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

Finally!
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).

9781787053168

 

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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.

literary adventures

 

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Publishers Weekly reviews The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XIV

Did Dr. Watson’s published accounts of Holmes’s cases affect future investigations? Has the Ripper returned to slaughter prostitutes in Whitechapel years after his Autumn of Terror ended? Was a stolen manuscript about Sir Lancelot and King Arthur actually a lost Shakespeare play? Those are just three of the striking plot lines in this standout anthology of 21 short stories written in the spirit of Conan Doyle’s originals. Marcum’s own “The Carroun Document,” perhaps the first among equals, supposes that Holmes’s popularity as a result of the publication of his adventures in the Strand Magazine has resulted in unsought-for celebrity, complete with souvenir hunters visiting Baker Street. “The Threadneedle Street Murder” by S. Subramanian not only features a locked-room puzzle but an amusing tweak of Conan Doyle’s penchant for teases about untold cases. For example, Holmes is interrupted before he can recount the details of a mystery involving a husband who smeared his wife’s face with egg yolk every night before singing “God Save the Queen.” More than 300 pastiches later, this MX series shows no sign of running out of steam.” – Publishers Weekly

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories are available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, for free shipping worldwide Book Depository and in ebook formats.

9781787054479

 

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The Stone of Destiny – A Book Review

The mystery, with all of the twists and turns are amazing and funny at the same time. The way Holmes’ brain works is the most interesting thing I have ever read. Dr. Watson always seems to be a bit bumbling, but yet, he is just as intelligent as Holmes himself, just in a different way…All in all, I loved the book. It was funny, smart, and entertaining. That is all I ask for from a book, so this one succeeded brilliantly. Consequently, I award this book a full 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good, solid, quick reading mystery. There is no disappointment in this pastiche.

Reviewed by My Bookish Bliss

The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure 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 KindleKobo and Nook. Available on Audio.

9781787050839

 

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Publishers Weekly reviews The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part XIII 2019 Annual (1881-1890)

This outstanding anthology focuses on the early years of the Baker Street duo’s partnership. Sherlockians with a soft spot for Nigel Bruce’s buffoonish portrayal of Dr. Watson will appreciate S.F. Bennett’s homage to the Basil Rathbone movie series, “The Case of the Enthusiastic Amateur,” one of the volume’s many high points. In Bennett’s tale, an old acquaintance asks Watson for help when he suspects that an investment failed because of fraud; the doctor decides to undertake the inquiry himself, with hilarious consequences. The author successfully emulates the playful byplay between Watson and Holmes in the service of a clever mystery plot. Almost as good is Tracy Revels’s “The Adventure of the Winterhall Monster,” a variation on the legend of the Monster of Glamis, in which a nurse who once worked with Watson is alarmed by the bizarre circumstances of her new job caring for an infirm child. Amazingly, Marcum has found 22 superb pastiches, almost all from unknown authors. This is more catnip for fans of stories faithful to Conan Doyle’s originals.” – Publishers Weekly

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories are available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, for free shipping worldwide Book Depository and in ebook formats.

9781787054431

 

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Review of The Celtic Phoenix: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure – Introducing Tessa Wiggins – The Irregular Detective

Kim Krisco has captured Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s style in his novels about the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes. Rarely does a figure continue to live past the original writer’s time, but Krisco has managed a way to keep Holmes alive — much to the delight of this fan. In The Celtic Phoenix, Krisco treats us to an in-depth look into the lives of the ancient Celts and their intriguing ways, while at the same time entwining Holmes and Watson into the thick of things. An excellent read — an excellent author.

Reviewed by Catherine J. Moser

The Celtic Phoenix: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure 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). Available on Audio.

9781787053816

 

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Review of The Detective, The Woman and The Pirate’s Bounty

Amy Thomas’s latest Holmes-Adler adventure returns to the scene of her first: Fort Myers, Florida. This time, The Detective and The Woman are in search of a pirate’s treasure rumored to be buried on Sanibel Island, which they hope to find before it falls into the hands of a mysterious criminal known only as “the Baron.” Along the way, they encounter an entertaining cast of secondary characters, including an old friend from Fort Myers, a bland American intelligence operative, a hero-worshipping young woman, and a set of federal agents for whom Holmes plays the fool. Any of these people could be “the Baron” or his henchmen in disguise. The novel does a nice job of obscuring friend from foe until the action climaxes in a scene a bit reminiscent of one from Treasure Island. As always, Ms. Thomas’s depictions of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler are nicely drawn and faithful to the spirit of the Canon. She resists the temptation (which Baring-Gould and I could not) to carry their admiration for each other into outright romance. Another excellent outing in a series that I hope will long continue!

Reviewed by Tom Turley

The Detective, The Woman and The Pirate’s Bounty is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine,  Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon KindleKoboNook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

9781787054141

 

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