Sunday, 10 November 2019

Robert J. Harris - Artie Conan Doyle and the Scarlet Phantom - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books


Here we are, the sleuths are back again with the third brilliant book in The Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries. The Scarlet Phantom is the work of Scottish writer, Robert J. Harris, and features the young amateur detectives of Artie Conan Doyle (Boy Detective) and Edward Hamilton (Stalwart Companion). The book has already been published (October) by Floris Books (a small independent children's publisher in Edinburgh).  

It's time to investigate the criminal mind with another unusual and thrilling mystery to ponder over. I really love this series; it's one of my personal favorites as it reminds me of the books I used to read when I was a young person. It has the same DNA profile as the books I read and loved at that time such as The Hardy Boy Stories which were full of vivid action and great moments. It also has great settings and characters similar to The Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators books. Around every corner, there's suspense and deadly peril. These books made me an avid reader as they expanded my imagination and created a great appetite for new and exciting books. 

Wandering around the back streets of Edinburgh, August 1873, and something is afoot once again. A mystery is sweeping across the murky Scottish streets leaving the public fearing for their lives. Priceless jewels are being stolen by an invisible thief who walks through walls and disappears at will. All of which is bafflingly the local police force. However, the Scarlett Phantom is just about to pull off the biggest robbery in history. Can the greatest detective (not Sherlock Holmes) solve the puzzle before he or she gets away? Or will a strange paranormal investigator, who claims he can capture this phantom burglar, get there before them? You'll have to read the book to find out. 

In this story, we are introduced to a new female character, Peril Abernetly (Girl Scientist), to aid the detective team in finding out the answers to this fiendish plot. This character adds another interesting dimension to the story. She introduces a scientific approach to the inner-thought processes and dynamics of the sleuthing trio. In contrast, there is also Edward who is always hungry and has food about his person but is not always hungry for adventure. He especially fears danger and has to be persuaded by his best friend (Artie Doyle) to follow him in his thirst for solving inexplicable crimes.  

Like all the other books in this series, there is a fantastic plot full of imagination, which has been executed particularly well. It has twists and turns which leave many possibles alternatives to develop and explore. There are many quirky details included which provide a great reading experience. The time and gothic setting have a wide and fantastic appeal. Historically, it makes the story very interesting and atmospheric.

This is another fantastic book aimed at the younger reader. It will feed their imagination and set them off on an amazing fantasy adventure. As the story comes to a climatic and turbulent end, it will leave them feeling content. It's a book that is definitely worth tracking down. You never know, it may even inspire new avid readers to be born. So are you ready to solve the clues and follow in the footsteps of the characters? If so, then you definitely need to read this book.

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