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Sherlock Holmes - The Will of the Dead [Paperback]

George Mann
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

8 Nov 2013 Sherlock Holmes
A young man named Peter Maugram appears at the front door of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watsons Baker Street lodgings. Maugrams uncle is dead and his will has disappeared, leaving the man afraid that he will be left penniless. Holmes agrees to take the case and he and Watson dig deep into the murky past of this complex family.

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Sherlock Holmes - The Will of the Dead + Sherlock Holmes - The Stuff of Nightmares + The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - The Grimswell Curse
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (8 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781160015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781160015
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Newbury and Hobbes are engaging characters...Fast-paced and well-written" (School Library Journal)

Mann clearly knows his Holmes, knows what works and... the book is all the better for it." -- Crime Fiction Lover

"An amazing story. I had anticipated a certain level for The Will of the Dead, but George Mann went far, far above it... the ideas behind his stories are interesting and fresh and he knows how to come up with a brilliant plot twist that will set your mouth agape. Even in the established world of Sherlock Holmes, George Mann is a strong voice and sets himself apart!" --The Book Plank

"Mann writes Holmes in a eloquent way, capturing the period of the piece perfectly, throwing Jeremy Brett fuelled childhood memories at me with every page and I must say that, if all non-Doyle Holmes adventures are this good, I will certainly read more... Those of you that love your Sherlock in any form, this is a must read." --Cult Den

About the Author

George Mann is the author of the Newbury and Hobbes and The Ghost series of novels, as well as numerous short stories, novellas and audiobooks. He has written fiction and audio scripts for the BBC's Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes. He is also a respected anthologist and has edited The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction and The Solaris Book of New Fantasy. He lives near Grantham, UK.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holmes with a nice dash of Steampunk 20 Feb 2014
By bookworm VINE VOICE
I like George Mann's books and when I saw that he had written a novel featuring Sherlock Holmes I was thrilled. I have to say that this is a highly enjoyable story that sees Holmes and Watson tackle a complex family case of a missing will - with the added delight of trying to stop a handful of automatons (Iron Men) who run amok in the city primarily to steal jewellery from wealthy people in their large houses. The descriptions of these heavy robots stomping through the streets hell bent on their business is really quite sinister. I thought Mann captured the spirit of Holmes (I was seeing Jeremy Brett in my mind) and his faithful companion Watson very well and true to Conan Doyle's creations and I'm looking forward to his next Holmes outing - "The Spirit Box" in the not too distant future.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyed it 30 Dec 2013
By Oldgit
Format:Kindle Edition
I have started to read these new genres of Holmes and have read several other George Mann books so was expecting something maybe outrageous but was surprised to find it very inkeeping. Usual twists and turns. Suspenseful ending. Read it over Xmas whilst recovering from an op so it was several books ago now but still remember it so enjoyed it!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 29 Dec 2013
By Karen
Great for any Sherlock Holmes fan that has read all of Arthur Conan Doyle and desperate for more ! It's not purist but its readable and entertaining
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Christmas present 2 Jan 2014
By Eralc
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered this for my mum for Christmas as I am a fan of Georg Mann (steampunk) and she loves it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leisurely Paced But Satisfying 24 Nov 2013
By London Fog - Published on
On the one hand, this was a distinctive take on the average Holmes pastiche, where the POVs of Mann's original characters are interspersed between Watson's first person narrative. Instead of a client bringing the case before Holmes in the usual manner, we are given a firsthand account of what occurred from the other players. It deviates from my taste in more conventional pastiches, but the side characters were so well drawn they take on a life of their own, and become just as much a part of the book as Holmes & Watson. Two separate plots also come into play - the clues are strewn about where we cannot see them, but of course, Holmes can, and I thought the unfolding of the actual mysteries were one of this book's strengths.

Yet, for all that, I would have to say my technical rating would be 3.5 stars. What ultimately happened is that the multiple viewpoints may have been used too frequently, creating an excess of unnecessary detail, slowing the pacing in many instances or dampening the suspense when things should have been at their most exciting. And it might just be me being an insufferable nitpicker, but there were times I felt he had the doctor and detective spot on, while other instances they were just cardboard Victorian cutouts.

