Arthur Conan Doyle has just killed off Sherlock Holmes in "The Final Problem," and he immediately becomes one of the most hated men in London. So when he is contacted by a medium "of some renown" and asked to investigate a murder, he jumps at the chance to get out of the city. The only thing is that the murder hasn't happened yet—the medium, one Hope Thraxton, has foreseen that her death will occur at the third séance of a meeting of the Society for Psychical Research at her manor house in the English countryside.
Along for the ride is Conan Doyle's good friend Oscar Wilde, and together they work to narrow down the list of suspects, which includes a mysterious foreign Count, a levitating magician, and an irritable old woman with a "familiar." Meanwhile, Conan Doyle is enchanted by the plight of the capricious Hope Thraxton, who may or may not have a more complicated back-story than it first appears. As Conan Doyle and Wilde participate in séances and consider the possible motives of the assembled group, the clock ticks ever closer to Hope's murder, in The Revenant of Thraxton Hall by Vaughn Entwistle.
Vaughn Entwistle is a British novelist who lives in the English spa town of Cheltenham..
For most of his life he has rattled about between England and the United States. He lived for over ten years in Seattle where, when not pursuing a day job as a writer/editor, ran a successful gargoyle sculpting business (yes, really!).
When not writing he can be found walking his Brittany pup in the English countryside exploring the many gothic manors, ancient stone circles and remains of Roman towns and forts.
To date, he has published three books in his ongoing series, the Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring the sleuthing team of Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, who investigate mysteries with a paranormal twist:
His stand alone novel, THE ANGEL OF HIGHGATE was shortlisted by the London-based Dracula Society as one of the best gothic novels of 2015.
He plans on publishing a number of new titles later in 2020.
Arthur Conan Doyle is the most hated man in London after killing off Sherlock Holmes. So when he gets the chance to investigate a murder that hasn't happened yet he jumps to the chance to get away from London a bit. A medium, Hope Thraxton, has foreseen her own murder and the only face she recognizes in her vision is Doyle's so she turns to him to solve the crime. But he doesn't go alone to Thraxton Hall for a meeting with he Society for Psychical Research, his good friend Oscar Wilde tags along, and together must they now try to stop a murder that will occur at the third séance at the meeting...
I have a weakness for Sherlock Holmes and a book written about Doyle about the time after he had killed of Sherlock Holmes spiced with some paranormal activities sounded very intriguing. There are a lot of suspects at the Thraxton Hall, and it seems that not only Hope Thraxton is in danger so Doyle and Wilde have much to do, try to find a killer among the guests of the guests. The book was a mixed of crime, mystery, paranormal and also with a healthy dose of comedy since Wilde was in the story and he isn't the most serious person I have ever read about. I couldn't help of thinking about the movie clue when I read the book because of all the humor...
Anyway, the book was good. I liked Doyle and Wilde working together and the case wasn't too predictable with was nice. I recommend this book to anyone that likes historical mysteries with a bit of a paranormal twist to the story.
Light weight, humorous off shoot of Sherlock Holmes stories, the novelty being that the 'detectives' are actually Arthur Conan Doyle and his friend Oscar Wilde. A lot of the comedy comes from the Oscar Wilde character primping and fretting over his outfits. This was the perfect palate cleansing book for when you are either too tired to read anything complex or need to reset after a long bout of overdosing on another genre (in my case, fantasy). I have a few series/ authors who serve this role and am happy to add this to my list.
I chose this book to fulfill the Mystery square on my 2016 Halloween Book Bingo card. It was another book that has been on my TBR list for a while and this was a perfect excuse to read it.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the main character, with Oscar Wilde in tow, as they investigate mysterious happenings which begin in London and quickly move to Thraxton Hall. Historically, these two men did meet, got along very well, and inspired each other’s writing. So it’s a plausible assumption that they could have shared an adventure or two (although there’s no historical record of that happening). Also, Conan Doyle was a pretty committed spiritualist, including being buried standing up (apparently as part of his belief system). May I say also that I appreciate that the author used Conan Doyle as a main character, instead of Sherlock Holmes as other authors have done--I saw a play this year which teamed Wilde and Holmes, the real and the fictional--and while it is entertaining, I think the author Doyle deserves some time at the centre of things instead of his creation.
