Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Sherlock Holmes’ Rediscovered Railway Mysteries: Four Original Short Stories by John Taylor

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*No Spoilers*

In a drawer in his bureau, Dr. Watson keeps a locked cedarwood chest – a ‘box of secrets’. It contains an archive of notes referring to some of Holmes’ cases that, for one reason or another, never saw the light of day. Now, for the first time, Watson has decided to reveal the truth to the world… In these four thrilling stories, Holmes experiments with the science of ballistics; locate some missing gold bullion; investigates the theft of a large amount of money and solves the baffling mystery of the Stovey murder.

Inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, John Taylor has written four more mysteries featuring the world’s greatest detective. Read by acclaimed actor Benedict Cumberbatch, these new adventures share all the suspense of the original tales.

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I originally discovered this audiobook in an Audible Ad. I am a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch and his portrayal of the famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. So I was lucky my library had it available and I was able to listen to it for free.

I could tell that the author was a huge fan of Author Conan Doyle’s original works. These felt like they were written with love and care.

My favorite story is the story about the missing gold bullion. I felt this case was the easiest to follow and understand Sherlock’s logic. Sometimes, I felt like I know who the bad guy is and how he pulled this off! However, as always, Sherlock adds a twist and makes the crime even more clever.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s narration was awesome and entertaining to listen to. He gave each suspect their own unique voice so it made it easy to follow along. His narration made me want to go back and rewatch his Sherlock Holmes run on the BBC.

Overall, this audiobook was a nice discovery, and I enjoyed listening to all of the stories. I would highly recommend this for lovers of Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch, and classic mystery novels.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmbergo

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*No Spoilers*

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Magician Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and severely injure Magician Thane. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure and reveals the very soul of the man.

I’ve seen this series floating around on my book clubs and groups. The premise seems intriguing, a magician who can wield paper is rather an odd concept. So I jumped into this novel, cautiously optimistic.

On Goodreads, this is not classified as a “romance”. There are certainly romantic themes in this novel. As Ceony is off to rescue her mentor and starts to learn about him, his past, his hopes, and dreams. She steadily falls in love with her mentor, and this drives her further into figuring out a way to rescue him.

As the journey kept going, I started to grow less and less interested. The romance got to be very boring, and sure it was interesting to learn more about Magician Thane. However, her slow progress as “time is ticking away” aspect doesn’t feel like it doesn’t meet expectations sort of like it actually doesn’t matter.

My opinion being what it is, I don’t really want to recommend this book, but if you are still interested this book would be better suited to someone who prefers books about romance.

Buy it on Amazon!