Greetings from The Raven!

Jan. 5, 2019

Treachery in Torquay a Sherlock Holmes Adventure by WP Lawler

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

In 1905, Torquay on the southern coast of England was a city where many Brits take their holiday. One current problem in the place is a series of brutal crimes that leave the citizens of Torquay shaken and disturbed.

Holmes and Watson are contacted by an area civic leader, Mr. James Cary, Esq. However, Cary has problems of his own to discuss. Murder most foul is lurking in the beleaguered town…

And…

Frankly, I found the story to be boring… I never managed to get past the first 25 pages. This is my opinion, perhaps, but valid. I can give this one only one star.

Quoth the Raven…

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Jan. 5, 2019

The Druid of Death A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Richard T Ryan

My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Books for my copy of this book.

A young woman is murdered at Stonehenge, on the morning of the vernal equinox in 1899. Her organs have been removed and arranged around the body, with symbols drawn on her skin in her own blood. Cut branches of yew surround the body…

The whole business smells too much of Jack the Ripper… Yet Holmes is also confident a malevolent force is at work. He researches pagan ceremonies and Druidic rites. Then, on the morning of the summer solstice, a similar body, this time a young male, is discovered on the eye of the White Horse of Uffington…

Ryan brings more of his exciting stories in this latest volume! If you were fortunate to read his previous Holmes novels, get ready for more of the same quality! He indeed has a knack for keeping the action flowing from start to finish! The flow is fast and furious, the mystery kept concealed until the last possible moment, and the deductions and crime solving superb!

I give the book a solid five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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Jan. 5, 2019

Sherlock Holmes and the Roswell Incident by Michael Druce

My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Books for my copy of this book

Roswell, New Mexico is a town and area shrouded in mystery. Debris discovered on a ranch were reported in the Sacramento Bee as the remains of a “flying disc.” The data was based on reports from Roswell Army Air Field.

Depending on whom you believe, this proved mistaken identity or was proven false, the debris from a “weather balloon.” Pictures appeared in the papers confirming the weather balloon angle, although some claimed this was only a cover-up.

In this book, a young woman named Jenny Winston went missing that fateful day. Holmes and Watson are trying to solve her disappearance. They find themselves swept up in the beginnings of the Cold War. The more misinformation or total lies told, the many times Holmes and Watson are attacked, and government interference, the more Holmes is determined to be successful.

The battle culminates at the Eiffel Tower, in a standoff comparable to Reichenbach Falls.

I was not overly fond of this one. It is more a case of trying to prove cover-up than a Holmes mystery. It is not all that bad, but as a story, you could entirely cut Holmes and Watson out, and the story would still stand.

I’ll be generous and give the story two stars. I wish authors did not add Holmes to stories as a means to selling the story. That is only my personal opinion.


Quoth the Raven…

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Jan. 5, 2019

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the First Unicorn by Lida Svec and Joseph W Svec III

My thanks go out to Steve and Timi of MX Books for my copy of this book.

This story continues the mad-cap adventures from the Missing Authors trilogy. This time around, the magical creature is a unicorn, who is trying hard to be kind to everyone. His hijinks include stealing a pair of warm socks!

There is the case of the inventor who claims his invention just walked out of his lab to solve. A Scotsman is upset of his missing “lochs.” A woman seeks a lost journal. A mysterious secret society has esoteric tastes in knowledge gathering. Moreover, there is so much more!

This book is fun! Fans of the previous trilogy will be delighted; fans who are looking for more serious Holmes cases will not.

A real tongue-in-cheek romp of wit and hilarity! I give the book five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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Nov. 29, 2018

Sherlock Holmes: Adventures beyond the Cannon Volume II edited by David Marcum

My thanks go out to Derrick Belanger for my copy of this book.

I am going to assume that readers of this volume will be already familiar with the Holmes canon. I am using the Holmes story abbreviations from this site.

Readers of Sherlock Holmes might often ask what happened after Holmes solved the case, or where Holmes might have crossed paths with a villain before the current case. That is the premise of this volume. Occasionally in the canon, the story seems incomplete. This could be because there is obviously so much more to the tales offer a glimpse behind the scenes. Sometimes a tale is explained, sometimes a crook is traced further, and sometimes it is a “how they met” story.

David Marcum returns with another exciting volume of great Sherlock Holmes stories. Readers of the MX series of New Sherlock Holmes adventures will find that many of the authors are familiar. Be sure not to skip the Holmes poem by Rosie Mower!

In accordance with the SPOILER WARNING on page 21, I will be more careful than usual with my detailed review. I will give little beyond what the reader will encounter on the first page of each adventure. And now, on to the stories!

  • “The Adventure of the Empty Cell” by Kevin P Thorton

This takes place after the events of EMPT as a follow-up.

  • “The Case of the Mysterious Horseman” by Roger Piccard

Holmes and Watson are reacquainted with Silver Blaze. An American lawyer is in England for horse breeding purposes. I found this one co-best in the book! Excellent!

  • “The Adventure of the Third Traitor” by Craig Janacek

This one features further hijinks involving stolen government documents as in SECO.

  • “A Frail Thread” by Jacquelynn Morris

This adventure continues GOLD. To be honest, I don’t think this one does anything for the original story…

  • “Mercy Unwilling to Trust” by Thomas Fortenberry

The title is a line from NAVA. The story is a continuation of the misadventures of Percy “Tadpole” Phelps. The character of Holmes seems off…

  • “the Captain in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment” by Tim Symonds

This story continues the account of 3STU. To be honest, it doesn’t fit the original…

  • “The Fear of Retribution” by Craig Stephen Copeland

This story reintroduces a character from VALL. It would be a good story if it was couched as an original. As a sequel, not so much…

  • “The Case of the Stratford Poisoner” by Mark Mower

To even mention the original story would ruin a great reveal! Co-best in the book! Loved it!

  • “The Mysterious Client” by Derrick Belanger

Another message written in the “Dancing Man” code…

These stories disappointed me. They should follow the original canon, not try to rewrite some of them. I give the book only three stars…

Quoth the Raven…

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