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4.3 out of 5 stars16
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 6 January 2014
Over the course of four novels, Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes have combatted foes both technological and occult, serving as agents of the crown to protect and foster the interests of her majesty, Queen Victoria. They're not alone in their endeavors, at times enlisting the help of, at other times being seconded to, Sir Charles Bainbridge, chief inspector of Scotland Yard. However, everyone has an origin story, and The Casebook of Newbury and Hobbes is Mann's way of fleshing out the history of Newbury and Hobbes during the periods not chronicled by the novels. It also reveals a ghost of the past in the person of Templeton Black, Newbury's former assistant, and introduces the future in Peter Rutherford, a member of the British Secret Service who will go on to create his own legacy.

According to the author's notes, each of these stories can be found in other venues, but this is the first time they've been compiled into a Newbury and Hobbes collection. Overall, it's an excellent addition to Mann's Steampunk universe, filling in some of the details of Newbury's past and looking forward to the future of his "Ghost" series of roaring twenties novels set in a Steampunk New York. Stand out stories include his Sherlock homage, The Case of the Night Crawler and his tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, Strangers from the Sea. My personal favourite is The Shattered Teacup, which brings to mind the best of both Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. It's a fun murder mystery with obvious steampunk influence in the clockwork owl that proves essential to solving the case. The only story that falls flat (for me, at least) is What Lies Beneath, but honestly, that owes more to my distaste for epistolary writing than anything Mann did with the story.

The Casebook of Newbury and Hobbes is a seamless blend of Victorian detective story sprinkled with Steampunk elements and a dash of the occult. Mann captures the flavour of Victorian mystery fiction usually identified with Arthur Conan Doyle and manages to put a steampunk flourish to it. It's a great addition to the universe established in the Newbury and Hobbes mysteries, fleshing out the series for those fans that want to see a bit more. However, if you haven't faithfully followed the series from the outset, it may not be the book for you. Simple solution for those who are unfamiliar--get yourselves to a bookstore and catch up on the series before delving into this wonderful backstory of Newbury and Hobbes, occult detectives.
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on 26 December 2013
I have been fan of George Mann's alternative history stories since picking up "TheAffinity Bridge" at an airport a few years back. While the stories here stand on their own merit they also provide some background into the character of Sir Maurice Newbury that explain some of his reactions in the main novels. We also get a teasing look at the character Templeton Black and the promise of more stories including this brandy drinking investigator. Bring them on Mr. Mann bring them on.
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on 25 May 2014
My conclusion on reading these stories is that whilst they have good ideas, they could be so much more. Unlike Sherlock Holmes (who inhabits the same time and world and occasionally makes an appearance) pthere isn't a sense of coherence and logic to the deductions the detectives make. There's also an overall lack of detail and explanation of the steam-punk world they inhabit.
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on 5 November 2014
Hmm, I liked it but having read the Holmes and Watson stories this was disappointing. Some of the stories, whilst well crafted, were, well. pointless! There are some notable exceptions to that statement but not enough to redeem the book
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on 10 December 2013
I loved this book from start to finish the characters were well rounded and I felt like is was right there in the story with them. This is my first foray into the Newbury & Hobbs genre but I am certain that it will not be my last!
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on 23 December 2013
Clever plots and of course the characters are always delightful. Caveat, I did like some of the stories better than others, but of course that's generally the case with an anthology.
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on 20 April 2014
Enjoyable short stories in their own right, tying up a lot of loose threads from the novels even Dr Who and Sherlock Holmes are involved.
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on 24 October 2013
George Mann is on spiffing form with this collection of short stories, great fill-in stories that help link the novels and a taste of the future too. Already looking forward to volume two.
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on 24 April 2015
A great collection of Newbury and Hobbs short stories. Enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes tie ins immensely.
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on 31 October 2014
Fantastic addition to the Newbury and Hobbes series, male and female duo solve Victorian crimes
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