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What Ho, Automaton! (Reeves & Worcester Steampunk Mysteries)

What Ho, Automaton! (Reeves & Worcester Steampunk Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

Chris Dolley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

** Finalist for the 2012 WSFA Award **

"A fun blend of P.G. Wodehouse, steampunk and a touch of Sherlock Holmes. Dolley is a master at capturing and blending all these elements. More than fascinating, this work is also rip-roaring fun!" - SF Revu

The adventures of Reggie Worcester, gentleman consulting detective, and his automaton valet, Reeves.

"Dolley got me to laugh out loud near the end. Which, frankly, is VERY hard to do. Dolley's tone is spot on Wodehouse and the steampunk elements tie into both plot and silliness admirably." - Gail Carriger, author of Soulless

Reggie, an avid reader of detective fiction, knows two things about solving crime: One, the guilty party is always the person you least suspect. And, two, The Murders in the Rue Morgue would have been solved a lot sooner had the detective the foresight to include orang-utans in his list of likely suspects. Reeves needs all his steam-powered cunning and intellect to curb the young master's excessive flights of fancy. And prevent him from getting engaged.

The book contains two stories set in an alternative 1903 where an augmented Queen Victoria is still on the throne and automata are a common sight below stairs.

What Ho, Automaton! - an 8,000 word novelette about how the two met.

Something Rummy This Way Comes - a 41,000 word novella chronicling their first case. When Reggie discovers that four debutantes have gone missing in the first month of The London Season and, for fear of scandal, none of the families have called the police, he feels compelled to investigate. With the help of Reeves's giant brain and extra helpings of fish, he conducts an investigation that only a detective of rare talent could possibly envisage.

Mystery, Zeppelins, Aunts and Humour. A steam-powered Wodehouse pastiche.


"A fun blend of P.G. Wodehouse, steampunk and a touch of Sherlock Holmes. Dolley is a master at capturing and blending all these elements. More than fascinating, this work is also rip-roaring fun! But where Dolley really excels is in capturing the atmosphere and humor of the Bertie and Jeeves stories. Any Wodehouse fan will want to grab a copy of this work, but even if you have never explored that world, What Ho, Automaton! is a fun and fascinating read. Highly recommended, take a spin in this steampunk hybrid and enjoy the ride!" - SF Revu

"I found myself laughing out loud at Reggie and the fabulous Reeves as they romped their way through various adventures. A homage to Wodehouse without being sycophantic, this is fantastic. One thing to say to Chris Dolley: More please!" Sueo23

"I enjoyed every page of this book. A steampunk novel that combines classic British Humor, tongue-in-cheek references to Sherlock Holmes and a cast of great characters. I don't think I've actually laughed out loud this much while reading a book in a very long time." ErisAerie

"Dolley has managed to capture Wodehouse's style, rhythm, and sense of humor almost perfectly ... it is just so much fun, and the author's exploration of this alternative England, full of robots and polite Frankenstineian constructs, adds an absurd depth not found in its inspiration." Magus Manders

"Absolutely enjoyable book to read. The author creates this fantastical old England with a nut of a main character and a mechanic sidekick that leave you grinning after each page. It's the next best thing to Sherlock Holmes, and I hope there are sequels."Ashschreck

"A rollicking good read! Not having read the original Wodehouse (although feeling a sudden desire to) but being a huge fan of the TV series I adored these stories - I could hear Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry in my head. True to character and quick of wit, I couldn't stop laughing." Larry Auld

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 430 KB
  • Print Length: 159 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Book View Cafe; 1 edition (9 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004W0CR7S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,530 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Chris Dolley is a New York Times bestselling author, a pioneer computer game designer and a teenage freedom fighter. That was in 1974 when Chris was tasked with publicising Plymouth Rag Week. Some people might have arranged an interview with the local newspaper. Chris created the Free Cornish Army, invaded the country next door, and persuaded the UK media that Cornwall had risen up and declared independence. As he told journalists at the time, 'It was only a small country, and I did give it back.'

In 1981, he created Randomberry Games and wrote Necromancer, one of the first 3D first person perspective D&D computer games.

In 2004, his acclaimed novel, Resonance, was the first book plucked out of Baen's electronic slushpile.

Now he lives in rural France with his wife and a frightening number of animals. They grow their own food and solve their own crimes. The latter out of necessity when Chris's identity was stolen along with their life savings. Abandoned by the police forces of four countries who all insisted the crime originated in someone else's jurisdiction, he had to solve the crime himself. Which he did, and got a book out of it - the international bestseller, French Fried: One Man's Move to France With Too Many Animals And An Identity Thief.

He writes SF, Fantasy, Mystery, Humour and Memoir. His memoir, French Fried, is an NY Times bestseller, a number one bestselling travel book on Amazon US, a number one biography, travel and entertainment book on Amazon France and has spent over a year in Amazon UK's bestseller charts. His novelette, What Ho, Automaton! was a finalist for the 2012 WSFA Small Press Award. And his novelette, Magical Crimes, was the number one bestselling free short story at Amazon UK in December 2011.

He's a director of the author-run publisher, Book View Cafe.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rummy and boggling read 10 May 2011
By Jp
Format:Kindle Edition
Paying homage to, whilst parodying, the work of P. G. Wodehouse, and with just a snippet of Jasper Fforde style comedy, these two stories are a delightful romp in the world of Reginald Worcester, gentleman consulting detective, and Reeves, his gentleman consulting detective's personal gentle-automaton.

These laugh out loud stories are a playful take on a wonderful relationship between the permanently bewildered and `boggled' Worcester and the cool calm and collected Reeves. Who according to Worcester and his belief in the mind enlarging properties of fish has a `turbot charged' intellect, but is quite unable to understand the importance of Eunuchs and Orang-utans.

In what Ho Automaton, Reeves is liberated from a cupboard in the Drones Club attic where he has spent the last fourteen years. Unfortunately for Reeves he is dressed as a fairground fortune teller, and is not too happy about it. Reggie tells his tale of woe to Reeves and he is cajoled into assisting Reggie with his dictatorial `aunt' problem. Making use of Reeves' immense brain they take a trip to the country and a few misunderstandings in the troth plighted department and bizarre adventures ensue.

Something Rummy This Way Comes involves more aunt initiated problems for Reggie as it has been dictated by his Aunt Bertha that he must attend every ball and dinner party in this season's calendar and that he must get engaged to one of this year's débutantes. A demoralised Reggie looks to Reeves for help and Reeves suggests the Reggie act as if he is trying to get married whilst utilising a variety of `deb repellents' simultaneously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you like P G Woodhouse? 21 April 2012
By Barbara
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was great fun. I love the original Jeeves and Wooster stories, and I enjoyed this as a tribute tale rather than a micky-take. Enough said!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - I want more please Mr Dolley 5 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Jeeves & Wooster books, at times become almost self-parodying and this book captures that atmosphere extremely well. If I have a criticism it is that I feel several short stories would have worked better than one short and one novella length, but then again, if I have a second criticism it is that this book is much too short as I raced through it not wanting it to end. I do hope that the rumours are true and Mr Dolley intends to write more Reeves & Worcester tales.
Buy this now and keep your fingers crossed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wodehouse done right 30 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
It's very, very, very hard to write Wodehouse pastiche. Really hard. Chris Dolley does it well. I laughed til I cried over the (literally) robotic Reeves. Dolley gets the language right, he gets the timing right (really hard!) and oh yeah--it's steampunk! Supposedly there are more of these stories coming. Thank goodness!
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