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Another Winning Sherlockian Adventure from Tim Symonds – Review of Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The Bulgarian Codex

“Different editors of Dr. Watson’s manuscripts have different specialties. Denis O. Smith brings us incredible stories set in the 1880’s. Marcia Wilson brings an unsurpassed understanding about the world of the Scotland Yarders that has no equal. Tim Symonds offers a number of well-researched, compelling, and full-length Sherlock Holmes adventures and short stories specializing in Our Heroes’ activities in the early 20th century. In “The Bulgarian Codex”, set in 1900, Holmes and Watson become involved in the quest to recover an ancient document – the Codex in question – before the various empires and Kingdoms on every side of the Balkans can ignite into a world war.

As always, Symonds understands the intricacies of history at the beginning of the twentieth century, and those events that eventually led to World War I – along with Holmes and Watson’s efforts to prevent or at least delay it. Once again, Holmes and Watson are in the very center of events that – if not handled properly – could lead to global catastrophe.”

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The Bulgarian Codex is available from all good bookstores including in the USA The Strand MagazineAmazonBarnes and Noble, in the UK AmazonWaterstones and for everywhere else Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleNookiPad and Kobo.

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Review of Sherlock Holmes and The Sword of Osman

It is rare that I pick up a Holmes pastiche and immediately fall in love with it – but it happened with this book. Symonds managed to catch the voice of early retirement Watson so perfectly and with so much love and whimsical sarcasm that it is a joy to read from beginning to end. The story itself is set in a time when European powers were slowly realizing that a war unlike any before was approaching. Holmes and Watson come together for an adventure set in 1906 to make sure that the Sword of Osman, an insignia of the emperor of the Ottoman Empire, will remain in the hands of the ruling king in order to keep the brittle stability between several European nations and the Ottoman Empire intact. The initially mysterious client who sends the duo to Istanbul is Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary and a great admirer of both Holmes and Watson.

The adventure is complex, the case more difficult and dangerous than Holmes or Watson anticipate and rife with references to historical and political events – an intertextual feast. I do not want to give away too much of the story, but Symonds manages to write Sherlock Holmes and John Watson very close to how Doyle wrote them and yet manages to make them his own. The story is never boring and there are enough questions and mysteries to keep the reader on edge, especially with some knowledge on the political context (I recommend reading up in the relationship between Britain and the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the century for even greater enjoyment of the book).

Symonds also manages to do what very few pastiches manage: He makes the ending surprising even after Holmes offers us the solution to the mystery. It’s entertaining and educational and offers deeper insight into Holmes’s role in European politics, which results in his role as a double agent in Doyle’s “His Last Bow” as well as his relationship with John Watson and Mycroft Holmes.

It is definitely one of my favourite Holmes pastiches so far, and I am excited to read more of Symonds’s work.

Reviewed by The Baker Street Babes

Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon 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.

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Crime Time: recent releases and the best new books

A Most Diabolical Plot by Tim Symonds is featured in this week’s Murder Mayhem & More

Six short stories featuring the world’s greatest consulting detective, with solid support from Doctor Watson. The mysteries are set in Holmes’ original Victorian era, and weave historical scenarios into the intrigue, together with the author’s admirable wry wit. As befits the genre, there’s an arch enemy, a chilling ghostly escapade, a spy story set during the Great War, an Ottoman adventure and plenty of hob-nobbing with the English nobility.

A Most Diabolical Plot – Six Compelling Sherlock Holmes Cases is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle.

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Out on Audio – Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman

Out on Audio – Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman

It’s 1906. Far from England, the Ottoman Empire ruled by the despotic Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid 11 is on the verge of imploding. Rival Great Powers, especially Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany, sit watching like crows on a fence, ready to rush in to carve up the vast territories, menacing England’s vital overland routes to her Indian possessions. At his medical practice in London’s Marylebone, Watson receives a mystifying telegram. It’s from Holmes. “Dear Watson, if you can throw physic to the dogs for an hour or two I would appreciate meeting at the stone cross at Charing Cross railway station tomorrow noon. I have an assignation with a birdlover at the Stork & Ostrich House in the Regents Park which has excited my curiosity. Yrs. S.H.”

