Book Review: Jewel of the Thames

 

 

Jewel of the Thames

I’m a happy book reviewer. A lot of times, when I review Holmesian literature, I come out with one of two perspectives: Either a book is a respectable pastiche but lags or is stilted in writing style, or it’s entertainingly written but comes across as disingenuous or anachronistic. It is rare, I repeat, extremely rare, to come across a book that is hugely enjoyable in style as well as being authentic and believable in content. Jewel of the Thames is that kind of book.

As the subtitle clearly indicates, this book is not a direct pastiche. It’s about a female protagonist named Portia Adams, with mysterious connections to Dr. Watson, who inherits 221b Baker Street in the 1920s. Portia is an effervescent, charming, and engaging character. Sadly, it’s still quite rare to come across self-actualized, intelligent, and healthy female protagonists, especially in mystery fiction, but Misri has created an absolute classic in the genre.

Even though Jewel is not a pastiche, it is an homage, peppered with references to characters and situations from the Doyle stories that will delight die-hard fans. It’s not just a vehicle for admiring Holmes, though. It’s the beginning of an extremely creative and well-researched mystery series in its own right.

Jewel is being marketed for young adult readers, but any fans of Holmes who enjoy entertaining and very well-written stories will enjoy it. At the same time, it is certainly appropriate for younger readers who have the maturity to comprehend the content, and Portia Adams is an unusually positive role model.

I’m encouraged by the trend toward a positively feminist voice in the contemporary world of Sherlock Holmes, and Jewel of the Thames is, in my opinion, one of the best contributions to this cause that I’ve ever encountered. It carries my strongest recommendation to fans of Holmes and would be an outstanding way to introduce new fans to Sherlock Holmes.

One top of being a great book, Jewel of the Thames carries an almost ridiculously reasonable price tag, so you have absolutely no reason to miss it. Get it here.

The above-reviewed work was provided for consideration by the author. All opinions expressed are the reviewer’s own.

 

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How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

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Book Review: Charlie Milverton and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories

Charlie Milverton and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories

by Charlotte Anne Walters

Reviewed by Amy Thomas, The Baker Street Babes

Charlie Milverton Cover

Charlie Milverton, a collection of five Sherlock Holmes stories, is certainly a book of its time. Prior to 2010, modernized Holmes stories existed, but the inception and meteoric rise of Sherlock and Elementary have brought the idea into vogue in an unprecedented way. Author Charlotte Anne Walters has chosen to turn her pen toward bringing this phenomenon back to the printed page.

Charlotte isn’t at all cagey about her source material. Titles like “The Premier Bachelor” give broad hints of the stories she’s chosen to update, and her plots come directly from Doyle. What she’s chosen to change are contexts, and, to some extent, characters. Individuals like Charlie Milverton are recognizable as updates of their canon counterparts, but their qualities and vocations are at home in the modern world.

The style of the writing is fast-paced and very plot driven. Readers won’t find themselves getting bored. The prominence of Lestrade’s character is unexpected but certainly welcome and enjoyably executed.

As a devoted watcher of Sherlock, there have been moments throughout the series when I thought the modernization of a particular aspect rang less true than it should, particularly in “The Blind Banker.” I found myself experiencing a similar feeling occasionally when reading Charlie Milverton, as a Victorian-sounding line here and there jarred slightly with my immersion into the stories’ modern world.

Overall, Charlie Milverton is an interesting project that asks whether or not a Sherlock Holmes story can be translated as directly as Walters has chosen to do and succeed as a modern story. Barring the occasional odd moment, I would say the answer is yes; it works.

Charlie Milverton and other Sherlock Holmes Storiesis available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USA,Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon KindleKobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

A copy of the above-reviewed work was provided for consideration by the publisher. All opinions expressed are the reviewer’s own.

Book Review: The Remedy

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The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis

By Thomas Goetz

It’s not often that I have a chance to review Holmes-related nonfiction, and it’s an even rarer pleasure to encounter a book as well-researched and engagingly written as The Remedy. Author Thomas Goetz skillfully weaves together a story that explores the origins of germ theory and uses the medical and scientific context of the Victorian Period to illuminate and explain the life and work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The book is certainly not for the faint of heart. Its impressive attention to detail leads to a high page count, but readability is never sacrificed. Fans of Holmes may be confused by the fact that Doyle doesn’t appear for quite a while, but it’s worth the wait and the effort to understand the historical circumstances Goetz weaves around him.

The Sherlock Holmes stories are wonderful in and of themselves, but books like The Remedy remind readers that they weren’t written in a vacuum. The actions of people like Dr. Joseph Bell and groundbreaking researcher Robert Koch had a direct hand in the life of Doyle, and Goetz makes an impressive case for how much influence they had on the formation of Sherlock Holmes.

The Remedy is an impressive achievement, a book that manages to be densely informative without being at all dense to consume. Goetz’s writing style is pointed, clear, objective, and surprisingly entertaining. Doyle fans who want to dig deeper into the circumstances that led to the creation of Sherlock Holmes will find it a rare treat, and it will be even more appreciated by those who also have a secondary interest in medical or scientific history.

Purchase it here.

A copy of The Remedy was provided for consideration by the publisher. All viewpoints expressed are the author’s own.

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How to get my books:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.