Category Archives: Uncategorized



“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.

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Posted by on June 3, 2021 in Uncategorized


Book Reviews – The Other Side of the Fence


I started this blog quite a few years ago, sharing mostly musings on odd subjects and reviews of theatre, television, movies, and, of course, books.

At the time I never thought that I would end up being a published author. To be honest, I still have to pinch myself sometimes because I think I’m asleep dreaming all this.

Now that I am an author I am realizing just how valuable book reviews are to the author. Yes, a review is just one person’s opinion, but they can help us make our books better.

Book reviews help me get a feel for what my readers want. To get the balance between dialogue and action right. To set the scene properly. To make sure that my stories make the person feel like they are in Victorian England. One of the best pieces of feedback I received was being told that the reader…

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Posted by on April 28, 2021 in Uncategorized


MX Publishing – Forthcoming Books


My third book, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the London Dock Deaths” was published in February this year by MX Publishing. Of course, I am not alone, MX Publishing releases a number of exciting books each year.

MX Publishing has their list of new books for 2021 (and also their 2020 releases) on their website. They also include books by their subsidiary imprint, Orange Pip Books.

On scanning the list I have found many books I am truly looking forward to reading.

“Spiral Mind” (Orange Pip Books) – Janina Arndt

“Sherlock Holmes and the Secret of the Three Monks” – Johanna Reike

“Tales of Scotland Yard: Lestrade” (Orange Pip Books) – Bianca Jenkins

Those are only a few. I attach a link to the list for your perusal.

One of the things I love about MX Publishing is their willingness to publish female authors and to publish Sherlock Holmes…

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Posted by on April 14, 2021 in Uncategorized


The Norwood Author by Alistair Duncan

The Norwood Author by Alistair Duncan

Features of Interest

Arthur Conan Doyle was a complex and deeply interesting character. May there long be writers around such as, Alistair Duncan, to explore him.” Bill Barnes, Captain, President, The Sidney Passengers. (From the Forward.)

Alistair Duncan’s The Norwood Author:Arthur Conan Doyle & The Norwood Years (1891 – 1894), is filled with new, never before seen, material about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He is the winner of the 2011 Howlett Literary Award (Sherlock Holmes book of the year) from the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. The avid Conan Doyle fan wants to know everything about this great nineteenth-century giant of a man. Mr. Duncan’s book leaves one wanting more, ready for the next installment. It is my hope he intends to follow this thread in future books.

Duncan takes us through one of many prolific periods of Conan Doyle’s life. His research covers Conan Doyle’s involvement in the Upper…

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Posted by on March 25, 2021 in Uncategorized


The Art of Sherlock Holmes Authenticated Prints


Phil Crowick came up with the idea of new pieces of art based on Sherlock Holmes stories. This idea resulted in four gorgeous coffee table books, and two exhibitions in the USA before the pandemic, where some of the original art sold.

Now authenticated prints of these delightful works are available directly from MX Publishing. There are 55 to chose from. Four stand out for me.

The Affair of Miss Finney (#36)

The Coffee Traders Dilemma (#37)

The Case of the Cursed Clock (#46)

The Adventure of the Medium (#54)

Why not check them out? You might find something that you would like to add to your Sherlock Holmes collection, art collection, or just something you think would look good on your wall.

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Posted by on January 4, 2021 in Uncategorized


Mrs Hudson Goes to Ireland


Grieving the ‘death’ of Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Hudson travels to Ireland with her friend Kitty Melrose to try and stop an arranged marriage. What they find is a mess of death and despair.

Published by MX Publishing, “Mrs Hudson Goes to Ireland” by Susan Knight is a fun book.

Obviously years of being Sherlock Holmes’s landlady had rubbed off on Martha Hudson, as she makes quite an excellent detective.

The novel is well plotted and well written. The research is impeccable. Susan Knight weaves details of Irish beliefs and superstitions through the story in a manner which brings the people and the place to glorious life.

