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Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Coal-Tar Derivative


Loved it! 😍

A series of cases brings Watson closer to the infamous Moriarty gang, and their intent to seek out a weapon that could bring about war.

The story begins on a stormy ocean, all seems lost, waves crashing against the boat, a stranger appears on the helm; wealthy, secretive and veiled with a mask over his face, he washes ashore holding a box with three keyholes.

Now, it is Dr Watson’s turn to play private detective while he struggles on without Holmes, and gets called in on a case by Lestrade to help them investigate why a man was killed. As events unfold an old ally shows his hand. Revealing the key players that could help bring Moriarty’s gang to justice.

The story then turns full circle back to where it all started.  A three-key box that might hold a great treasure, and a terrible weapon.

Double dealings, conspiracy, betrayals and subterfuge unveil more enemies waiting to pounce.

Spoken from the first-person point of view, it reads like Watson is talking directly to you. The story jumps from the 1890s to 1920s, flashing to and fro these timelines, gradually filling in more details on the early adventures and the significance of solving these cases.

You get to know Watson a little better without being in the shadow of Sherlock, picking up the clues along with Watson, while at the sometime Sherlock mannerisms are present throughout.

These Watson and Sherlock Holmes stories do not quite have the same panache like the originals; however, they are a fun mystery read that led me to suspect certain things, yet never knowing for certain until the grand reveal.

I’m loving the history that is brought into each adventure; history of a place, history of a person, or the history of the case that they are investigating. The history is seamlessly interwoven throughout the plot without it feeling like a lecture.

A strong plot and characters, a logical progression of events, a clear summation of motives and the events and causes that led up to the crime, and historical events and people makes this a satisfying and informative read.

Those that are fans of Sherlock Holmes would enjoy this series I believe, as it offers a different side to the Holmes series. And those that enjoy a good ole fashioned mystery with some classic sleuthing and deduction…


Reviewed by

Sharlene Almond is the author of the genre-bending Annabella Cordova series, and a New Zealand travel book Journey in little Paradise. She has written a range of health, writing and body language articles; contributing as a guest writer on other blogs.

PROLOGUE: PROVENANCE 22 February, 1860

About the author

MX Publishing has over 500 Sherlock Holmes books, from short stories to award winning novels and biographies. Over 200 of books have made it into audio and there are more coming. We also have regular campaigns on Kickstarter to promote new projects. view profile

Published on November 03, 2021

Published by MX Publishing

70000 words

Genre: Historical Mysteries

Reviewed by