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4.1 out of 5 stars
Sherlock Holmes - The Will of the Dead
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 20 February 2014
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2014
Well, I must confess I love the Newbury and Hobbes books. This wasn't quite up to the same standard but wasn't too bad.

One thing though: I do wish Mr Mann would learn that the past tense of the verb "to weave" is "woven" not "weaved". Just as the past tense of "shine" is "shone" not "shined". It grates on my literacy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Looking at the reviews I was at first doubtfull about buying the book, being one of those Sherlockian purists. I thought it would be one of those nonsense stories ( Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula rubbish type plots ), but it isnt , its a well crafted plot and faithful to the Canon. well worth buying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2014
Although the book is an enjoyable enough read, I didn't find the main story very convincing - the too-intricate 'will' plot collapsed rather untidily and the 'iron man' diversion bordered on the (technically) absurd. Moreover, although the overall style was reasonably faithful to Conan Doyle's framework (apart from the inclusion of 'statements' by characters other than Watson) the language was not. Although it is perhaps neither necessary nor desirable to write in a truly Victorian manner, the use of more modern words and expressions grates somewhat - especially those with an American flavour (e.g. 'morgue' and giving Watson's weight in pounds rather than stones) - and I find it hard to accept Holmes 'grinning'. Sorry, but the whole thing is just a tad too weak and casual to do true justice to such established characters as Holmes and Watson, and their creator.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2014
The main story was good and very in keeping with Conan Doyle. The back story was a little far fetched but still entertaining. Worth reading but not the best pastiche I have read.
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on 1 April 2015
I got this with caution as I read other reviews complaining about the fantastical iron men. However, the plot was incredible and I found that once Holmes had proved the Iron Men to be frauds the whole thing was very satisfying, and the threat of the unrealistic steampunk had been aborted.

The plot, as I mentioned before, is truly masterful and will tie you in knots with all its twists and turns. I would recommend this book to everybody.

That said, the one thing I found slightly annoying was George Mann's continued references to his Newbury and Hobbes series, including the fact that Inspector Charles Bainbridge, the inspector from Newbury and Hobbes, appears to have replaced Lestade.

However, overall this is a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2014
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I found it well written at a good pace and something with a good flow. I liked what was to me the new character who will clearly be a long term associate. I hope for more like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2014
Strange grammar, anachronisms of all sorts, malapropisms aplenty........too much offputting carelessness for me, but possibly an OK read if you have never read any real S.Holmes.....or any genuine writing of the period.
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on 8 June 2015
I struggled with this book. I didn't mind the insertion of some steam-punkish elements but felt the melodrama all seemed completely incredulous.

The beauty of Holmes is his untangling of complex and disturbing mysteries. Both crimes in the this book lacked any intrigue or subtly. Pretty poor pastiche in my opinion I'm afraid.
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on 19 May 2015
George Mann writes wonderful prose in the manner of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but they never come across as pastiches or imitations. The characters of Watson and Holmes are given a depth, which adds to the clever plot(s) - this book kept me guessing to the end and made me very sorry when I finished it.
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