Although dealing with men and women of the Victorian age, the writing had an extremely modern feel. It was very cleverly plotted and the situations were appropriate, but the words which the characters used to express themselves rang just a bit too 21st century for me. I also felt that Oscar Wilde was used rather stereotypically, with his concern about his appearance and his enormous ego being used to create humour. Nevertheless, it was fun and I was certainly motivated to keep reading and find out who was behind the goings on.
There were a few annoying typos in my volume (confusing quotation marks) and I think that I shall be reading a biography of Oscar Wilde before I tackle the second volume of this series. Definitely a fun series which I intend to continue with. Actual rating: 3.5 stars.
This is a simply fabulous book, and was tons of fun to read. With the main characters being Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde and, once in a while, the ghost of Sherlock Holmes, how could you go wrong?
It was very enjoyable to read a book in which the sleuthing was done by Doyle himself, instead of his famous fictional detective. And Oscar Wilde was the perfect companion with many witticisms from him scattered throughout the book. And the Victorian period and the creepiness of Thraxton Hall were very well done as well.
There are quite a few happenings in the book in which you have to completely suspend disbelief, as there are quite a lot of psychic events, levitation, and the like. But that's just part of the overall fun of the book. Apparently the sequel is now out, and I for one, can't wait to read it.
I dare you to read this book and not fall in love with it if you are or have ever been a Sherlock Holmes fan.
This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. I giggled my way through the wry humour and appreciated the complexity of the mysteries involved in the telling of this tale.
From the very beginning, you can tell that the author put a lot of thought into this work. He managed to not only honour Arthur Conan Doyle and his fantastic career, but to make a new and interesting story of his life and his most infamous character.
The characters in this book are vibrant and alive, and each one has a special role to play in the story. I loved the way he portrayed Oscar Wilde in particular. If you are a fan of the literary greats, you can't go wrong with this story. The flair that Mr. Wilde was painted with was in keeping with the historical documentation on his charismatic personality. From his concern over his clothing to his determination to make an entrance in every situation, he was written perfectly.
As for the paranormal aspect of the story, it was ever present throughout the entire book. The paranormal theme did not waver as the tale progressed.
I liked the conflicted emotions of the main character and his struggle to honour his wife, whilst still experiencing things that reminded him he was a young man. This made the author seem more important than his character for once, and I enjoyed that aspect very much.
The ending of the story is surprising and left me excited to read the next installment. There have been a lot of books based on famous authors, but this one was by far the best I have read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who truly loves literature, from the past and the present.
This review is based on a digital ARC from Netgalley and the publisher.
This book was a pleasure to read. The atmosphere is so classic Victorian and Gothic, the humor hit the mark, and while I wasn't sure about how successful using real-life writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and playwright Oscar Wilde as a crime-solving duo would be, it turns out to be perfect. Wilde's wit was exactly what I expected and Doyle is just as lovable as his creation. I definitely recommend this book to those who are Victoriana-inclined, and who like classic/Gothic horror.
I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.
In the present book, I was quite surprised to reading such suspenseful story where Conan Doyle and Wilde were invited by a medium - Hope Thraxton, in order to investigate a murder, which will take place during a meeting of the Society for Physical Research in her manor house outside London.
The story has plenty of humor and suspense as well, making this book a pace reading: once you start to read it, you won't be able to stop it.
It was amazing to read Conan Doyle applying the investigation techniques of his most famous and very well known character Sherlock Holmes. As a matter of fact, Oscar Wilde brilliantly played the role of Watson during the search of the killer in the manor house. Wilde only concern was the success of his play Lady Windermere's Fan. In the meantime, Conan Doyle's wife remained very sick in London making him worry with her while away from London.
