Tag Archives: sherlock holmes

Book Review: Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers’ Club by Robert J. Harris

Kelpies TBP: June 15, 2017
TBP: June 15, 2017

Artie Conan Doyle is 12 years old and while in the future he will write the great Sherlock Holmes for now he has to deal with the mystery before him. When sneaking out with his best friend, Ham, to explore Greyfriars Kirkyard, the two spot a woman in grey walking through a cemetery and footprints of enormous hound.

Not one to look past questions, Artie, with the reluctance of Ham, follow clues to discover a series robberies that will lead to a villain that Artie may not be able to defeat.

Jumping right in, I would recommend this read to children who have not been introduced to Sherlock Holmes. It is a really creative spin to focus on the author as a child. Yes, it has been done with Lewis Carroll (author of Alice in Wonderland) but only to a certain extent.

What I liked about this book is how the author was able to show the reader glimpse of Sherlock, without actually mentioning it. I enjoyed the personal struggle Artie goes through, although it is not the full focus it is a starting point in the book and a good one I might add. It shows, for a lack of better term, a human emotion/reaction other than curiosity and the need to solve something. I appreciated that.  I also loved how the story was told through Artie and not by his friend Ham or some random voice. It was a better read because of that.

The pace of the novel was acceptable. At one point, it did feel like the book was going nowhere but with the turning point(s) it added more depth to the novel. Character development was non-existing but I didn’t have an issue with this. The way the author wrote this book, there wasn’t any real need for it. Did some things change? Yes. Did any characters change? Kind of. One character, side character, a fairly key character experienced a significant change but it didn’t really apply to the mystery.

Overall, I would recommend this to my nieces and any child that wants a good mystery. As an adult I am glad I found this series.

4 Pickles


Impatiently Waiting For: The Chess Queen Enigma (Stoker & Holmes #3) by Colleen Gleason

Chronicle Books To be Published Oct. 6, 2015 360 Pages
Chronicle Books
To be Published Oct. 6, 2015
360 Pages

Evaline Stoker & Mina Holmes are back for a third adventure. They have to locate a missing chess queen before their nemesis, The Ankh, gets there first! Coming September 29, 2015.

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes have reluctantly agreed to act as social chaperones and undercover bodyguards for Princess Lurelia of Betrovia, who has arrived in London to deliver a letter that details the secret location of an ancient chess queen that’s been missing for centuries. But when the letter—which will heal a centuries-old rift between England and the Betrovians—is stolen out from under Evaline and Mina’s watchful eyes, the two girls are forced into a high-stakes race to ensure they find the chess queen before anyone else does. The Stoker and Holmes series is as culturally popular and compulsively readable as the Sherlock Holmes stories and Dracula were in the Victorian era.– Goodreads

Book Review: The Spiritglass Charade (Stoker & Holmes #2) by Colleen Gleason

Chronicle Books Published Oct. 7, 2014 360 Pages
Chronicle Books
Published Oct. 7, 2014
360 Pages

If you haven’t read the first book *Wags Finger* shame on you!!! But before you go run to the store, check out the review here.

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are ready for their new mission. It has been a month since, they became “partners” and help solve the case of the Clockwork Scarab. So when Princess Alix request their help for a special case, they jump to the occasion.

Princess Alix is worried about her friend Willa, who is convinced that her mother is haunting her telling her that her brother is alive and must be saved.

Determined to prove that Willa’s spiritualist is a hoax, Holmes and Stoker go in full force but quickly discover some cases aren’t as cut and dry as they seem and for Stoker this case hits closer to home than she would like. 

Holmes is my spirit animal. . .if I was able to spot amazing details like her.  She is such an amazing character. She is flawed, she’s not a bitch, she’s intelligent, sassy and she has a heart. I love this woman.

But the biggest props goes to the author who was able to write a “love triangle” without it being a horrible piece of work or the focus of the novel. I like how despite Holmes being this super intelligent detective, she is still a young girl learning how to interact with people she cares for.

As for Stoker . . . she is a badass girl that has a lot of growing up to do. But that is okay because there is growth from the first book to the last chapter of the second book. Stoker has communication issues and self-worth issues; some are fixed in this book, others are not. I may not love Stoker as much as I love Holmes, but I cannot see this book working without her.

I can also appreciate the undead details because they were not cheezy, cliche, nor did they bring some new information about vampires that seem to have come out of thin air (-.-).

Overall, I am completely devoted to this series and for once I don’t think anything was remotely wrong with it. There was a lot of details but that is to be expected for a mystery novel and there wasn’t that much down time. I love this series so much it will be added to my collection.

5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers Published Sept. 16, 2014 299 Pages
Algonquin Young Readers
Published Sept. 16, 2014
299 Pages

It is 1892 in New Fiddleham, New England and Abigail Rook, fresh off the boat,is looking for a job. In this job search she meets R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of with the ability to see the supernatural.