Watson finds the invitation puzzling. Why should such a mundane meeting at a Bird House excite the curiosity of Europe’s most famous investigating detective or anyone else? For old times’ sake, Watson joins his old comrade-in-arms. Within days, Holmes and Watson find themselves aboard HMS Dreadnought en route to Stamboul, a city of fabled opulence, high espionage, and low intrigue. Their mission: at all costs, stop a plot which could bring about the immediate collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Now 142 books on the Pinterest Sherlock Holmes Audio Books Board

Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman is also available 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, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil

Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil by Tim Symonds. MX Publishing. 2016. 364pp. (pbk) The frontispiece tells us that a sigil is an inscribed or painted symbol or occult sign considered to have magical power. It’s an intriguing opener for an entirely captivating story transporting us back, effortlessly, to the Forbidden City of China in 1906. There is great attention to detail, demonstrating the author’s clear love of both the Canon and world history. The tale revolves around an assassination plot and the welldrawn characters of Emperor Ch’ing and his aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi. The pace is fast throughout, but Symonds is skilful at painting in lots of period features and fascinating facts which add great texture and encourage us to pause and reflect ont he strange world that our heroes are thrust into. There is also a helpful glossary at the end. This is clever pastiche with a strong narrative and well-judged humour. A thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish.

Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil is available 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, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

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Sherlock Holmes and The Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter

The Dean of a Swiss university persuades Sherlock Holmes to investigate the background of a would-be lecturer. To Dr. Watson it seems a very humdrum commission – but who is the mysterious ‘Lieserl’? How does her existence threaten the ambitions of the technical assistant level III in Room 86 at the Federal Patents Office in Berne by the name of Albert Einstein? The assignment plunges Holmes and Watson into unfathomable Serbia to solve one of the intractable mysteries of the 20th Century. In Tim Symonds’ previous detective novels, Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer At Scotney Castle and Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Bulgarian Codex the author based pivotal historic facts and a principal character on real life. So too in this new mystery.

Einstein’s Daughter by Tim Symonds takes the reader back to the early years of the 20th Century. It is an enjoyable romp for both Sherlock Holmes fans and for history buffs. The story is based on a true fact of Albert Einstein’s life and it is interwoven with Sherlockian grace. There are many Homes pastices, but Symonds manages to find the true voice of Conan Doyle.” –  Yvonne Beltzer

Sherlock Holmes and The Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter is available 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 Amazon Kindle,  Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

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Review of Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil

Sigil. Pronounced ‘sijil’. An inscribed or painted symbol or occult sign considered to have magical power.” So begins the very latest Sherlock Holmes mystery and adventure from the pen of Institute member, Tim Symonds: a writer who has immersed himself in the drama and legend of England and the Empire’s greatest detective; and, through his brilliant, authentic re-creations of an era, honours the original work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – to the extent that one could almost believe that a miraculous, ageless Sir Arthur was still writing today.

With each new Sherlock adventure, Tim seems to find ever-more exciting and intriguing adventures for his heroes. From book to book, there is simply no lessening of either inspiration or tension. This time, the action moves to the closed, forbidden celestial world of the imperial Chinese court – to a China (of 1906) a year in which a progressive Ch’ing Emperor finds himself at odds with the old order, in the form of the Empress Dowager – guardian of tradition and an insularity that stretches back to a time out of mind, and where secret symbols – of mysticism and dragons – could mean life or death. But British interests are at stake, and the prospect of uprisings and assassinations could be catastrophic for His Majesty’s Government, playing as it is, ‘The Great Game.’…”   

Read the full review here.

Reviewed by The Journal of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.

Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil is available 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, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

9781787050358

 

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