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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

“As an unashamed fan of new Sherlock Holmes stories, I am discomfited to admit that I had not read any of Richard T Ryan’s earlier novels. This is his third, and a splendid book it is. The plot revolves around some mysterious deaths, bearing the hallmarks of ritualistic sacrifice or cult murder. Scotland Yard is baffled, and Inspector Lestrade invites Holmes and Watson to assist. Our heroes are drawn into the mysterious lore of ancient druidic symbols and Celtic mythology to face a race against time in unravelling the case and preventing further bloodshed. The pace is well-judged, and it is a gripping and colourful tale from the offset. Ryan’s style is reassuringly familiar, and he clearly has a respect for the Canon, demonstrated in the many neat references and affectionate nods to the characters, stories and intrigues of the original texts. Another fine touch is the inclusion of the Revd Sabine Baring-Gould, real-life grandfather of the celebrated Sherlockian, William S Baring-Gould. Ryan demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of British history and there is good attention to detail throughout this tale. It is a great story told with skill and affection.” – Mark Mower

The Druid of Death – 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 Kindle. Available on Audio.

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Out today in hardcover: The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

On the morning of the vernal equinox in 1899, Holmes is roused from his bed by Lestrade. The inspector has received a report of a girl brutally murdered at Stonehenge.

Upon arriving at the famed site, Holmes discovers the body of a young woman. On her forehead, painted in blood, is a druidic symbol. On her side, also in blood, is a message written in a strange language that neither Holmes nor Lestrade can decipher. The girl was also eviscerated and her organs placed around her body. As a final touch, branches from yew trees had been artistically arranged around the corpse.

Holmes senses a malevolent force at work, but without data, he is powerless. As the weeks pass, he slowly gathers information about the ancient druids and Celtic mythology and begins to assemble a small army of experts to assist him.

Expecting the killer to strike again on the summer solstice, Holmes and Watson travel to the Nine Ladies in Derbyshire, the site of another stone circle that harkens to druidic times. While they are holding their vigil, Lestrade and his men are off keeping watch over the stone circles at Avebury and several other locations.

The Great Detective’s worst fears are realized when on the morning of the summer solstice, he learns that the body of a young man has been discovered in the eye of the White Horse of Uffington. Like the first victim, he too has been marked with a druidic symbol and his body bears a message. Aside from the symbol and the message, the only other difference appears to be that his body and organs have been surrounded by willow branches.

Realizing full well that a maniac reminiscent of the Ripper is on the loose, Holmes and Watson find themselves in a race against time as they try to locate the cult, identify the killer and prevent another tragedy.

As usual, Ryan is spot-on with narrator Watson’s tone and perspective – the deliberate musings, arcane details and captivating storytelling of Holmes’ sidekick are classic Watson. You could be reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself and have trouble distinguishing between the styles of each. And that, my dear Sherlockians, is the aura of authenticity that permeates Ryan’s imaginative series.” – Fran Wood, retired op-ed columnist and former books editor for The Star-Ledger, blogs at nj.com.

The Druid of Death – 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. Available in Kindle and in Audio formats.

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The Druid of Death: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

From award winning author Richard T Ryan comes his third traditional Sherlock Holmes story, now out on Audio, following novel of the year award winning The Vatican Cameos and The Stone of Destiny.

Praise for Ryan’s Holmes books from leading writers:

“A Stunning Achievement” Ken Bruen

“An extravagantly imagined and beautifully written Holmes story” Lee Child

“Somewhere Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is smiling. Ryan’s ‘The Stone of Destiny’ is a fine addition to the Canon.” Reed Farrel Coleman

151 books on the Sherlock Holmes Audio Books Pinterest Board

The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure is available for pre order from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine (pre publication copies available), Amazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Available on Kindle.

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The Vatican Cameos is the winner of the Underground Book Reviews’ Novel of the Year – Readers’ Choice Award.

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THE VATICAN CAMEOS was selected as a Pitch Perfect Pick and voted for the Reader’s Choice award. It is “A Sherlock Holmes adventure that finds the great detective trying to solve a mystery created by Michelangelo, 400 years earlier.” Author Richard T. Ryan is a graduate of medieval studies and a Sherlock Holmes aficionado; the perfect man to resurrect one of literature’s favorite sleuths.

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

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Released on Kickstarter – Stone of Destiny, the new Sherlock Holmes adventure from Rich Ryan

An extravagantly imagined and beautifully written Holmes story” – Lee Child reviews Vatican Cameos’

Mystery lovers will enjoy reading The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Richard T. Ryan a very suspenseful mystery” –  Michelle Stanley

It’s a delightful read as the Great Detective and his Boswell find themselves battling an unseen enemy in a foreign land. Think of it as the perfect beach book for this summer.” – review of The Stone of Destiny from  Sherlockian Scion

Released on Kickstarter – Stone of Destiny, the new Sherlock Holmes adventure from Rich Ryan. Campaign rewards include:

– Signed first edition hardbacks of Stone of Destiny and Vatican Cameos

– Pre-publication paperback copies of Stone of Destiny

– Three exclusive rewards to have characters named after you in book 3 due out next year – be immortalised in the next Sherlock Holmes adventure

For more information click here.