HIghly recommended.

‘Mrs Hudson Goes to Ireland” is available directly from MX Publishing:

You can check out my work available from MX Publishing here:

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Posted by on December 29, 2020 in Uncategorized


Podcast-Remarkable Power of Stimulus Book Launch

Features of Interest

Recorded December 10, 2020

I awoke in the morning and the planetree greeted me covered in new spring buds outside the window of my old familiar bedroom. I took a breath, and his horrible first pipe filled my heart with gratitude. Today I wasn’t alone––Sherlock Holmes was back! Last night we poached an evildoer. Colonel Sebastian Moran, ‘the second most dangerous man in London.”

Steve Emecz of MX Publishing hosts the Podcast. Gretchen Altabef, author of Remarkable Power of Stimulus reads from her novel. Q & A follows.

Works Refered to:

Maureen Whittaker’s book: Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part. The complete performance biography. And Sherlock Holmes IS Jeremy Brett.

J.T. McDaniels, is a Shakespearian actor, an audiobook narrator for MX Publishing, author of Returning, Bacalao, Shakespearian Performance: A Beginners Guide, poet, and others.

Geri Shear is an MX novelist and short story writer. Her…

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Posted by on December 20, 2020 in Uncategorized


Bucks County Herald Article

Features of Interest

“We discover what Watson did during Holmes’ hiatus and how it made him even more the partner of Sherlock Holmes. Their solving of the murders involves these two gentlemen in a dangerous chain of events . . . Only Holmes’ unshakable belief in logic, imagination, and truth, can make the difference.”

My local newspaper, the Bucks County Herald in scenic Lahaska, PA, printed a feature article about me and Remarkable Power of Stimulus. Jodi Arthur reporter, Bridget Wingert, editor.

Gretchen Altabef is an MX author of Sherlock Holmes Novels who strives to emulate Doctor John Watson’s and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary styles as much as is possible. Her first novel wasSherlock Holmes: These Scattered Houses. Both a historical novel and murder mystery, solved as only Holmes can. The sequel isSherlock Holmes: Remarkable Power of Stimulus. It is a Sherlock Holmes adventure with heart.

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Posted by on December 17, 2020 in Uncategorized


Harry DeMaio’s Book Review of These Scattered Houses

Harry DeMaio’s Book Review of These Scattered Houses

Features of Interest

Let us establish one fact immediately. Gretchen Altabef is a remarkably talented author . . . she eschews the formulas that so often appear in Holmes pastiches and sets about creating a new format.

Let us establish one fact immediately. Gretchen Altabef is a remarkably talented author. In These Scattered Houses, the first book in her Sherlock Holmes trilogy, she eschews the formulas that so often appear in Holmes pastiches and sets about creating a new format; a new locale; new characters; a new story line and most important, a new Holmes.

Seldom used in other books, Holmes is his own narrator in a tale that takes place during his three year post Reichenbach hiatus in the town of Poughkeepsie New York and the campus of Vassar College. I have earned my living for several years in that city and can attest that she has captured its Mid-Hudson character…

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Posted by on December 15, 2020 in Uncategorized


Sherlock Holmes for Christmas

Geri Schear

I’m sure that I’m not alone in still having a lot of gifts still to buy. If you’re the same, and if you’re stuck for ideas, here are some goodies for the Holmes fan in your life:

The Sherlock Holmes calendar

Our calendar is printed on a glossy, heavy cover stock with Great Detective with quotes, and trivia related to Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle. We’ve never produced the same Sherlock Holmes calendar twice, which is why our customers have been purchasing our calendars for decades.

Sherlock Holmes Calendar 2021has a treat in store for fans of the art of illustrator Sidney Paget who brought Holmes to life in hundreds of illustrations for the original Strand Magazine. By the kind permission of several collectors, we have included the original paintings that Paget supplied to the Strand, and much to our surprise they were in glorious full color.

We have…

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Posted by on December 9, 2020 in Uncategorized

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