Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, 6 March 2017

Robert J. Harris - Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club (Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries) - Book Review

One day Arthur Conan Doyle will create the greatest detective of all -- Sherlock Holmes. But right now Artie Conan Doyle is a twelve-year-old Edinburgh schoolboy with a mystery of his own to solve. While sneaking out to explore Greyfriars Kirkyard by night, Artie and his best friend Ham spot a ghostly lady in grey and discover the footprints of a gigantic hound. Could the two mysteries be connected? These strange clues lead them to a series of robberies carried out the sinister Gravediggers' Club and soon they find themselves pitted against the villainous Colonel Braxton Dash. Will Artie survive his encounters with graveyards and ghosts in the foggy streets of nineteenth century Edinburgh -- or will his first case be his last?

Robert J. Harris, author of the brilliant The World Goes Loki series, has now exploded onto the middle-grade fantasy scene with another new series entitled Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries. The first book in the series is "The Gravediggers' Club" which was published by Floris books on the 16th February 2017. As soon as you turn the page, you find yourself instantly transported back to 19th century Edinburgh, where it is swirling with fog, danger and a slight hint of bagpipes playing in the background. 


Welcome Artie Conan Doyle onto the stage with his friend and sidekick in tow, Ham.You will love Ham's laid back character and the way he deals with the danger and on-going adventure. He would rather be somewhere else where it is warm, safe and allows him to eat cakes, rather than a spooky graveyard late at night with a howling beast or a spooky apparition scaring him witless! As you'll be able to tell, he is very reluctant to engage in the mystery that suddenly smacks them in the face. 

The adventure follows Artie's suspicions around the young trainee doctor lodging at their house who is up to no good. It's a very easy-going story to follow with a mystery to solve. It is full of action and brings together an eclectic cast of characters to give it some Scottish charm. It reflects the time and period very well through the reality of sickness/poverty and the hardships family faced at that period in time. The setting and backdrop are very well written. They enable you to recognise aspects of the city as well as get a brilliant feel for the story. 


The villain of the story, Colonel Braxton Dash, has a great name but he did not quite live up to his reputation. In my opinion, he needed more dark deeds to heighten the tension and develop his character. A little extra side story would have turned this into a dark macabre story and made the reader sit up a little more and take notice. 


This is a very enjoyable detective story consisting of some brilliant dialogue. It has a fantastic ending which makes a good impression for the rest of the series.  


Monday, 6 February 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Middle Grade Book Picks (9-12yrs) Feb 2017 - UK Published Post One

Maz Evans - Who Let the Gods Out? - Published by Chicken House (2 Feb. 2017)
Elliot's mum is ill and his home is under threat, but a shooting star crashes to earth and changes his life forever. The star is Virgo - a young Zodiac goddess on a mission. But the pair accidentally release Thanatos, a wicked death daemon imprisoned beneath Stonehenge, and must then turn to the old Olympian gods for help. After centuries of cushy retirement on earth, are Zeus and his crew up to the task of saving the world - and solving Elliot's problems too?



Robert J. Harris - Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club - Published by Kelpies (16 Feb. 2017)
One day Arthur Conan Doyle will create the greatest detective of all -- Sherlock Holmes. But right now Artie Conan Doyle is a twelve-year-old Edinburgh schoolboy with a mystery of his own to solve. While sneaking out to explore Greyfriars Kirkyard by night, Artie and his best friend Ham spot a ghostly lady in grey and discover the footprints of a gigantic hound. Could the two mysteries be connected? These strange clues lead them to a series of robberies carried out by the sinister Gravediggers' Club and soon they find themselves pitted against the villainous Colonel Braxton Dash. Will Artie survive his encounters with graveyards and ghosts in the foggy streets of nineteenth century Edinburgh -- or will his first case be his last? 