This is the second historical mystery book I've read concerning the friendship between the British author, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Irish writer, Oscar Wilde.
According to Wikipedia, both Conan Doyle and Wilde were invited for a dinner party in London promoted in 1889 by the Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in the United States. They both agreed to write novels that will be published by Lippincott's. Conan Doyle's novel was his second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of Four. Wilde's was The Picture of Dorian Gray. Their friendship appeared to be true after the publication of Micah Clarke.
This book is published by Minotaur Book and will be released in March 25, 2014.
This was quite a difficult book, although not in terms of the narrative and characterisation. While I fully expect Sherlock Holmes and Watson to face mortal dangers in the form of zombies, vampires, ghouls, Mr Hyde, Martians, even the dread Cthulhu (and other deep ones), somehow the concept of Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde facing actual ghosts & revenants (despite the former's manic spiritualism that had overshadowed every other act & work of his towards the end of his life) was disconcerting. Add to that all the other typically gothic stuff (all sorts of shenanigans taking place in a suitably gothic place, full of characters who seem to have been lifted straight out of novels) as well as seance, teleportation, telekinesis etc. etc. However, the single most redeeming aspect of this novel was Oscar Wilde. That genius is in full flow here, and despite the foil of ACD (who acts more like Watson than the real ACD) his brilliance shines through. Also, the novel was quite well-paced, with appropriate spices thrown here & there. Recommended, esp. for a stormy evening.
I thoroughly enjoyed this mixture of historical fiction paranormal, horror, humor, and mystery. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde are a great team. Oscar Wilde was a wonderful, humorous, delightful character, in particular. Have ordered the next one in this series from my library.
Why Read: It was an extraordinarily last-minute sort of model, and I certainly didn’t plan on reading The Revenant – but I’m so happy I did. After spending too long a time away from Net Galley, I took it upon myself to update my profile and check out the books available. Net Galley is a great website where one can ask for books to read ahead of publication or afterwards and send reviews to the publisher, so that they may know your words ahead of schedule.
Review: Before I even began the book, I was excited by the notion of having Arthur Canon Doyle as a real character, and not his creation Sherlock Holmes. And I was right to be excited. The Revenant is a great novel that embodies much of what readers loved about Sherlock Holmes while adding in elements that create hilarity.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Entwistle’s book. The Revenant was one of those books I will think of with a smile on my face as I contemplate Oscar Wilde’s antics and Arthur Doyle’s strange musings and the strange appearance of Sherlock Holmes every now and then. It had a snappy plot that hovered around the supernatural, but ultimately had roots in normality.
Looking at characters, I can honestly say I found the cast of the strange and vexing mass of Séance experts and other oddities to be hilarious. It was the perfect mix of two literary legends and some other folk who made the book strangely unnatural, with backstories that permeated through all of the different plots.
Although there was only one narrative, Entwistle did an incredible job of matching each character’s wit for wit and challenging the tag-team of Doyle and Wilde to face abnormal mysteries that may or may not have a basis in reality.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a book that delves into fantastic literary characters, a touch of the supernatural and follows through on each and every plot lead.
Sir Vaughn Entwistle, I Bow down to you !! I am a Great Sherlock/Arthur Doyle Fan & have not only read all Sherlock Books, but also read many Sherlock Interpretations by other Authors. And This Book if not better than some of the original Sherlock Books, is atleast 100 times better than Sherlock rip-offs by others. What Shines throughtout this Book are the Characters: Sir Arthur Doyle is a quiet chap yet he let's his wisdom speak while Wilde Oscar through his pompous wit & humor steals the show. The Quotes,exquisite words use by these Characters add a subtle old-school Victorian charm to this book. Each & every character, be it Lady Thraxton,George,Hume etc etc stays with you.Now coming to the Plot: Just when Londoners are busy bashing Arthur Doyle for killing Sherlock, Arthur receives a note to solve a Paranormal Case. Wilde Oscar gets to know about it & accompanies him. The Plot on its own has ample scares & gut-wrenching Twists that follow one after the other. I won't be surprised if Author Vaughn Entwistle soon becomes a celebrated author like Arthur Doyle if he continues with the Sherlock series.
