to find just the right word or term for what I’m trying to say—and learn some interesting facts and definitions along the way. “The Wordy Companion” maintains a prominent position on my desk.

Reviewed by Daniel D. Victor

The Adventure of the Wordy Companion is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in KindleKoboNook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).



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Review of The Literary Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volumes 1 and 2

It is wonderful having these stories collected in one volume. What a pleasure to traipse through them again, each previously encountered separately, all gathered in a single splendid cornucopia, with all of Victor’s brilliances on full display, an exquisite end-piece to the Sherlock Holmes & The American Literati series. As with Victor’s novels, each of these stories pairs Sherlock Holmes with a notable (though not exclusively American) author and, as is Victor’s forté, captures, with pitch-perfect accuracy, the distinct voices of the literary figures depicted as well as the verbal tropes of Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes himself. Whether Guy de Maupassant, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, David Graham Phillips, H.G.Wells, Raymond Chandler, or, poignantly, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Victor emulates each author’s style and incorporates those inflections and tendencies into the way they speak. While remaining ever true to Conan Doyle’s Holmes and Watson characters, Victor has delicious and devious fun blurring fact and fiction, excavating Holmes lore and adding to it, warping time, weaving ironies, atmospheric reveries, clever twists, and intertextual echoes across the tapestry. If you are a fan of Victor’s American Literati series, this collection is a must-have. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes or any of the authors he encounters in these tales, you will be most pleased with where Victor takes things. A grand and glorious addition to the genre and to the already impressive Victor oeuvre. Bravo!

Reviewed by The Group W Bench

The Literary Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volumes 1 and 2 is available from all good bookstores including  Amazon USABarnes and Noble USA,  Amazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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