Holmes The Darlington Substitution by Melvyn Small ** Blog Tour Review** #indipenned
On Books, Life and Everything we have something a little different today. Holmes The Darlington Substitution is a crime fiction novella which will not be published as a book in the first instance, but will be serialised as twelve weekly postings on Indipenned.com.
The first chapter was published on February 14th and you can read it for free right here.
With Watson's literary career going from strength to strength, he secures a slot on local radio to publicise his new book. Uncertain as how to well it went, he is still a little surprised when the recording isn't broadcast. Although disappointed, he disregards this snub to his confidence as a peculiar but unimportant bend in the path of his literary career.
Sherlock Holmes is not so dismissive. He seizes upon the event, certain that there is more to this rebuff than meets the eye. He grills Watson to the content of his interview, convinced a key fact will reveal all. There is nothing. Watson is sure off that. An investigation ensues that takes Holmes to the end of the known world, a place just near Thirsk.
The Darlington Substitution is a retrospective account, occurring during the same time as the adventures chronicled in Holmes Volume 2. It sees Holmes at the height of his wisecracking, foulmouthed, law disregarding deductive brilliance.
The first thing to say about this novella is that you don't have to be an avid Sherlock Holmes fan to enjoy this read. It stands on its own as a lively read and one which is accessible to the reader. The publishing of the story in instalments reminds me of the way Charles Dickens' books were published in monthly sections which is a different reading experience for the modern reader. I won't be spoiling anything by talking about the story but it is a nicely paced work which amuses.
I found the humour in it to be the best part of the story. Sherlock Holmes' dry wit is intact. Holmes may have been transplanted to a different time, place and section of society but his razor sharp intellect is still there as well as a touch of aloof arrogance towards those who do not have his forensic brain. Told through Watson's voice, I found that he is an engaging foil to the great man and asks the questions we want answered.
In short: an engaging, humorous and cleverly written mystery.
About the Author
Melvyn Small is an author and the founder of Indipenned, a website that champions the work of independent literature. Thus far he has written two books, Holmes Volume 1 and the imaginatively titled follow up Holmes Volume 2 (Subsequently republished by Fahrenheit Press as the Victor Locke Chronicles)
Mel's perhaps unique spin on Sherlock Holmes, which places the character in a different time, location and section of society, has found fans around the world and is fast becoming a cult classic. His writing style is pacey and littered with gin-dry humour. It has been described as "hilarious, clever and hugely enjoyable." The Darlington Substitution novella is his longest story so far and perhaps his best work to date.
Thanks to Melvyn Small and Indipenned for a copy of the novella and a place on the Blog Tour.
Keep up with the rest of the tour!