This book had almost everything that I find tantalizing in a story of this kind: an intriguing mystery, two fantastic lead characters, a group of diverse suspects, and a huge dark creepy mansion that plays the stage for the ultimate crime scene.
It starts famously, with witty moments (mostly delivered by Wilde) and interesting snippet conversations between Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. But somehow, along the way, it goes downhill: suddenly things are incredibly easy to decipher from the slightest and sometimes ridiculously improbable of hints (really, Wilde was able to tell that Doyle was locked in a coffin by looking into a mirror behind which Doyle's spirit screamed for help when Wilde seemingly has no paranormal bone in his body???) and some questions are left unanswered. Call me dumb, but I still don't know who the little dead girl ghost was.
It's a good book to read on a rainy day, as I was blessed enough to enjoy; and it does suck you in, because the author does a great job of tantalizing the reader with little clues that have you following along like a mouse in a maze. But I expected more from the greats Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
If there is another book as fast-paced as this one, I don't know what it is. Normally, I'm not too fond of books which use historical characters in novels which are not historical fiction, but just as characters in novels. But Vaughn Entwistle has studied the personalities of Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde and they stay in character. For those who love mysteries, haunted houses and the occult, this is a good book -- and there will be a sequel. For once, Conan Doyle gets to be the detective instead of his creation, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes does make an appearance here and there, but it is Doyle's alter ego figuring out the mystery. This is a fun romp of a book and makes a good summer read.
Bravo!!!! Bravo!!! This was the most fun I've had reading a novel in years. The author creates the atmosphere of Victorian England without breaking the pacing of the narrative. He makes the streets come alive, paying attention to small details that an historian might make but doing so while painting historical characters that are bright, fun, and approachable.
The plot races along with some predictability, but it doesn't matter. The journey is so enjoyable, each chapter so imbued with pennydreadful dramatics that the reader can't help but be forgiving.
I just wrote the author a note telling him how much I enjoyed myself. I never do that.
Riots, death threats, hate mail. All are gifts Conan Doyle receives when he kills off Sherlock Holmes. Doyle is tired, his wife is dying, Holmes stories are mired in the banal and Doyle wants a change of pace. Not so his fans. They have turned into ravening hoards demanding their hero back. A humouress and lively read!
Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde star in this Victorian gothic mystery. Set in a dark haunted mansion - the lady of the house has an aversion to light, The Society for Psychic Research are having their first meeting, and Doyle and Wilde have been invited. They encounter an eccentric group of seers, scientists, psychics and sceptics, each with an ego and a motive for murder. I really enjoyed this, with a cast of diverse characters and humour supplied by Oscar Wilde. I'll definitely be reading the next one.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Revenant of Thraxton Hall initially captured my interest because it features Arthur Conan Doyle as the main character. If you don’t know who he is, then you’ve probably either lived under a rock for the past century, or you’re just no fan of mysteries. Arthur Conan Doyle is the author of the Sherlock Holmes books, only the greatest detective the world has ever known. Another notable character in the book is Oscar Wilde – Picture of Dorian Gray, anyone? Give me two famous authors fighting paranormal mayhem together, and I’m hooked.
Unfortunately, the book was a bit of a let-down. It started out way too slow. By the time we get to Thraxton Hall, where the real action begins, we’re already one hundred pages into the book (or around that number, I didn’t check). To shortly recap the story, Arthur Conan Doyle gets a message from a medium who asks him to help her solve a murder. Except it’s a murder yet to happen, and it’s her own murder. Conan Doyle refuses at first, but then changes his mind, and drags Oscar Wilde along on an adventure of a lifetime, to the first ever meeting of a secret society interested in the supernatural. They’re meeting at Thraxton Hall, a famous gothic manor with plenty of secrets to hide.
