Tag Archives: sherlock holmes book reviews

NPLH video review of The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes from Tony Reynolds

The most popular No Place Like Holmes video review ever. Ross K himself comments on the book “Definitely one of my favourites to date”.


The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes are available from all good bookstores worldwide, on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books and iBooks (iPad/iPhone).


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Bookbag reviews Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Legacy

“I read this just after David Ruffle’s first book on Holmes, and it has a similar structure – a main novella, followed by a series of short stories. It’s markedly different in some ways though, notably in the portrayal of Watson having improved somewhat and the plot of the title story being stronger. Ruffle’s Holmes is still a delight to read, with the author capturing him especially well, while the faithful Lestrade is pleasingly close to his established character. Ruffle’s Watson admits that it’s ‘more or less a chase’ with little actual detective work to be done, but taken for what it is, it’s an extremely enjoyable addition to the Holmes stories.”

David Ruffle’s debut novel Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror – Expanded 2nd Edition got a strong recommendation from The Bookbag (the Uk’s leading independent book reviews sit) and the sequel, out in a few weeks time, Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Legacy gets another big thumbs up. You can read the full review on The Bookbag Website.

Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Legacy is available to pre-order from all good bookstores worldwide including Amazon and soon in all eBook formats – a few pre-publication copies are available direct from the publishers at for the USA and for UK and Europe.


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Bookbag review of Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror – 2nd Expanded Edition

“Sherlock himself is captured very, very well. His genius, his impatience, and his arrogance mix together in just the right quantities for this to feel like a ‘canon’ story”.

Those among you that are authors and publishers will know The Bookbag is the UK’s leading independent book review site – and that they are thorough. There is a mix of excitement and trepidation when the email arrives to say a new book review is ready. Thankfully they give a glowing review of Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror 2nd Edition.

When author David Ruffle brought the book to us, he proposed adding another 100 pages to the already very popular 1st edition, and we’re very glad he did. There are several additional short stories –  “…the best amongst them, while little more than vignettes, are absolutely wonderful. Henrietta’s Problem and Christmas at Baker Street are two of the sweetest pieces I can remember reading on Holmes and Watson, yet fit the established characters perfectly, while I absolutely loved the last line of Christmas with Holmes – superb.”

The review summary says it all – “An enjoyable novella is backed up by a series of extras, including some quite wonderful vignettes. High recommendation.”

Great timing as the sequel Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Legacy comes out next month.

The full review is available on The Bookbag website.

Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror is available from all good bookstores worldwide including in the USA Classic Specialities, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and in most electronic formats including Amazon Kindle.


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No Place Like Holmes Video Review of The Punishment of Sherlock Holmes

Ross K Foad’s video book reviews are becoming legendary. Here he tackles the new book from Sherlockian heavyweights Philip K Jones and Bob Burr. Great review of The Punishment of Sherlock Holmes – he concludes that to get the most our of the book you need to be familiar with the canon. Presumably if you are reading this, you are.

The Punishment of Sherlock Holmes is available through all good bookstores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Classic Specialities.


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No Place Like Holmes video review of Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror – 2nd Expanded Edition

Ross Foad’s video book reviews seem to be getting better and better and this week he tackles Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror. The first edition was a bestseller with Holmes fans around the world – the new edition gains another 100 pages and some more short stories complementing the main Lyme Regis based novel. The review is the highest scoring one we’ve had.

Part 1

Part 2


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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, , 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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Philip K Jones aka The Ill Dressed Vagabond Reviews A Case of Witchcraft – A Novel of Sherlock Holmes

Last month the Sherlock Holmes Society of London described A Case of Witchcraft as “well written and thoroughly researched”. This month it is the turn of Philip K Jones (aka The Ill Dressed Vagabond) with a very detailed review. Phil’s own first book – The Punishment of Sherlock Holmes is out soon.

This novel is a first person narration by Sherlock Holmes.  Dr. Watson is laid up as the result of an Operation to remove the Jezail bullet he had carried since his Service in Afghanistan.  The daughter of a clergyman has asked Holmes to investigate the disappearance of her father on one of the Scottish North Sea islands.  As the object of the Reverend’s investigation was one of three main source tales for the traditional Cinderella story, one that involved witchcraft and had been denounced by the Established Church, his daughter believed that he might have been taken by devotees of the Mother Goddess for use as a sacrifice at the upcoming Halloween celebrations.  Holmes agrees to investigate and sets out for the North coast of Scotland.

On the northbound train he falls in with the young Aleister Crowley and their discussions of Witchcraft, Eastern religions and Holmes’ case lead Crowley to offer his services as companion/bodyguard to Holmes for the duration of his investigation.  Their discussions make the Author’s Historical points by citing examples but they avoid giving a general summary of the details available about the World’s oldest surviving Religion.  The events that triggered this particular ‘Ur-Cinderella’ variant seem to have occurred in Viking times and to have taken place on an island later noted as a source of ‘Witches.’

