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September 23-30 New Sherlock Holmes Books

Two exciting new Holmes books to tell you about this week.

Sherlock Holmes and A Study In Regret is a traditional Holmes story that runs on the premise that two not one perished at Reichenbach.

Also in a traditional vein comes The Papers of Sherlock Holmes Volume 2 from David Marcum. The first Volume that came out on in June and has been our bestselling book over the summer. An extremely high quality collection of short stories – very much Conan Doyle style.

Sherlock Holmes and A Study In Regret is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USABarnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

The Papers of Sherlock Holmes Volume Two is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USABarnes and Noble USA, Amazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle,  KoboNookand Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

a study in regret-papers

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London Reviews My Dear Watson

Following the wonderful review from The Bookbag (see below), The Sherlock Holmes Society of London is next up to review this fascinating book which sees Sherlock Holmes cast as a woman.

“I started this book after an evening out, thinking I would just read a page or two to help me sleep… two hours later I’d read all of it. Margaret Park Bridges knows how to give a reader a good time. Each page beckons you hypnotically towards the next. It’s suspense filled, interesting, fun and, indeed funny to the point of farce on a couple of occasions.” The Bookbag

In the current newsletter from The Society, they agree that despite the controversial storyline, this is a very good book.

“Margaret Park Bridges takes an even more revisionist approach in her novel My Dear Watson (MX Publishing; £9.99/ $18.95/ €12.99). The detective’s secret is disclosed at the very start of the book, and it’ll do no harm to reveal it here: Sherlock Holmes was a woman. It’s not a new idea but it’s handled here with great skill and confidence, and it has a purpose, to account for much of Holmes’s personality as described by Dr Watson. 

Visits to the Turkish baths must have posed problems, but there’s no real contradiction here of Watson’s accounts. The woman Holmes lives as a man, and Watson believes her to be a man. Am I convinced? No. Do I accept it while reading the book? Yes, and not only because it’s essential to the story, which is a good one, involving the beautiful daughter of the late James Moriarty.”

My Dear Watson is available from all good bookstores worldwide including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, and in all good formats including Kindle, Nook, iBooks (iPad/iPhone),

 

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Bookbag Reviews My Dear Watson – a novel of Sherlock Holmes

“I started this book after an evening out, thinking I would just read a page or two to help me sleep… two hours later I’d read all of it. Margaret Park Bridges knows how to give a reader a good time. Each page beckons you hypnotically towards the next. It’s suspense filled, interesting, fun and, indeed funny to the point of farce on a couple of occasions.”

Four star reviews from independent bookstore review site The Bookbag are to be treasured as they don’t come around too often. My Dear Watson gets a great review – a few minor gripes – but overall “this is an excellent book with a driving plot and twists right through it like a stick of rock.”

Margaret Park Bridges book was originally published in Japanese a decade ago so it was lucky Sherlock Holmes fans in Japan who until now had been treated to the concept of Sherlock Holmes as a woman. You can read the full review on The Bookbag Website.

My Dear Watson is available from all good bookstores worldwide including Amazon USA, and in all good formats including Kindle, Nook, iBooks,

 

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Sherlock Holmes and The Irish Rebels

“It’s a powerful subject, and Mr McMullen handles it well.”

The final edition of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London newsletter of 2011 reviews Kieran McMullen’s 2nd novel about the Easter uprising in Ireland – ‘Sherlock Holmes and The Irish Rebels’.

“Kieran McMullen has once more combined his expertise as a military historian and former soldier with his devotion to Sherlock Holmes, and he’s added a third element – his own heritage – in Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels.

Two years into the Great War, Dr Watson is called away from his post with the Royal Army Medical Corps and instructed to join Holmes in Dublin, where, under the alias of Liam Altamont, he has infiltrated the Irish Volunteers, who, believing that ‘England’s extremity is Ireland’s opportunity’, are a rebellion against British rule.

As we know, the Easter Rising was crushed, saving Britain from war in the west as well as the east, but disgust at the speedy execution of the leading rebels only intensified the desire for Irish independence. It’s a powerful subject, and Mr McMullen handles it well. How would Arthur Conan Doyle have tackled it, I wonder? 

Sherlock Holmes and The Irish Rebels is available from all good bookstores including Book Depository (free worldwide delivery), Amazon UK, and Amazon USA and electronic formats including Kindle UK and Kindle USA.

Watson’s Afghan Adventure is available from all good bookstores and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, iBooks (iPad and iPhone) and other formats.

Kieran’s own blog is very popular – especially his series of articles on the different actors that have played Dr.Watson.

 

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The Bookbag reviews Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania

“Overall this is an exciting and entertaining read which will definitely appeal to both Sherlockians and fans of Bram Stoker.”

The Bookbag is the one of the world’s largest book review sites and we are always excited to receive the email from them that a review of one of our books is ready. Their review of Gerry O’Hara’s first novel Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania was a great one to read.

“I normally start reviews with a brief plot summary, but it seems almost besides the point to do so for a book entitled Sherlock Holmes and the Affair in Transylvania. From those seven words, the reader will have no doubt guessed that this is a Holmes meets Dracula story, and so we may as well move straight on to the burning question – is it any good?