If it weren’t for how the first half of the book was so excruciatingly slow, I would’ve really liked this book. It has an awesome premise, and heck, what’s not to like about two famous authors fighting the supernatural? But like I said, it starts off slow. All suspense is drained by the time we actually get to the suspense part. And then there’s Oscar Wilde. He’s portrayed here as a person who can’t make up his mind. He’s a stereotype, a cliché, too over the top to be real. Arthur Conan Doyle acts and behaves like a real person, but Wilde doesn’t.
Other things that annoyed me: the constant use of long, complicated sentences and words just to make the book sound Victorian. It was a good idea to make the book sound Victorian given the time and setting, but this was the main reason why the narrative dragged so much for the first part of the book. And how Arthur Conan Doyle is constantly referred to as Conan Doyle. Not Arthur. Not Doyle. Conan Doyle. This distanced me from the main character, and made it difficult for me to feel any connection to him.
All in all, a good read if you like paranormal mysteries and/or if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes. It could use some work though, and be warned, you’ll have to bite through the first tediously long chapters if you want to get to the good part.
One of the best books I have read recently. The story had my attention from page 1 and I had a hard time putting it down until the end.
The story is smartly written, and the plot twists keep one guessing until all is revealed. I am a fan of mysteries and the paranormal, and Entwistle did a marvelous job intertwining the two into a great adventure. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading its sequel.
A rather strange book but surprisingly well done, played as historical fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde involved an a paranormal investigation where the supernatural might just be real! I picked this up for $1 at a Dollar Tree and did not have high hopes for it. I was truly surprised at how carefully researched the real history was, and how skillfully the tale was woven. I may even seek out further volumes . . .
Totally hilarious, right down to the scene where Conan Doyle reveals that keeps a revolver tied to his leg. My only wish is that Oscar Wilde had said, "Is that a revolver in your pants, or are you happy to see me?"
Titan books is a huge source of the current Sherlock Holmes fiction this day and I have read a few of those and enjoyed them very much. When the opportunity presented itself to review The Revenant of Thraxton Hall it was to good not to say yes. The part that got me interested in this book was the promise of being written from the point of view of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We all know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the creative mind behind Sherlock Holmes. This is the first story, insofar as I know and that I have read wherein he takes the lead in an investigation! Mainly by this turn of the tables I found this story very enjoyable to read. In part it is directly in the lines of an Sherlock Holmes investigation but it is some fresh because the leads are none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde!
The story of The Revenant of Thraxton Hall opens with a scene where Arthur has just killed of his most famous character, Sherlock Holmes, he was getting tired of Sherlock and wanted to write something new. However the majority of the readers far from agree with him and they want their favorite detective back. It was the one thing that helped sell the newspaper. And everyone shows a certain hate towards Arthur. All this does become too much and Arthur desperately wants to flee London to catch some fresh air. Soon relief comes from the request of Hope Thraxton, a psychic medium, who has seen her own death in a vision. In this vision she didn't see the one that murdered her, but did see one other person, Arthur. This fact and with Arthur being the literary mastermind behind Sherlock Holmes makes him the perfect candidate for this investigation. Only Arthur doesn't have any experience in the field of being a detective... but luckily he does have a very sharp mind and a great sidekick, Oscar Wilde.
It also says on the front, The Paranormal Casebook of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The beginning of the story it's more on the natural side, with the exception of the first encounter with Hope Thraxton seeing her own death. However as soon Arthur arrives at the house of the Society for Psychical Research it all starts to go towards the supernatural! As some of the members of the Society have more up their sleeve, like the amazing magician that defies all odd and is able to levitate himself. There are another few interesting characters of this society that all added their own mythical flair to the story. One thing that I liked about how Vaughn Entwistly used this supernatural aspect was that is didn't necessarily had the focus on it, it's partly obscure and there aren't any flashy scenes (besides the levitating magician). Keeping it in check in the background produced an alluring setting that fitted just spot on in the story of The Revenant of Thraxton Hall.
