A review of Sherlock Holmes and the Affair in Transylvania by Gerry O'Hara.
I love the cover and artwork inside the book. The illustrations are by P.M. Rose (the author's wife) and punctuate the feel of the story perfectly. (You can even buy the artwork you see in the book!)
The writing on the back cover is in a small font even though there's plenty of room, and the margins inside the book are quite large. My hackles were raised and I questioned the writing before I even started reading.
Unfortunately, I found a mistake on the first page. Because of these red flags, it took me some effort to get into the story. I understand that the book was edited (by Tom Evans) but, with great respect to Mr. Evans, I say it could do with another thorough edit. There are mistakes throughout the story and the writing gets bogged down by extraneous words and over-full descriptions but the story shone through, anyway.
The book is strong and purposeful and though my preferences lie in more of a fun read, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. It's a shame the errors in grammar and punctuation detract from what would otherwise be a great book.
It was a darker book than I had anticipated but it is about vampires and murder! As I said, the story was solid and well told. However, I didn't like the author's use of a scene from one of Doyle's stories, as if it was the first time Sherlock Holmes talked about viewing a peaceful countryside as a hotbed of hidden crime. The author presented it as if it was his own.
I would have liked to have seen more deducing from Sherlock-his character didn't quite ring true to the original for me. Dr. Watson's character was spot on. I loved him and his narration.
All in all, I would recommend this book to readers who love Dr. Watson, a good vampire story and those who aren't bothered by errors throughout the book that seem, to me, avoidable.
Review by Jennifer Oberth, author of the Ella Westin Mysteries. Disclosure: a free review copy was provided in preparation for this review.