Category Archives: Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle

With many books on Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, PG Wodehouse and Bertram Fletcher Robinson our Victorian Literature range is growing fast.

Book Giveaway For Cat Flap

Book Giveaway For Cat Flap

A contemporary Sherlock Holmes, the eccentric Bernie Quist is a consultant detective in the city of York. Christmas is days away and once again the reclusive sleuth will be quietly celebrating alone. His assistant Watson, a teenager from the Grimpen housing estate, has other ideas, mostly involving parties, girls and beer. Yuletide plans are halted when three chemists die and the fiancé of one hires them to look into her apparent suicide. After discovering the chemist wasn’t engaged, they’re drawn into the mystery when their employer is killed. Added to this, Watson has a puzzle of his own – Quist is clearly hiding something and he’s curious to know what. The investigation leads to a shady cartel of northern businessmen, a forgotten Egyptian cult and an ancient evil lurking in the medieval alleyways of York. Quist’s secret is also revealed, and Watson doesn’t know what terrifies him the most.

Cat Flap is available for pre order from all good bookstores including  Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.



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Review of Irregular Lives

Review of Irregular Lives –  The Real Thing

Kim Krisco’s Irregular Lives is really two books in one. The first half is reminiscent of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, in that Sherlock Holmes’s reminiscences in post-War 1919 London frame tales about the Baker Street Irregulars, that band of youths that he employed when from before he moved to Baker Street in 1881, until long past his retirement in 1903.

Holmes’s opportunity to have these memories occurs when he is mysteriously invited to an exhibition of photographs, taken years before, of various unfortunates from London’s East End. As he makes his way around the room, he begins to recognize images of the Irregulars, and each photo that he encounters leads to a memory of a past case. Each of these are well told, having different tones depending upon which Irregular is being recalled.

When Holmes and Watson learn the identity of the mysterious photographer, the events that make up the second half of the book tumble upon us, leading to a very satisfying conclusion.

This book purports to tell how Holmes met and recruited the Irregulars. There are a few chronological issues from a Sherlockian standpoint, but the writing is excellent. This book isn’t told in first-person, like many Holmes adventures. The third-person narrative serves it well, showing what Holmes is thinking, and the actions and viewpoints of numerous characters.

There have been a great number of Holmes stories that tell how became acquainted with Wiggins and the other Irregulars. It has long been my contention, (as explained in my own story “The Gower Street Murder” in Sherlock Holmes – Tangled Skeins) that there were a great number of Wiggins-es through the years, all related, and all with their own groups friends who made up sub-groups of Irregulars. This tale doesn’t disagree with any of that. It tells the important events in one of the bands of the Irregulars, adding a very important threat into The Great Holmes Tapestry.

It was especially interesting to me to see that Chapter 6 of this book consisted of a reworked version of “Blood Brothers”, Krisco’s contribution to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part III: 1896-1929. Curiously, in the original MX anthology version, the narrative occurs in 1913, and for this book it has been shifted to 1889. As a committed Sherlockian Chronologicist, I’ll have to work that out, but the facts of the case themselves are first-rate, as is the rest of the book.

This is the kind of Holmes book that is the real thing, and well worth reading. I look forward to the next one.

Reviewed by David Marcum

Irregular Lives is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).



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Review of Sherlock Holmes and A Hole in The Devil’s Tail

Another tale about the True Holmes!

I believe that this is Mr. Messick’s first Holmes adventure, and it starts in the right direction by telling us more about the true Holmes, and just keeps going. Set in the 1890’s, Holmes is faced by two mysteries, a locked room puzzle related to the mysterious murder of a solicitor, and a series of connected murders linked by their ferocity, along with Tarot cards found on the victim’s bodies.

This convoluted tale moves back and forth between the two cases, and Holmes finds himself threatened by the Tarot killer, who promises that, if Holmes does not cease his investigations, retribution will be swift – not on the detective, but rather those that he cares about.

