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The Ill Dressed Vagabond reviews No Police Like Holmes a Sherlock Holmes novel by Dan Andriacco

Described by The Sherlock Holmes Society of London as “An exciting and witty romp” Dan Andriacco’s first novel No Police Like Holmes has been a big hit with Holmes fans around the world. It’s not a pastiche though, it is a mystery featuring Holmes fans rather than the great detective himself.

His first book was Baker Street Beat which is also the name of his blog, contained essays, a pastiche and some radio plays. It’s fiction though that Dan really likes to write.

Here, one of the main Sherlock Holmes reviewers in the USA, Philip K Jones (aka The Ill Dressed Vagabond) gives us a detailed overview of the book.

“This is a modern day detective mystery, set in Erin, Ohio, a College town some forty miles up river from Cincinnati.  The protagonist is Jeff Cody, the public relations director at St. Benignus College.  The College is hosting a Sherlock Holmes colloquium as part of celebrating the presentation of the Woolcott Chalmers Collection of Sherlockiana to the school.

The small town of Erin seems overrun with deerstalker-clad oddballs and nuts, including a number of professors and other, prominent Sherlockians.  To the reader who has associated with Sherlockians and collegiate types, this book will be a constant exposure to thoughts of ‘but isn’t that Professor …?’ or ‘isn’t she an oriental?’ or “I thought he was younger’ moments.  The cast is familiar, if a bit scrambled and the opinions are even more familiar and far less scrambled.

The story moves along steadily, with the customary useless police presence and the plethora of amateur ‘Sherlocks.’  Everybody has an opinion, or two or thirteen.  Deductions are a dime a gross and some are even sensible.  The chief police detective has issues with most of the principals and most of them reciprocate, heartily.  Some of the police staff are actually competent, which is more than can be said for the enthusiastic amateur detectives.  Of course, Jeff Cody’s boss is blaming all negative publicity from the various crimes perpetrated during the weekend on his public relations director.  As the crime tally mounts from theft to murder and onward, his blood pressure climbs and Cody’s position teeters nearer unemployed than tenured.

The solution is fairly easy to figure out, but character and personal histories keep getting in he way.  Every layer of past relations uncovered leads to more motives and more suspects.  It also changes the views of the various players as their foibles are uncovered and their histories revealed.  In truth, as I am sure Sherlock once remarked, most of it is irrelevant.  The process of accurately defining what is and what is not relevant is the real ‘trick’ in solving a crime.

This is a pleasant novel.  The characters are familiar and real, the characters experience the events, mostly, as a bewildering set of circumstances with multiple causes and a variety of possible explanations. Most have some understanding of crime solving, but are unable to make any sense out of events or are blinded by personal preconceptions and prejudices.  All in all, this is quite typical of the witnesses and associates in such a set of crimes, so confusion is common and various persons pursue their own agendas and views, no matter what goes on around them.

Sherlockians will find many familiar persons in this crowd. The names and descriptions will be different, but they will all be familiar.  Both villains and bystanders will seem like old friends or acquaintances and the setting sounds like a good place to convene or to collogue (what does one DO at a colloquium?).”

The book is available through all good bookstores including Amazon UK, Sherlock-Holmes.com , Amazon USA, and in ebook form including Amazon Kindle , Barnes and Noble Nook, and many others. The next one in the series is complete and the third is underway.

 

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London Review of No Police Like Holmes Dan Andriacco

An exciting and witty romp”

Dan Andriacco’s first book in June this year has been a big hit with Holmes fans around the world and the blog of the same name Baker Street Beat has thousands of visitors. His debut novel, No Police Like Holmes is a mystery featuring Holmes fans rather than the great detective himself. The first main review of the book comes from The Sherlock Holmes Society of London in the current edition of The District Messenger.

“An exciting and witty romp – not about Holmes but about his fans. The world’s third-largest private collection of Sherlockiana has been donated to St Benignus, a small college in a small town in Ohio, and to celebrate, the college is hosting the Investigating Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Colloquium.