As for the main characters of the story: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, I can only imagine that Vaughn Entwistle must have been in for a daunting task. Of course this book is fiction, but they both are historical characters and have a well known history. Converting such an important characters and using them in your story, must be difficult, keeping facts and appearances straight. I have to say that I was impressed with how Vaughn Entwistle managed to portray the historical characters of the story. I am a bit familiar with them and found that he captured and showed a great authenticity of both Arthur and Oscar, but giving them also his own spin. Arthur is a really a great character to read about and his point-of-view is precisely that of his fictional character Sherlock Holmes. He wasn't all that confident in the beginning of the book in terms of being a bit torn between having killed of his character and how the general public dealt with this information. Added tot his came the case with Hope Thraxton, in which he had no experience at all. However as the story progressed, he gained much more experience and learned a lot. Most likely his sharp mind played a great deal in this. The same goes for Oscar Wilde, a long time friend of Arthur. He is the Watson to Sherlock. But not the serious kind, he is more on the playful side and less serious one. This produced some perfect scenes between them that put a smile on my face. All in all, the main characters, Arthur and Oscar really came to life in this book, they are popular and everyone one time must have heard of them. However their popularity, Vaughn Entwistle didn't let this play on the parts of the secondary character, they weren't in the sade of Arthur or Oscar but made a very strong entry.
Another plus of The Revenant of Thraxton Hall, is the solid writing style that Vaughn Entwistle uses. By his writing he clearly embodies the Victorian London setting into the fine details. You might say, well using the characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde in your story will directly produce the link to the historical Victorian London. But I dare to disagree, it still takes a lot of effort to let them tell the story and of course for the writer to produce the whole setting of the book. Seeing that this is his second book I have to give him a lot of praise for producing such a rich and intriguing atmosphere in this world. When I read the last few pages of the book, I did got another smile, as Arthur opts that this will likely not be the last case that he will note in his casebook! Fingers crossed for more!
I wanted to read The Revenant of Thraxton Hall based on the interesting promise of the story focusing on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and not on Sherlock Holmes and I must say that I was more than pleasantly surprised with the amazingly rich story that Vaughn Entwistle managed to put down. I have to admit that I did have small reservation when I learned that two major historical characters would be used in this story. However Vaughn Entwistly shows that he clearly knows his history and wrote them up in a lively and dynamic way and even giving them his own spin. If you are into Sherlock Holmes be sure that you don't miss out on The Revenant of Thraxton Hall. And just like I said in the last paragraph, finger crossed for more of the eccentric detective duo!
Entertaining and fun,, with mysteries, some solved, others unexplained scientifically and many gothic touches. I'm not always a fan of revisiting characters from history; there have been some terrible gaffes on TV recently, but this book, as Glenn Dallas from the San Francisco Book review describes, "cleverly melds the man who believed in the paranormal with the man who created the ultimate skeptic, offering both sides of Conan Doyle in an unfamiliar scenario...featuring a masked count, a master of levitation, a blind butler, and Oscar Wilde himself" https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/pr...
Alex Bardy of the British Fantasy Society also has praise: "....debut novel of an intriguing new series, Revenant is delightfully swift reading, and when all is said and done, rather spiffing too. Marvellous fun." https://www.britishfantasysociety.org...