One of the things that I enjoyed most was the investigation of the locked room puzzle, and how it relates to the Hole in the Devil’s Tail, as mentioned in the book’s title. It isn’t what you would expect. And I always enjoy when something is thrown in that teaches me something at no extra charge – in this case, how cracks were repaired in marble statues in ancient times. The way that this bit of information is relevant is a treat, as is the way that Holmes reveals it.

I’ll be looking forward to Mr. Messick’s next offering from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box.”

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and A Hole In The Devil’s Tail is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone). Also available on Audible.



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Book of the Week on Crime Thriller Hound

Book of the Week on Crime Thriller Hound –  The Vatican Cameos: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

When the papal apartments are burgled in 1901, Sherlock Holmes is summoned to Rome by Pope Leo XII. After learning from the pontiff that several priceless cameos that could prove compromising to the church, and perhaps determine the future of the newly unified Italy, have been stolen, Holmes is asked to recover them.  In a parallel story, Michelangelo, the toast of Rome in 1501 after the unveiling of his Pieta, is commissioned by Pope Alexander VI, the last of the Borgia pontiffs, with creating the cameos that will bedevil Holmes and the papacy four centuries later. For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, the great detective has never encountered an adversary quite like the one with whom he crosses swords in “The Vatican Cameos.”.

An extravagantly imagined and beautifully written Holmes story” reviewed by Lee Child.

The Vatican Cameos is available for from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK,  Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone). Also available on Audible.



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Sherlock Holmes Audio Books

Sherlock Holmes Audio Books Pinterest Board –  All of these Sherlock Holmes books have been released in audio book format.



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Sherlock Holmes: Have Yourself a Chaotic Little Christmas

It’s that time of year again on Baker Street. That time when trees are trimmed, snow is falling, and… Mycroft is helping Watson to play out an old carol? Well, take one obsessive Sherlockian and give her a flood of ideas from wildly-imaginative fellow fans… and you get one wacky advent calendar of Sherlockian short stories. A picnic in a graveyard, a snowball fight, a violinist on the roof, a vampire or two, Jack the Ripper, Professor Moriarty, and the Baker Street Irregulars all combine to make this one unforgettable Christmas collection.

Sherlock Holmes: Have Yourself a Chaotic Little Christmas is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine,  Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon KindleKobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).



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Review of The Riddle of Foxwood Grange – Another tour-de-force!

I’ve been collecting pastiches for a long time – 41 years now – and I always want more. Give me traditional stories – none of this Alternate Universe stuff. Set it in the correct time period. Holmes should be a hero, not a broken mess or a murderer, and Watson shouldn’t be an idiot or a caretaker or someone just there to give a comical double-take.

From the first time that I discovered Denis Smith’s stories, in the form of individually published chapbooks in the 1990’s, I knew that he was the real deal. This was someone that had found one of Watson’s Tin Dispatch Boxes – and surely Watson hid a bunch of them all over the place! – and Mr. Smith was presenting the stories for publication the way Watson intended, without grafting on his own agendas, turning Holmes in to some objectionable sociopath, or a slob, or an addict. This was Holmes the way he was in the original Canon, and the way he should be now.

I collected Mr. Smith’s other Holmes narratives as they appeared over the years – in collections from Calabash Press and in Sherlock Magazine and The Strand, and later a couple of really fine omnibus editions. And now he brings us the first book-length adventure that he’s edited from Watson’s notes, once again living up to his own very high standards.

This story starts in fine form – a client visits Baker Street and tells his strange tale. Things progress to Foxwood Grange, where strange things have been occurring. We – through Watson’s eyes – meet the neighbors and get to walk the countryside, getting to know our surroundings. In addition to the immediate crimes, we are shown an ancient puzzle. Suddenly events tumble toward the fascinating conclusion, and we realize that, in a masterful performance, we had the clues right there in front of us all along, but it took Sherlock Holmes to figure it out.

Once again Mr. Smith presents a tour de force, and I cannot wait to read his next effort.

Reviewed by David Marcum

The Riddle of Foxwood Grange is available from all good bookstores including  Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.



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