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on 10 May 2011
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.

Six cloves of garlic later Reggie feels that Reeves' plan is working reasonably well until he comes across Emmeline Dreadnought who is another force to be reckoned with. When Reggie enquires as to whether something is the matter with Emmeline she informs him that she thinks that one of the debs has been kidnapped and that the family won't inform the police.

Verifying that this is the case and discovering that more debs are also missing, Reggie, Reeves and Emmeline start detecting their way towards catching the kidnappers. Unfortunately Reggie has been reading a lot of detective fiction and believes that the guilty party is always the person you least suspect, hence the search for Eunuchs and Orang-utans. A lots of balls, a dinner, and a bit of a disguise later they are well on their way to catching the culprits.

If you are a fan of Wodehouse or Fforde you will love these tales and the `rummy' situations that Reggie manages to get himself into while trying to find the deb kidnapping `cove'.
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on 30 December 2011
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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on 29 May 2011
Review of Giveaway ebook

A short story and novella
`What Ho, Automaton!' and `Something Rummy This Way Comes'.
The short story previously published in `Shadow Conspiracy II' by BookView Cafe.

These are set in the same steampunk alternate universe, and follow the exploits of Reginald Worcester and Reeves. They are a hilarious tribute to Wodehouse. Reeves, a steam driven automaton, and Worcester while avoiding Aunt Bertha's schemes for marriage engage in madcap adventures with debutantes. Automatons, zeppelins, Prometheans and a steampowered Queen Victoria. What more could you ask for?

This was an engaging, funny book.
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on 5 January 2012
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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on 16 March 2014
I enjoyed reading this, and will definitely look for more by Chris Dolley - mostly in the hope he will decide what he is writing.

I love Wodehouse - and it is clear that Dolley does too, and he makes a reasonable fist at copying the style. But it's not much more than reasonable, and it soon starts to irritate somewhat.

The whole concept of a late Victorian gentleman detective with an automaton manservant is a great one - pretending it's Jeeves and Wooster isn't.

As for steampunk ... not enough of the texture to be called that for me ... I like the brass and steam a little more obvious.

I shall read more ... and definitely watch the BBC adaptation.
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on 21 April 2012
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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on 4 March 2016
4.5 stars.
Wonderful steampunk version of Wodehouse's Jeeves with a dash of Doyle's Holmes. Dolley captures PGW's style perfectly and the elements he introduces are enriching the story without distorting the style and the charme of the two stories.
Already bought the next volume.
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on 4 March 2014
Very like Wodehouse, "Jeeves and Wooster" etc. Dry humour as our hapless but well intentioned hero tries to deal with relationships in a genteel English society context, with steam powered robots included.

Will look for other work by Chris Dolley.
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on 8 December 2012
Chris Dolley writes well - his characters are very authentic. Personally I did not enjoy this book as much as the others that I have read. I did laugh though, at some of the descriptions and conversations.
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on 4 October 2014
I enjoy Steampunk and a bit of J&W, so this was a real treat for me. A nice mash up of two established genres. Found it impossible not to read Reeves' lines in the style of Stephen Fry.
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