Overall though, while not this author's best work, in my opinion its strengths outweighed any shortcomings, and is one that deserves to be counted among some of the better pastiches out there. Aside from the instances of plodding pace, I cannot see this as being a disappointment to anyone who likes to get caught up in a good mystery.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sherlock Holmes pastiche! 18 Jan 2014
By Claude Bryant - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Will of the Dead" is a very well conceived story, although intertwining the mystery of "The Iron Men" may seem a little too fantastic. The writing is rich and allows the reader to feel the victorian atmosphere and fully appreciate the main characters, faithfully depicted as we find them in Conan Doyle. A minor reservation concerning the editing, not the author: many punctuation marks are missing or misplaced.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Outing 15 Jan 2014
By Drstatz - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
George Mann is one of the many Sherlock Holmes writers whose offerings go straight into my shopping cart. This particular outing simply reinforces that this will continue. It is a solid tale with many misdirections for those who believe they can start identifying villains early on. That won't happen. I must confess that the first mention of Iron Men, I feared the story was heading into the realms of fairies, wicked queens and the like. Fortunately that didn't occur. A number of surprises presented themselves at the conclusion which, in themselves, made the book worthy of its price. A total winner and I anticipate more of Mr Mann's offerings.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes vs Iron Man 11 Dec 2013
By Andrew Anderson - Published on
You might think that this is a post comparing the two hit movie franchises staring Robert Downey Jr. But it's not. Maybe another time.

This post is about the new Sherlock Holmes book by George Mann called The Will of the Dead. Mann is more well known (in certain niche literary circles) for his Newbury and Hobbes steampunk series, is a wonderfully talented writer who has a way with words that only British authors seem to be able to pull off.

In my mind there are two ways to write a Sherlock Holmes pastiche; you either do your best Doyle impersonation and try to write something that would be difficult to discern from something Doyle himself would have written, or you throw caution to the wind and do something completely different. I love both approaches but in the latter case I prefer it when the the characters stay true to form and it's the stories or the setting that take the brunt of the creative divergence. This is what Mann has done with The Will of the Dead.

While the true grandfather of steampunk may be Jules Verne, Doyle and Sherlock Holmes have undoubtedly been a huge influence on the genre. In fact, Mann's Newbury and Hobbes series borrows heavily from Sherlock Holmes. It contains a brilliant detective who has a tendency to use narcotics and is heavily educated in the occult. Okay, maybe that last part doesn't fit very well, but trust me, the homage to Holmes is clear.

In The Will of the Dead, Mann has undertaken a Sherlock Holmes story and while the use of steampunk is minimal, it's still present. Doyle purists will likely have already stopped reading, but I for one enjoy it when authors take poetic license with the Great Detective and bring some of their own creative flair to the story. If you're afraid the story is filled with steam powered cars, clockwork automatons, cyborgs, and zeppelins don't worry the only steampunk element are men in iron suits powered by steam.

In fact if you took the iron men out of the book it would be a fairly traditional Sherlock Holmes story. The main story is of a missing will of a wealthy uncle, the suspect circumstances of his death, his bickering niece and nephews, and a mysterious heir to the family fortune who know one knows. And then of course there are several high profile robberies carried out in broad daylight by men in iron suits.

But Mann can't resist tying in his popular steampunk series with this book by placing a younger version of the police detective from his Newbury and Hobbes stories as the police detective assigned to the case that Holmes is working on. It's a nice touch if your a fan of his other books but not distracting or obvious if you're not.

So if you're a fan of steampunk and Sherlock Holmes, this is an easy recommendation. If you enjoy creative Sherlock pastiches with a hint of sci-fi, then this I think you'll also be pleased with The Will of the Dead.

This post originally appeared on the I Hear of Sherlock Blog [...]
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A popcorn book that distracts, but unsatisfying. 14 Nov 2013
By M. Firlik - Published on
Mann nicely recreates Victorian London and the Holmes-Watson relationship, but the plot is thin; you can figure out the main mystery and sub-plot in a few of chapters. The book is padded by too-long conversations, including, oddly enough, some 21st century dialogue ("I'm glad to be out of here," says a bobby, and Watson resigns himself to circumstances by announcing, "it is what is is.") that should be easily avoidable, if Mann wasn't cranking out books like an assembly line.
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