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Review of The Stone of Destiny

Sherlock Holmes has been to Ireland before – but never for stakes as high as this.

Over the course of his professional career, Sherlock Holmes has visited Ireland on numerous occasions. Although none of these sojourns were chronicled by the first Literary Agent, who only wrote a paltry 60 stories, other “editors” of Watson’s notes have provided quite a few details about some of Holmes and Watson’s other trips to The Emerald Isle.

A few of these cases – but not all – include: “The Matter of the Sudden Death of Cardinal Tosca” in “My Dear Watson” and “The Abergavenny Murder” in “The Vital Essence”, both by Sherlockian scholar David Hammer; “The Irish Professor” in “Sherlock Holmes: The Tandridge Hall Murder”  by Eddie Maguire; and “The Case of the Mysterious Painting”, an excellent Fan-Fiction by Don Conlan. But perhaps none of his visits across the Irish Sea have such great consequences as in “The Stone of Destiny” by Richard T. Ryan.

The book opens with the death of Queen Victoria in February 1901. Irish nationalists see this an opportunity and steal the Stone of Scone, whose long history includes its traditional use in the coronation of new kings and queens of England.

The Stone has been stolen before, of course. In late 1950, it was taken by a group of Scottish students. And before that, it was stolen in late 1930, and subsequently recovered by Solar Pons, “The Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street”, as related in the Pons tale, “The Adventure of the Stone of Scone”. It’s good to know that Holmes was able to help when it was stolen even earlier. (One has to wonder if Solar Pons, when investigating the later theft, knew of Holmes’s involvement nearly three decades earlier.)

After the Stone is taken, Holmes and Watson travel to Ireland, wherein Holmes gains great practice on something of a trial run for the years 1912-1914, when he will again be undercover, then taking on the identity of the Irish-American Altamont in an affair covered in the Canonical story, “His Last Bow”. No doubt, his experiences in this narrative gave him great insight as to how to portray an Irishman a decade later.

It’s fun in this story to see Holmes and Watson revisit sites where they have traveled in previous adventures. For instance, in this tale Watson visits Blarney Castle, the same place where he and Holmes had already solved a case in March 1896, as related in the radio episode, “The Adventure of the Blarney Stone” (“The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, March 18, 1946, by Denis Green and Anthony Boucher), and also in the text version of the same adventure, included in “The Lost Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Don Greenwald.

Like in his previous book, “The Vatican Cameos”, Ryan alternates between Watson’s part of the story, and an equal amount of time given over to a third-person narrative chronicling the actions of the criminals. In “The Vatican Cameos”, the alternating non-Watson chapters were set hundreds of years before Holmes and Watson’s part of the story, and could have been removed and never missed, as they only served to provide some background details. In this case, the alternating chapters are concurrent with Holmes’s investigation.

There were a few errors in the book, as in chapter titles with dates that don’t quite match up with the chronology of what’s happening in the text, and some London-related issues, such as when the third-person narrative indicates that Edgware Road is a short distance from Liverpool Street Station, and that one catches a train for Liverpool from Liverpool Street Station. (To get to Liverpool, one departs from Euston Station.) However, these issues, while a bit jarring, don’t take away from the overall quality of the story.

The Holmes that I admire most is the capable figure who has all the threads in hand, and is one step ahead of his opponents – or if he doesn’t have all the threads quite yet, he can at least make the other side think that he does. I really enjoyed that aspect of this book, and when you read it, you’ll understand what I mean and agree with me.

Reviewed by David Marcum

The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure 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.

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Book Giveaway For The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

Book Giveaway For The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

During the elaborate funeral for Queen Victoria, a group of Irish separatists breaks into Westminster Abbey and steals the Coronation Stone, on which every monarch of England has been crowned since the 14th century. After learning of the theft from Mycroft, Sherlock Holmes is tasked with recovering the stone and returning it to England. In pursuit of the many-named stone, which has a rich and colorful history, Holmes and Watson travel to Ireland in disguise as they try to infiltrate the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the group they believe responsible for the theft. The story features a number of historical characters, including a very young Michael Collins, who would go on to play a prominent role in Irish history; John Theodore Tussaud, the grandson of Madame Tussaud; and George Bradley, the dean of Westminster at the time of the theft. There are also references to a number of other Victorian luminaries, including Joseph Lister and Frederick Treves. For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, for the great detective the stakes have never been higher as he must mollify a king who refuses to ascend the throne until “order has been restored.”

Click here to enter.

The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure is available for pre order from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine,  Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UKand for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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