I delight in the many ways Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes character has evolved over the years, first under Doyle’s hand and then again and again as others have picked up the character. Yes, there are a million Holmes variations out there, but there’s always room for another good one. My personal favorites are Annelie Wendeberg’s Anna Kronberg series (a woman who cross-dresses in order to pursue a career as a Victorian-era epidemiologist and who crosses paths with, then works with Holmes) and Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series (another cross-dressing young woman, who fist studies under, then partners with, then marries Holmes). I’ve also enjoyed Carole Nelson Douglas’s Irene Adler series (you may remember her as the only woman to ever defeat Holmes as related in “A Scandal in Bohemia”), though these keep lurching perilously close to the romance genre, which is not my cup of tea at all.
Vaughn Entwistle’s The Revenant of Thraxton Hall makes a great addition to the Holmes canon. Holmes is actually a minor character in this, the first volume in the series. The real detectives are Arthur Conan Doyle himself and his friend (yes, they were real-world friends) Oscar Wilde. Holmes makes his appearance as an occasional hallucination who pricks Doyle’s mind, nudging him along the path to a solution.
The Doyle and Wilde characters are distinct and engaging, making good foils for one another, and the visual details make it easy to picture this unlikely duo on the case together. In reality, Doyle was interested in (perhaps hoodwinked by would be a more accurate way of putting it) the paranormal “research” going on in his era. He accepted the Piltdown hoax as a genuine anthropological find. He also advocated in support of the Cottingley fairy photos. Given this, a “paranormal casebook” strikes one as just his sort of thing.
Entwistle does a particularly good job of extending the mystery’s resolution with a series of complications that add some real surprise to the narrative. The reader thinks the case is closed, then—Bam!—one more revelation, and —Bam!—yet another revelation after that one. This is the first volume in what promises to be a series, and I’m quite glad more volumes will be coming along.
I am not claiming that The Revanant of Thraxton Hall is great literature, but I am most definitely stating that it’s a great read. Once you start it, you’ll want to keep going, so best to begin reading when you’ve got a full day open to get lost in the fun. When you need a book that’s the equivalent a self-indulgent stay at a seaside resort, you can count on these paranormal casebooks to deliver.
Title - The Revenant of Thraxton Hall: The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Author - Vaughn Entwistle
Story Summary -
Arthur Conan Doyle is at a crossroads. His creation, Sherlock Holmes, has taken over his life and his other desires to create different characters and different genres is rejected as the public and his publisher only want Holmes. So he does the unthinkable. He kills Holmes thinking it will get him the freedom he seeks. Doyle is unprepared for the public reaction. Life at home is not much better and his ailing wife burdens him further. Suddenly a request for a meeting arrives and Doyle is thrust into the world of seers and mediums.
"...I am sorry, I do not understand you." "I will be murdered in two weeks' time." "Has someone threatened your life? How can you possibly know-?" "I am a spiritualist medium of some renown. I have moments of clairvoyance. Visions of events that have yet to happen. For the last year I have had the same premonition. The details loom sharper with time. In two weeks I will be murdered during a séance-shot twice in the chest..."
Doyle finds himself thrust into the mystery of a murder yet to be committed. With his good friend Oscar Wilde in tow, Doyle travels to Thraxton Hall to protect young Lady Hope Thraxton. It is here where the séance will take place as a group of paranormals gather to contact the dead.
"..And that, Doctor Doyle, has ever thus been the story of Thraxton Hall. It is a house that teeters on a knife's edge between happiness and despair..."
Doyle struggles to piece together a mystery of family darkness and tragedy. Until he unravels a curse over Thraxton Hall and all the remaining descendants. A mystery worthy of his own creation, Holmes himself.
The Revenant of Thraxton Hall is a worthy addition to the Doyle mythos. But it is the Doyle mythos and not the Holmes mythos that it is a part of. Conan Doyle's interest in the paranormal is well documented and his involvement in several actual mysteries of his time as well. Oscar Wilde does more than offer color commentary as well and is a strong addition to tale. This is a well written novel and the banter between the two drive the story as well as the detailed moments of paranormal activity. This novel moves at a good clip and the writing is very good. I look forward to the next mystery to come.