Jeff Cody, the college’s PR director (and part-time crime writer), is an amused observer until the event is blighted by a real theft and a real murder, and he realises that there’s rather a lot of suspects in deerstalkers. As if things weren’t bad enough, Cody and his ex-girlfriend also become suspects… I like it!”

The book comes out on November 9th and but some bookstores have limited advance copies, Amazon UK, Sherlock-Holmes.com , Amazon USA, and others.

Dan will be appearing in person alongside many Holmes legends at Gillette to Brett III Nov. 11-13 in Indiana and will have some copies there to sign. Holmes fans that manage to get one of those signed first editions make sure you keep them safe, we have a feeling this one is going to be a bestseller.

 

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No Police Like Holmes debut novel from bestselling Sherlock Holmes author Dan Andriacco

Dan Andriacco’s first book in June this year has been a big hit with Holmes fans around the world and the blog of the same name Baker Street Beat has thousands of visitors. Dan refers to both as ‘various Sherlockian scribblings and ramblings’ and the book’s mix of pastiches, radio plays, articles and stories written in the style of a highly articulate fan, is the only book we have that only has 5 star reviews on Amazon, eleven of them at time of writing. What will be interesting is to see the reaction of his growing Holmesian fan base when they read this, his debut novel, and realise that the target of both the murderer, and Dan’s sharp wit, is Holmes fans themselves.

Set in a small town in America that is hosting a major Sherlockian event, Dan captures the essence of Holmes mania and weaves into a murder mystery an extremely funny look at Sherlockians. You will certainly recognise several of the characters and may even see a bit (or a lot) of yourself in one of them. The ‘hero’ of the story, Jeff Cody, is faced with several Sherlockians as murder suspects and competes with his brother-in-law Sebastian to solve the mystery.

Especially as it’s his first stab at a full length novel, Dan has had some help from leading Holmesians on going through the book, and the way he paints the obsessive Holmes fans has been described as “spot on”. As Dan says on the book’s back cover,

“This satirical romp takes Sherlock Holmes seriously, but not Holmesians”.

Lets not forget that this is as much a self-reflection as anything, and in fact you could argue the book is semi-autobiographical. So is No Police Like Holmes like looking in the mirror for Dr.Dan? The grinning photo of Andriacco adorned with deer stalker and magnifying glass on the back cover certainly suggests that.

We’re sure Holmes fans will react with the same passion as they have done to Baker Street Beat –

“If you don’t read any other Holmes pastiche this year, please, please read the short story The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden which has to be the closest in tone and content to a Holmes work that I have read in a long time.”

“Andriacco’s passion for the source material is readily apparent and is much to my great enjoyment matched by his ability to expertly convey itself in his scribblings. From radio to print Andriacco’s stories both at once pull the reader in to a familiar world and at the same time provide new adventures for us to experience. This most excellent collection has rightfully earned a center shelf location in my collection.”

“No Police Like Holmes” is in fact part of a quote from E. W. Hornung the author of the Raffles series, a fact spotted by an eagle-eyed Rachel Klingberg on the Sherlock Holmes Books Facebook group which now has members from over 30 countries around the world. The full quote being;

“Though he might be more humble, There’s no police like Holmes.”

The book comes out on November 9th and as always, Amazon UK is the first bookstore to have it – that’s what you get for being a London based publisher. The other bookstores will surely follow soon and US fans can get it direct from the publisher at MX Publishing USA. As always we’ll set aside about twenty pre-publication press copies for visitors to our site that will be sent out in October.

Dan will be appearing in person alongside many Holmes legends at Gillette to Brett III Nov. 11-13 in Indiana and will have some copies there to sign. Holmes fans that manage to get one of those signed first editions make sure you keep them safe, we have a feeling this one is going to be a bestseller.

 

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