Abigail, who notices details in the ordinary is accepted as an assistant for Jackaby and embarks on a case to look for a serial killer. The police believe it is an ordinary man, however Jackaby knows it is something more.

This book is a play on Sherlock Holmes. So when I first began reading it I was very excited but then that excitement dulled down.

The reason the excitement dulled down was because it was too much like Sherlock Holmes. Yes, the supernatural spin to it does change things but Jackaby is Sherlock. This bothered me. It showed a lack of originality. Did I like Jackaby? Yes. But he wasn’t his own person.

I thought Abigail was played down way too much. She wasn’t as quick on her feet as I expected her to be; considering the fact her father was an adventurer and although she wasn’t apart of that she yearned for that type of life.

However, despite this, I really enjoyed the story and how it developed. The author was very good at keeping the story going. It did slow a considerable amount; as if the author wasn’t sure how to continue it but it was a good read. No points though for trying to show a romantic side though.

Overall, I would recommend it.

3 Pickles


NetGalley Review: Sherlock, Lupin & Me: The Dark Lady by Irene Adler

Capstone Young Readers   Published Feb. 1, 2014              240 Pages
Capstone Young Readers
Published Feb. 1, 2014
240 Pages

Irene Adler is on vacation with her family. When trying to escape cleaning, she finds William Sherlock Holmes and the battle of wits begin. Lupin, Sherlock’ friend, joins the two and soon they are off exploring.

But when they find a body washed up on the beach, all the fun is gone and a mystery begins.

As much as I appreciate a good Sherlock Holmes story, it has been forever since I’ve read one. None the less, this book was surprisingly a really great read.

Firstly, for those who only know of Holmes, the story introduces Irene, who has been in the Holmes early stories. Lupin is actually a world class thief (fictional), not in one Holmes stories, but in a story created by French writer Maurice Leblanc.

Anyway, Irene is a brat. She is an only child, who doesn’t like to stay home and has issues with her mother and completely adores her ever working father. But despite the fact that she is a brat, I actually really loved her character. She was bright and open-minded. Despite the fact that when she didn’t get her way she made a fit, she was still a like-able character.

Holmes wasn’t as much of a jerk or know it all and according to Irene that is because he is young. I liked him because he actually allowed (maybe because of his inexperience) Irene and Lupin to find answers and be right. He didn’t have his hand in everything.

Lupin was a breath of fresh air. He is portrayed extremely young in this book and is really like-able. I picture him with a head of ruffle hair, a bit buff with a really cute smile.

The writing was great, easy to read and fast. The suspense was still there as well as a shock factor. The story was well weaved and descriptive. I loved it. Overall it gets 5 Pickles.



Book Review: The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason

I love almost anything Sherlock Homles so when I found this book I was excited beyond means.

     Chronicle Books  Published Sept. 17, 2013            356 Pages
Chronicle Books
Published Sept. 17, 2013
356 Pages

Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock Holmes and Evaline Stoker, sister of Bram Stoker are bound by two things; the fact that they must live up to their family name and that they are the only ones that can find out why two high society girls are missing.

Putting aside a rivalry, that honestly shouldn’t exist, the two ladies meet three gentlemen that not only shape their investigation but their personal lives as well.

I though this book was a great mystery. Yes, you have your romance but it is not heavy at all. What I loved about the layout of the story was it was told in two points of view. So you knew exactly how Holmes saw Stoker and how Stoker felt about Holmes. It was important that you heard these things in their own voices; it added huge character to the book.

I also loved the lack of love and romance in the book. Yes, it is there. For Holmes, I am going to assume that it will be a love triangle but for Stoker I see more of a cut and dry romance and when I say cut and dry that means family difficulties.  But even with these gentlemen in the story there was nothing taken away from the mystery.

I liked the mythology of the book as well. Egyptian mythology is just as detailed as Greek mythology and I liked the fact that the theme wasn’t an Egyptian God trying to get its power back. It’s a bit more complicated.

Holmes and Stoker were great characters. They were both confident women that were very focus on what needed to be done. Although Holmes is much more intellectual than Stoker it isn’t a short coming. Stoker is just as much of a detective as Holmes; maybe not as details but her way is just as effective.

The issue I have between them is their rivalry is jealousy not because they have a past history. The mistrust between the two is understandable because they only know the textbook stuff of each other but they each feel some type of way about each other and make big assumptions about each other. I felt that was un-needed. I’m just glad they aren’t fighting over a boy.

But there was something that I liked about the book but at the same time I didn’t like. Actions Holmes was doing reminded me of the scene in the Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock Holmes. It feels intentional to keep reader interested. Don’t get me wrong it was cool but it instantly reminded me of the movie.

Also the ending of the book was a bit cliché. Granted it’s a great hang cliff to the next book but it is making the second book look predictable.

Overall, the book gets 10 out of 10. The issues I had with the book weren’t bad enough to not love this book.

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