My own acquaintance with what is now called Wicca and its history assure me that its origins go back to and, possibly, before  the Neolithic Age.  I still recall first reading Robert Graves’ “Hercules, My Shipmate” and  my astonishment at the Priestesses of The Mother Goddess parching next year’s seed grain in a dispute with the Priests of the local Thunder God.  The God’s reply was traditional, as, in visions to his priests, he encouraged the men to go a-raiding to find loot to buy food.  Mr. Revill’s characters cite elements of various worship systems across Eurasia that seem to echo worship of the Mother Goddess.  In fact, the same tenets remain with us to this day cloaked in the guise of “green” practices with all of the ‘religious’ elements removed, except, perhaps, the ardor.

Holmes, in this book, uses a prose style that is spare and simple.  It is not the same voice that we hear in The Canon when Holmes is dictating.  It is possible that difference from the Canon might well be due to the efforts of the Literary Agent on the Canon.  In any case, this Holmes is inclined to discuss philosophy and his personal views much more than in previous publications.  He is also less prone to descriptions and to pontificating and belittling the efforts of the police.  Maybe it is the presence of Crowley, a public non-Christian, who would not be offended by Holmes’ Atheism following his studies in Tibet that encourages Holmes to open his thoughts more to his audience.  Watson, of course, would have been shocked to the core of his Established Church soul.

Perhaps the most singular feature of this book is its interesting characters.  All of the people depicted present strong and impressive personalities to the world.  From the local Detective Sergeant to the Schoolmistress and from the Island Provost to the waitress at a Fish and Chips store, all are distinct, interesting and individual people.  Secrets abound within secrets and there are several secretive movements at odds with one another.  The Nineteenth Century is dying before it really had a chance to enter into the lives of the Island and the twentieth Century is banging on the door loudly demanding entry.  Meanwhile, all involved are still trying to untangle the problems of the Tenth Century.

This book is deceptive.  A reader may expect some descent into barbarism and mumbo-jumbo or a tale of horror and madness.  Instead, one finds people coping with inherited Cultural positions and striving for control (‘Power’ is such a Nasty word) over their lives.  The same conflicts that arose at the very dawn of History are alive and kicking.  People are still only people and lives are taken, altered and enriched by the oddest trifles and strangest events.  Over all there remains the story of Cinderella, told from the viewpoint of the ‘wicked stepmother.’  It is a sharp and cogent tale, not just a case from Late Victorian times, but also a microcosm of large parts of Human History.”

A Case of Witchcraft is available from Amazon, and also in all good formats including Amazon Kindle , Barnes and Noble Nook, and iBooks for the iPad.


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The Bookbag reviews A Case of Witchcraft A Novel of Sherlock Holmes

“Overall, this is a rich and satisfying tale that provides us with a new insight into the most private recesses of the mind of Sherlock Holmes.”

Set in the Northern Isles A Case of Witchcraft has already caused some controversy written as it is by an expert on the occult. The Bookbag really liked the book and gave it a very strong 4 out of 5 stars.

“Revill’s work brings us the Holmes we love very quickly. Instantly recognisable with his usual ascerbic wit and attractive peculiarities, this novel draws in the reader rapidly, and sets up the storyline clearly.

As Holmes embarks on a journey towards the Northern Isles, we are treated to a comprehensive background of the ways of witches all over the world; all points are pertinent and the history is fascinating as well as necessary. The introduction to the ways of witchcraft demonstrates the worldwide links that will become highly significant later. Revill weaves in the relevant history and all its complications with ease, and the novel flows in spite of having to accommodate this.”

You can read the full review at The Bookbag Website.

The book is available from Amazon, and also in all good formats including Amazon Kindle , Barnes and Noble Nook and iBooks for the iPad.


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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews A Case of Witchcraft

“well written and thoroughly researched”

Set in the Northern Isles A Case of Witchcraft has already caused some controversy written as it is by an expert on the occult. Here the Sherlock Holmes Society of London review this debut novel from Joe Revill.

“A Case of Witchcraft by Joe Revill (£12.99/$19.95/€14.99) teams Holmes rather improbably with Aleister Crowley to investigate the disappearance of an eminent folklorist in what’s described as a ‘remote and rather backward northern isle’. The situation is strongly reminiscent of The Wicker Man, but, of course, Holmes is not Sergeant Howie.

His attitude towards the so-called Old Religion, not to mention the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, is remarkably liberal, but perhaps that’s the influence of his companion. A Case of Witchcraft is a decided oddity,but well written (in the third person) and thoroughly researched.”

Joe launches the book at his local Waterstones bookstore in Chesterfield, UK on the 24th September. If you are in the area we advise getting a signed copy – the book is already flying off the shelves in the USA and getting great reviews so signed 1st editions are likely to become nicely collectable. Available from Amazon, and also in all good formats including Amazon Kindle and iBooks for the iPad.


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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, , 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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