Greetings from The Raven!

Sep. 23, 2016

Never Meant to Be by Stephen Seitz

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my review copy of this book. Forever Undershaw!

Cynthia Kenyon is a young American woman who has a destiny she could never have imagined in a million years…

The story begins with a Lawyer named Leo Lawrence bringing Cynthia Watson’s dispatch box. He had inherited it himself, but his grandmother left word to contact Cynthia and have her attend a museum display at the Acoreus Museum of Science and Astronomy on a certain date. His grandmother states that time itself depends on Cynthia.

There Cynthia and Leo view HG Well’s Time Machine, of modern design but built from plans left by HG Wells—and Professor James Moriarty…

When an accident sends Cynthia back to 1882, events begin to unfold that could have disastrous consequences to History. Things will happen and other things will be prevented from happening—things that were never meant to be!

Seitz’s tale dances back and forth along the timeline, each jump having effects on how history would be written. At times things must absolutely be done, other things prevented at all costs.

Moriarty is all too real, and if he gains control of the Time Machine, history will be made in his image. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must work to stop him. Some things were never meant to be, but time is a temperamental mistress who has her own plans…

I loved this story, and I give it five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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Sep. 17, 2016

Sherlock: The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle Adventures selected by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat

My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my advance reading copy of this book. You ladies rock!

Everyone who reads Sherlock Holmes, or has seen one of the many movies or TV shows, and especially the fans of the BBC drama, Sherlock— has their own favorite story. Yet Sherlockians worldwide have certain stories that they feel one must read in order to understand the Great Detective and how he works.

Not only Holmes, but there are stories to read to understand Doctor Watson, Mrs. Hudson, the detectives at Scotland Yard, the Baker Street Irregulars, and of course Irene Adler—the Woman.

Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat take time from their busy schedules to hand select a number of Holmes novels and short stories that they feel must be read to understand the characters as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the pastiches Holmes is sometimes transported to alternate timelines. In some of them Holmes has different companions, from investigating with his cousin to solving crimes with his wife…

This is Holmes the original. I don’t think I need say more about the stories. I will just list them as they appear in this book.

A Study in Scarlet

The Sign of the Four

“A Scandal in Bohemia”

“The Red-Headed League”

“A Case of Identity”

“The Man with the Twisted Lip””The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”

“The Adventure of the Speckled Band”

“Silver Blaze”

“The Yellow Face”

“The Musgrave Ritual”

“The Final Problem”

The Hound of the Baskervilles

“The Empty House”

“Charles Augustus Milverton”

“The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”

“The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”

“The Adventure of the Dying Detective”

 

These adventures cover Holmes’ greatest cases, his most dangerous opponents, and give an excellent picture of 221B and the team of Holmes and Watson! This book could only have a five stars plus rating!

Quoth the Raven…

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Sep. 17, 2016

Sherlock Holmes and the Lufton Lady by Marlene Aig

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my review copy of this book and for continuing to believe in me as a book reviewer! Thanks, guys!

This story has history behind it. The author was a very special Sherlockian who passed away in 1996 at the age of 43. Ms Aig was well liked in the world of Sherlock Holmes and a member of several groups dedicated to the Great Detective.

She left behind this story, which is being published in her memory.

Many authors write great mystery stories starring Holmes, Watson, and other members of the canon. What Marlene Aig has produced here goes beyond just a mystery to solve. It dares to go beyond Holmes as the cold scientific investigator and looks at Holmes, the man.

It is Christmas season in 1878 when Holmes accepts an invitation from Edward Alderbee, Viscount of Lufton, to come to his father’s estate for the holiday. The young Lord, as Holmes calls Edward, has a bit of an indiscretion problem and he hopes Holmes can lessen the damages.

Edward has a sister, the Lady Katherine, whom Holmes has met once before…

And that is as far as I go. The insight into the life of Holmes as a young man is simply too good to spoil by going any further. There will be a mystery to solve and a crime committed. Holmes will face a problem like never before…

I enthusiastically give this novelette five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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Sep. 13, 2016

The Case of the Grave Accusation by Dick Neely

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for the review copy of this book.

Roger la Pelure d'Ail (Rodger Garrick-Steele) produced a book entitled “The House of the Baskervilles.” In the book are allegations that Doyle stole the story of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” from an author acquaintance of his named Bertram Fletcher Robinson. There are also reports of adultery, and even complicity in murder…

Now Holmes and Watson must step out of the pages of Doyle’s stories and enter the modern world to defend their creator. They track down all of the information that is needed to prove la Pelure d’Ail is wrong.

This is an interesting little essay, and resents a rebuttal to Garrick-Steele’s book while remaining a Holmes adventure. All of the evidence gathered by Holmes and Watson is compiled at the end of the book, with sources duly noted.

This is an essay, and about Sir Author Conan Doyle’s friendship with Bertram Fletcher Robinson and the question of whether there was any crime of any kind associated with “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” What this story is not is a newly discovered Holmes adventure. This book will probably be of value to Sherlockians who are students of everything Holmes/Doyle. To those who read Sherlock Holmes for the mysteries, this is probably not for you.

That said, I give the book two stars…

Quoth the Raven…

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Sep. 11, 2016

The Ghost of Sherlock Holmes by Paul Voodini

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my review copy of this book.

The story is of a host, unnamed until the very end, who demonstrates a number of card tricks, a pendulum, and a set of “fairy rings.” Then there is a cutaway explaining the nature of each trick.Then the action cuts away to Holmes giving his thoughts on the trick.

Mentioned during the reveal of the tricks are Jack the Ripper, with a favorite or two from the author as to JTR’s identity; Holmes’ “closet of the mind;” Mrs. Jean Conan Doyle’s medium séances, and the infamous “Cottingley Fairies.”

When the reader finishes the book, turn back to the cover. Notice the title, and the very macabre cover illustration. Depending on where you are from you should now notice that you have been humbugged by the author into taking this book seriously enough to spend £6.99, ₤7.95, or $9.95 for this farce. That is if you didn’t spring $11.95 for the audible version…

Really now, a star at all is generous! This is another illustration of how the name Sherlock Holmes and an interesting cover will sell a book…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>