Greetings from The Raven!

Oct. 19, 2016

Sherlock Holmes and the Menacing Melbournian by Allen Mitchell

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

Whew! Allan Mitchell has again managed to write an entire novel-length Sherlock Holmes mystery in foot and meter!  And for the third time, I have read the whole thing aloud, as poetry is meant to be read. To be honest, I don’t think I could d it again!

Michael McIntyre is from Melbourne, a man with a dark history. Moriarty has fallen, and Moran has been jailed. But the organization that was Moriarty has continued.

McIntyre and his sidekick Murphy are under orders from simply “M.” Mycroft knows that this isn’t something he can ignore, but isn’t sure what is afoot. McIntyre has the gas-gun that Moran used to kill Adair with a soft nosed pistol bullet. Mack, as his friends call him has a target of his own.

Mack wants to assassinate King Edward VII!

The pace is a bit torturous as poetry’s foot and meter affect words and how sentences are structured. But I promise there is a mystery here and if you can stick it out, it isn’t that bad…

I give this book three stars—I am burned out on Holmes as poetry. I’m sorry…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>

Oct. 17, 2016

Sherlock Holmes and the Round Table Adventure by Joseph W Svec III

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Books for my review copy of this book!

There could be spoilers, but I have been careful not to give too much away!

In Joseph Svec III’s first two Holmes novels, he has had Holmes travel to Wonderland seeking Alice and Lewis Carroll and under the sea on the Nautilus searching for Jules Verne. Now Holmes is traveling backwards in time to the days of King Arthur seeking for Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Tennyson has been living in Camelot since he has supposedly died, having visited the land many times in writing his “The Idylls of the King.” Now Tennyson has vanished, perhaps kidnapped by Morgan Le Fey…

As usual, Svec’s prose flows freely and there are laughs a plenty as Holmes seems to have a monograph on any small point of deduction he might need.

  • Determining a Person’s Occupation Through Observations of Obvious but Typically Overlooked Characteristics
  • A Study of Phase Transitional, Chronological Temporal Transportation and its Practical Applications
  • Seeing the Unseen by Looking for the Obviously Invisible, with a Focus on the Hidden Trifles

And so on…

There are meetings with Sir Percival and Sir Lancelot, an encounter with a musical dragon, an underground labyrinth dug by a living lawn gnome, and more. Merlin can only speak in rhyme due to a spell cast upon him. They travel by speeding Unicorn. And Holmes hears his Pixie Music clearer than ever!

The mystery can be summed up in one sentence, a remark by Dr. Watson on page 71: “…here we are wandering around ‘Faerie Land’ with a fictional wizard and a talking Unicorn on a mission for King Arthur to locate a poet who actually died six years ago.” This is a perfect summary!

I give the book five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>

Oct. 16, 2016

Hold a Scorpion by Melodie Johnson Howe

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!

Diana Poole is an ageing actress who is beginning to struggle for parts in movies. Diana is forty-one, although she looks ten years younger. She is a fanatic over moisture cream and keeps herself in shape.

At the moment she has just broke up an affair with a younger actor named Peter Bianchi, who isn’t taking it well. She is reading for a romantic lead in an upcoming movie, but so is another actress. Gabrielle Hays is Diana’s competition and is referred to by Diana as “her blonde shadow.”

When a woman called Elizabeth Rogers walks into traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu; Diana is drawn into a web of deceit and danger. Ex-Lover but still friend Leo Heath becomes an unofficial partner when Diana’s friend Ryan hires the PI to look into the threats surrounding her.

Diana is threatened at gunpoint, has her home broken into and ransacked, and ends up in the hospital as the story winds through a series of strange twists.

The entire case seems to hinge on a jeweled scorpion dropped in the debris from Elizabeth Rogers’ death site. A jeweled scorpion that Diana has seen before…

The mystery is nicely paced and the ending is a twist I am not certain the reader will see coming!

I give this book five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>



Oct. 16, 2016

Scones and Bones on Baker Street: Sherlock’s Dog and the Dirt Dilemma by Brenda Seabrooke

My thanks go out to Derrick Belanger of Belanger Books for my review copy of this book!

This book is for young readers. It tells the story of Digby, a street dog. Digby is simply trying to survive on the streets of Victorian London when he comes across Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

Digby’s help with a package containing a bomb at Madame Tussaud’s famous Wax Museum is the start of a sometimes tenuous relationship between the bold street dog and the Great Detective. But Digby will not give up so easily. A series of blunders and misfortunes will have to be overcome before Digby can call Baker Street his home!

This is the story of The Red-Headed League told from the viewpoint of Digby the street dog. While Holmes and Watson are on the case, they are being shadowed by the brave pup. By the end of the story Digby will have his own role to play in Sherlock Holmes’ Great Game—which is afoot or as Digby would say, “Apaw!”

The brilliant prose is matched perfectly by drawings from Mr. Brian Belanger, who also illustrates Derrick Belanger’s own Young Readers series, The MacDougall Twins with Sherlock Holmes.

I give this volume five stars. Young readers and even older ones will enjoy this captivating story!

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>


Oct. 10, 2016

Best State Ever by Dave Barry

Dave Barry has been making me laugh for decades! This is his most recent books of laughs!

Barry gives us the history of his state (Florida) hint: the people are crazy! Barry holds forth on such topics as:

• A Brief History of Florida—letting the reader know just when and where things began to go wrong for the State and how to handle Florida…
• The Skunk Ape—Florida’s odoriferous version of everyone’s favorite cryptid, Bigfoot, is loose in the Swamps of Florida—or is it?
• Weeki Watcee and Spongeworld—two attractions off the beaten path, an underwater mermaid theater and Spongebob’s natural cousins!
• Cassadaga—the Spirits are still talking—or not as the case may be—in a ghost town (Har!) dedicated to the Spiritualism movement…
• The Villages—largest retirement community anywhere gets down and boogies!
• Gatorland—it’s Florida, home of the Everglades and half a million alligators and crocodiles…
• Lock and Load Miami—Florida has the “Stand your ground” Law and this is the place you go to practice—even if you don’t own a gun and never want to own one!
• LIV—huge nightclub everyone fights to attend and pay outrageous prices for booze…
• Key West—it really says something when Key West’s “lower Duval Street makes Bourbon Street look like Sesame Street…”

The laughs are throughout along with the occasional serious moments (not really!) Barry remains King!

I give the book five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>