- Publisher: MX Publishing (November 21, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1787050351
- ISBN-13: 978-1787050358
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,753,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil Paperback – November 21, 2016
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From the Author
I spent several months reading everything I could on the final dramatic years of the Great Ch'ing. It tottered Hamlet-like to its grisly end. I learnt at least two things from all the research - first, that the Empress Dowager Cixi was one of the most remarkable rulers ever to command a vast nation and deserves a much better press than history so far has accorded her, and secondly, if you ever come across a Time Machine, don't even think about landing in The Forbidden City in 1907 when Holmes and Watson find themselves in that fabled but dangerously unpredictable Alice-In-Wonderland city. Instead I recommend Time Travllers to visit the peaceful English countryside of Sussex where I sited my first novel, 'Sherlock Holmes And The Dead Boer At Scotney Castle', set in 'Bateman's, the house owned by Rudyard Kipling.
From the Inside Flap
Like all my plots, Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil takes place in the halcyon days when Edward V11 of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was on the throne of England, the king-emperor for whom the Era was named, a time when yellow fogs drifted eerily along London's half-lit streets, agile Hansom cabs with Holmes and Watson bumping around inside rattled away to heaven-knows-where, a 'leisurely time when women wore picture hats and did not vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun never set on the British flag'. Edwardian summers were reputed to be unusually warm though the Meteorological Office tells me this was not true.
By the time Edward came to the throne in 1901, Holmes and Watson had spent the best part of two decades together, solving knotty cases which baffled the best of Scotland Yard's detectives. The great Consulting Detective's use of observation, deductive reasoning and scientific knowledge fascinated young and old, rich and poor, New York illuminatus or London East Ender alike.
It was a period when Holmes and Watson reached their height in experience and maturity, men of the world in step with the immense British Empire. Even Watson's confidence was burgeoning despite Holmes's occasional biting put-downs. The real-life Criminologist Ashton-Wolfe later recorded in The Illustrated London News that many methods
invented by Sherlock Holmes became commonplace in police practices. The quick arrival at the scene, the examination of the lock and key, the bed, the chairs, the carpet, the mantelpiece, the body and the rope.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is not only brilliantly written, it is exceedingly well researched. I enjoyed the detail in the history every bit as much as the story itself. The historical fiction is as clever as the stylistically accurate incorporation of by far the two most famous characters of Doyle’s huge imagination—two characters as famous as any in literary fiction.
I very much enjoyed the ‘glossary’ at the end of the book, which gave depth to so much of the period detail. This additional information doesn’t add to, or subtract from, the story itself, but certainly gives readers such as I, ignorant of Chinese history, a much needed and speedy education. All the detail is self-explanatory enough in the run of the story, however, the additional information rounds off this reading experience quite delightfully.
I recommend this book to fans of Sherlock Holmes, lovers of historical fiction and to all those that like a wide variety of well-written fiction. I will be looking to read further books from Tim Symonds’ pen.
Like many Sherlock Holmes stories, you get an introduction to the narrative of Dr. Watson and the setting. It's a calm, steady, necessary expedition that benefits the complicated mysteries of this Sherlock novel well.
From this you learn Sherlock and Watson no longer live together for the consulting detective has settled down in quiet Sussex. Personally, I love the retired Sherlock stories because they prove that no matter how old the great detective Holmes and his trusty Dr. Watson get, they're always going to be the most incredible team in fictitious history!
Tim Symonds is not humble about this fact, which I love.
This author has done some of the most authentic Sherlock Holmes writing I have ever read! And believe me, I have read a LOT of Sherlock Holmes in my time!
I don't know if this author has ever been to China or not, but I sure feel like I have after reading this! What's even better is I feel like I've fallen into a worm hole and gotten popped out in 1900's-China! The text used to describe this fascinating setting is as busy as it is disorienting, no doubt making it all that much more realistic for the time, place, and scenario.
The author has clearly mastered the art of foreshadowing because, even though I had to have Sherlock point it out to me, all of the evidence and bits of information relevant to the story are written RIGHT THERE!! I love being tricked just as much as I love being guided in the right direction and Tim Symonds has managed to do both. Amazing piece of literature! I would love to see this converted at some point to hit the big screen. I can picture Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce playing these roles and even though that's no longer possible, I would have a field day seeing the old fashion Holmes and Watson back on screen by some fresh writing and faces!
Of course, Mr. Symonds isn’t restricted to that time frame, as shown by some of his excellent stories in “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories”. But his forte is the Holmes Novel, wherein he shows his storytelling skills – perhaps related to the fact that he’s Elleston Trevor’s nephew? – and also his ability to winkle out obscure historical areas and, with excellent research, reveal them to be extremely important, and worthy of the notice of Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
In this adventure, Holmes and Watson become involved in a plot involving early 1900’s China. The mystery is excellent, and the book stands solidly as a historical novel as well. And Holmes and Watson are, once in again in Mr. Symond’s masterful hands, Holmes and Watson, and not some Alternate Universe versions that are so easily (and unfortunately) creeping into acceptance in recent years.
I certainly enjoyed this work. After you read this one, be sure and catch up on his previous works, “Sherlock Holmes and the Bulgarian Codex”, “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter”, “Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle”, “Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman”, “A Most Diabolical Plot” in “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part III: 1896-1929”, “Die Weisse Frau” in “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VI: 2017 Annual”, and “The Ghost of Dorset House” in the forthcoming “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VII: Eliminate the Impossible” (Fall 2017).
You’ll be glad that you did.