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Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure, Book 2) Kindle Edition
The new novel from the author of Art in the Blood. December 1889. Fresh from debunking a “ghostly” hound in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, only to find himself the target of a deadly vendetta.
A beautiful client arrives with a tale of ghosts, kidnapping and dynamite on a whisky estate in Scotland, but brother Mycroft trumps all with an urgent assignment in the South of France.
On the fabled Riviera, Holmes and Watson encounter treachery, explosions, rival French Detective Jean Vidocq… and a terrible discovery. This propels the duo northward to the snowy highlands. There, in a “haunted” castle and among the copper dinosaurs of a great whisky distillery, they and their young client face mortal danger, and Holmes realizes all three cases have blended into a single, deadly conundrum.
In order to solve the mystery, the ultimate rational thinker must confront a ghost from his own past. But Sherlock Holmes does not believe in ghosts…or does he?
About the Author
Bonnie MacBird is a produced screenwriter and playwright as well as an accomplished stage actor and writing teacher. She holds degrees from Stanford in music and film, and when she’s not writing Sherlock Holmes, moonlights as a theatre director and audiobook reader. She divides her time between Los Angeles and London. Visit her at www.macbird.com.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
‘Haunting, vivid and beautifully plotted, Unquiet Spirits is both an elegant tribute and a cunning update of everything we love about Sherlock Holmes and his world. Bonnie MacBird has done it again!’―Daniel Stashower, author of Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle
‘If the original 60 Holmes stories aren't enough for you, read Bonnie MacBird's Unquiet Spirits for another dram of the Great Detective. MacBird deftly blends a series of grisly murders and dark secrets from Holmes’s past into a strong brew!’―Leslie S. Klinger, editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
‘A superb Sherlockian adventure. Bonnie MacBird’s take on Holmes and Watson is inventive and true to the canon, a splendid blend of fast-paced action and detection in a deliciously gothic Highland setting. I can’t wait for her next book.’―Dana Cameron, author of the Emma Fielding mysteries
‘Pour yourself a wee dram, toss another peat on the fire, and prepare to be swept up in the great detective's Highland fling. MacBird's spooky, scholarly, thoroughly ‘spirited’ follow up to Art in the Blood is a triumph of voice, place, and plotting. Highly recommended for fans of Sherlock, Scotland, and whisky lovers everywhere.’―Catriona McPherson, author of the Dandy Gilver series
‘MacBird’s outstanding sequel to Art in the Blood melds a twisty, multilayered plot with a plausible exploration of Sherlock Holmes’s life before Watson … Will make Sherlockians eager for more from her.’―Publishers Weekly Starred Review
‘MacBird could possibly be Conan Doyle reincarnated. I hope this is a lengthy series. A perfect read as the nights draw in.’―CrimeSquad.com
‘Ms MacBird does a fine job of re-creating the familiar Holmesian universe.’―Wall Street Journal
‘A convincing and gripping adventure that Conan Doyle himself would have been proud of.’―Dundee Courier
‘A crowd-pleaser, and a fast, easy read, and I thoroughly enjoyed my light-hearted amble with one of my favourite childhood characters.’―Crime Review--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B06XRH1FQ9
- Publisher : Collins Crime Club (October 10, 2017)
- Publication date : October 10, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 1777 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 513 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #91,704 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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In the grand tradition, these stories are represented as being manuscripts found due to bequests by deceased family members or mysterious acquisitions of the venerable battered tin despatch box, and the author as no more than acting as a literary agent in typing them up (or word processing, nowadays) and tidying them up for publication.
The mystery in this case is a satisfyingly tangled one, where everyone involved is very plainly not telling the entire truth and insisting on keeping secrets, and it takes Holmes all his time and talents (and one or two mis-steps) to reduce it all to coherence, which he does.
But it's not the mystery alone which is the charm of these stories. It's the relationship between Holmes and Watson, the gradual revelation of Holmes' past, and the behind-the-scenes look at the Great Detective (and his Boswell) before the stories are polished up for The Strand magazine.
Just as in canon, Mrs Watson (née Morstan) is obliging enough to be absent (on family/friends visits or other business) when it is convenient for Watson to accompany Holmes on a case (sometimes it seems they spend more time apart than together, something I fear he will regret in the sad days of loss). But they are happily married for all that, and I am glad that Ms MacBird did not feel the need to make Watson's marriage a mistake, failure or farce.
While we are on the delicate topic of romance, I appreciate how she handles this when it comes to Holmes - I am one of the (seeming) few who accept that he was not romantically interested in Irene Adler (nor she in him), but many authors cannot resist lumbering him with a love interest of some kind (and not just authors, movies etc. are as guilty). We get the hint of a possible romance in his youth, but one which is fitted to the particular circumstances of Holmes' character: the young woman in question was beginning to have feelings for him but events meant that whatever might have been could not develop. Did Holmes reciprocate those feelings in the same way? The matter is left nicely and tactfully ambiguous; I am inclined to say "no" but a different reader may feel differently.