Yes, in many ways, it is. The substitution of Holmes and Watson for Van Helsing is the main change in a story which follows the original fairly closely – other minor characters are removed or changed a bit, but we get Renfield, Lucy, Mina, and of course the Count himself drawn fairly faithfully. Most notably, Holmes and Watson themselves are extremely close to Conan Doyle’s originals; no real surprise as this is almost always a real strength of authors signed by MX Publishing.

Having said that, if I have a minor fault to find with it, it’s that it perhaps sticks a little bit too closely to the original Stoker novel; if anything; maybe a few more surprises would have made it even better. Nevertheless it held my attention from start to finish and will stick in the memory thanks to a few especially effective scenes and the great characterization of the central pair. I should also point out that I’ve read so many Holmes books recently that I’m perhaps harder to impress than the average reader, and while this doesn’t quite rank up there with the very best (which I’ll mention below), it’s a solid first novel and I would definitely be interested in reading more by Gerry O’Hara.

Overall this is an exciting and entertaining read which will definitely appeal to both Sherlockians and fans of Bram Stoker.”

You can read the full review on The Bookbag site.

Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania is available through all good bookstores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle and iBooks for the iPad.

 

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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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Barefoot On Baker Street – A Novel of Sherlock Holmes Reviewed by The Ill Dressed Vagabond

“This is a powerful novel that makes great efforts to comply with the Canon.”

Philip K Jones, aka The Ill Dressed Vagabond is one of the USA’s leading Holmes reviewers and this week he delivers a detailed review of Barefoot on Baker Street by Charlotte Walters. The full review is below – and the highlight seems to be how Charlotte handles the main characters:

“The true wonder of the book is these three tormented men (Holmes, Moriarty and Mycroft) and their efforts to control their own lives that are seemingly beyond control.  The heroine is another wonder.  She grew up in Hell, survived and thrived.  She learned to care about others, to love and to function usefully in a world that has constantly tried to kill her since she was born.”

Barefoot on Baker Street is available from all good bookstores and in all formats including Amazon Kindle, iBooks (iPad and iPhone) and of course in large trade paperback. Charlotte has a wonderful blog (Barefootonbakerstreet) where recently she has reviewed all 56 of the original Sherlock Holmes stories.

“This is the story of an orphan girl born in the Whitechapel and Spitalfields Union Workhouse.  Her father was killed in an accident as he worked on the railways.  Her mother died in childbirth and she was raised in the Workhouse.  As she grew, she received 4 hours of education a day and worked at hard labor for the rest of the day.  As was common practice, at puberty she was forcibly raped by the School Master.  When he fell asleep afterward, she killed him, stole his money and set the room on fire.  She then escaped with a young boy, Luke, and ran free into Whitechapel.  Some years later, she became part of the Dean Street Gang, run by one Wiggens.  At age 16, she entered Sherlock Holmes’ study as one of his ‘irregulars,’ to be directed to search for the steam launch Aurora.  As they were leaving, Holmes detained her and told her to never again enter his house in disguise or with a weapon and sent her away.

After an argument with Wiggens over the future of the ‘gang,’ she was left with her childhood companion, Luke, to fend for herself.  Within a short time, she was recruited by a minion of Professor Moriarty.  She spent time working her way up in his organization and eventually was taken under his wing and given special training of several sorts.  He had her trained and groomed to become his ‘doorkeeper’ and chief assistant, as well as his wife. This situation continued for some time until she became pregnant.  She was determined to have the child, so Moriarty had her drugged and the fetus aborted.  From that time on, she was on the watch for a chance to leave his service.

A plot of Moriarty’s, involving a newly developed strain of the Black Death afforded an opportunity for her to escape him and his service.  She and Luke went to Sherlock and joined in his effort to bring down Moriarty.  With her help, the Plague plot was foiled and Holmes ran to the Continent with Watson, her and Luke to escape the Professor’s vengeance.  Eventually, the events at The Falls of the Reichenbach lost Holmes to her, so she shot the Professor who was crowing about his victory.  She then fainted and Watson took her back to the Englisher Hof to deal with her spontaneous abortion of Sherlock’s child.

The rest of the book covers events that followed the death of Sherlock.  Our heroine, called “Red,” helped save the widowed Dr. Watson from the bill collectors and worked with him to put his practice on a paying basis.  She and Watson went to Mycroft to tell him of Sherlock’s death and they all became friends and associates.  Watson’s practice grew and diversified and Red became busy and began to live again.  When Sherlock returned after the Great Hiatus, he arrived in the midst of a complex situation and had to deal with friends and kin who were angry and disappointed in him.

The story is, of course, much more complex than this short description.  The author has carefully depicted Moriarty, Sherlock and Mycroft as autistic savants.  Each have their own symptoms and ‘coping mechanisms,’ but all share similar attitudes to other people and toward ‘Red.’  She is the only other person who is truly ‘real’ to each of them.  They express their disabilities in different fashions and cope with them in differing ways.  The true wonder of the book is these three tormented men and their efforts to control their own lives that are seemingly beyond control.  The heroine is another wonder.  She grew up in Hell, survived and thrived.  She learned to care about others, to love and to function usefully in a world that has constantly tried to kill her since she was born.

This is a powerful novel that makes great efforts to comply with the Canon.  Places where it differs are clearly places where Dr. Watson would have ‘glossed over’ or omitted events, so that the book seems to fit the Canon well.  The narrative here is much more realistic than are the Canonical tales and the seamier side of London is brought home to the reader in many ugly details.”

 

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