Ms MacBird depicts a younger Holmes still making his way in his career and establishing himself, though with a measure of fame and growing recognition, who is a complex personality who has achieved hard-won detachment (but with a sensitive emotional nature beneath that). And a Watson who is loyal, exasperated, inclined to see the best in everyone but also not taking any nonsense, somewhat guiltily thrilled by the adventures Holmes brings him into and a true loving friend.
We get a lot of Ms MacBird's version of Holmes' past, but with the hints of more hidden secrets that are tantalising (what is the relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft, which appears adversarial and even bullying from Mycroft's side, which is plainly sibling rivalry still persisting into adulthood, yet which also hints at genuine fraternal caring? As Watson wonders, what kind of home life produced such a pair?) and while I wouldn't necessarily agree with everything, it is also a version that is not hostile or contradictory to the established characters.
This is one possible version of Holmes and Watson, and a very palatable, agreeable, entertaining, and worthwhile version. I look forward to reading the third book in this series and unless she does something outrageous such as reveal Holmes has a secret wife and four children tucked away in one of his 'bolt holes', I hope that she continues to grace us with more stories from that despatch box!
MacBird captures the flavor of the original tales and there are some clever twists along the way. Her Holmes seems a bit more prickly and obnoxious than more traditional portrayals but maybe that’s just my impression. Those who don’t imbibe spirituous beverages might become bored with all the details of the whisky distilling business but it’s not too distracting. Purists may find fault but considering Conan Doyle’s not writing any new novels these stories can fill the void nicely. According to the book jacket Ms. MacBird has a third book in the works, “The Devil’s Due” and I plan on checking it out.
This book held me entranced from the start. I felt transported to Sherlock and Watson's world and found it every bit as wonderful as the original stories had found me.
I highly recommend this book to any Holmes and mystery fans.
Now I am off to read the rest of the Holmes books by Ms. MacBird!!
Top reviews from other countries
The story itself is set in London, the South of France, Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands and is a rollercoaster ride of action, twists and turns but is not short on the customary detection by this great fictional character. Watson also plays a very large part in the whole affair and is an equal throughout rather than a supporting player. In short, the story surrounds a wealthy Scottish whisky baron family who are suspected of being major contributors in introducing a virus or plague into the French vineyards to encourage and then capitalise on the wine industry's demise. However, that simply becomes a distant background to several other fascinating threads which head off in numerous directions.
There are villains aplenty of course and the family are portrayed as self-indulgent and spoilt aristocrats. But I have simplified what is quite a complex story with numerous characters who all fall under suspicion as it progresses. There are gruesome murders and red herrings all over the place, some obvious but some less so. There are even suggestions of ghosts and also the author touches on the even more unlikely emotional side of Sherlock Holmes. But it all works. Beautifully.
The characters of Holmes and Watson are a hybrid of those created and portrayed over the past 100 odd years rather than simply mimicking those in Conan Doyle's stories. And this book is all the better for that.
With a name like Bonnie MacBird, I have to suspect Scottish ancestry but if she hasn't any then she most certainly should have. She has nailed us very nicely! I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Outstanding.
There’s a segment in Nice and some one upmanship with a comedy French rival which feels like a complete waste of time.
The kidnapping of Fiona and it’s explanation is frankly unbelievable and daft. As is a certain missing body and where it’s found.
There’s a tendency for Holmes not to really do any fantastic sleuthing. In fact a bomb plot is solved by him conveniently finding a letter confirming it. A child’s death is explained by someone flat out telling him what happened and then clues are thrown in at the last minute Deus Ex style e.g Fiona’s murderer is found when Holmes finds the body with a torn piece of shirt that he then reveals he’d found the counterpart of in an offscreen search that he just suddenly throws into the narrative.
There’s a coming together of story strands but huge coincidence here as Watson for no reason other than idle curiosity visits Holmes old school and begins to build a picture that impacts the story. He then visits Old Mother Exposition who spills the rest of it.
Lacks the classic simplicity and fun of a Conan Doyle story and is a bit tedious.
I have sir Arthur's complete works,and have read other authors attempts, the best being Anthony Horowitz The Silk House.
So for the sake of 99p kindle down load I was pleasantly surprised as how well written this book is. The plot is good and the author manages to give you an insight into young Sherlock.
I did guess the end some way before finishing ,but will happily read the next in the series.
This is a good story to keep anyone interested in the plot.
Expect an author who is female and not English to show through in places. This author is capable of writing in her own rite. I look forward to a book two by her that is more close to her own home.