Robert J. Harris, author of The World's Gone Loki series and William Shakespeare and the Pirate's Fire, brings the young Conan Doyle to life in this ingenious detective story full of twists, turns and clever reveals.
Abi Elphinstone - The Night Spinner (Dreamsnatcher 3) - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK (23 Feb. 2017)

Moll Pecksniff and her friends are back for a new adventure as the thrilling trilogy that began with The Dreamsnatcher concludes.

In a ruined monastery in the northern wilderness, a Shadowmask called Wormhook sits in front of a spinning wheel. He is spinning a quilt of darkness known as the Veil. A masked figure then carries the Veil across the lands, slipping it through the windows of children’s bedrooms to poison their minds...

Meanwhile deep within Tanglefern Forest, Moll and her wildcat, Gryff, are waiting for a sign from the Old Magic before they continue their quest to find the last Amulet of Truth and free their world from the Shadowmasks’ terrible magic.
 
Still missing fellow Tribe member, Alfie, and armed only with a mysterious set of clues, Moll sets out on an adventure across the northern wilderness with Gryff and her friend Siddy at her side. They must brave the Lost Isles, scale the Barbed Peaks and face witches, goblins and giants who lurk at every turn . . . while the Shadowmasks draw ever closer.
 
Can Moll, Siddy and Gryff find the friend they think they have lost? And do the Tribe have what it takes to defeat the Dark magic once and for all?

Garth Nix - Frogkisser - Published by Piccadilly Press (28 Feb. 2017)
Garth Nix is on hilarious form as he spins his very own fairy tale, featuring Princess Anya, who, with her loyal dog, must embark on a terribly important (capital Q) Quest to acquire the ingredients for a reversal lip balm, the vital item needed to change a frog back to a prince . . . oh, and save her kingdom from her villainous step(step)father. 

A brilliantly funny take on fairytales and quests for younger readers.


Monday, 19 March 2018

Robert J. Harris - Artie Conan Doyle and the Vanishing Dragon - UK Blog Tour (Kelpies)



Welcome to day two of the UK blog tour for Robert J. Harris and his brilliant new mystery 'Artie and the Vanishing Dragon'. This is an opportunity to celebrate the unveiling of a brand new book in the Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries. Published by Kelpies, The Vanishing Dragon will fly into bookshops on the 22nd March 2018. 

This is a week-long mission to entertain and entice you to pick up these brilliant books and read them. So sit back and relax as we're going back to the scene of the crime to investigate where and how it all began. Have your magnifying glasses at the ready throughout the week to follow the author's footsteps each day. Please see the blog tour list in the top right-hand corner of the blog.  Happy Reading. 





THE YOUNG DETECTIVES - NEW MYSTERIES FOR THE YOUNG GENERATION

I was about eight years old when I read my first detective story. It was The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat by Enid Blyton, featuring a group of young investigators called The Five Find-Outers. Though they never achieved the same level of success as Blyton’s other quintet (The Famous Five), nevertheless the Find-Outers had a long run of cases from 1943 to 1961.

Young detectives have long been a part of the mystery genre, including such stars as The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. My own favourite series is The Three Investigators, who began their career in 1964 with The Secret of Terror Castle. Their stories were introduced by famous film director Alfred Hitchcock, who played a role in that first case. I personally think the best of these is The Stuttering Parrot, which is both very clever and entertaining.

One of the most significant features of these mysteries for younger readers is that they are not centred on the sort of gruesome murders that dominate adult crime fiction. A good thing too, I say.

While I think of the tales I tell as primarily adventure stories, these adventures always include an element of mystery. With The Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries I have shifted towards detective stories (though they are still exciting adventures). As with all my books, my main rule is that a good book for younger readers should be one that adult readers (like me!) will also enjoy. By the same principle the mysteries in these novels are to be just as good, just as baffling, as any you would find in the great crime classics.

Part of the fun is trying to guess not only who committed the crime but why. In Artie’s first adventure, The Gravediggers Club, he needs to discover not only who has been digging up dead bodies, but also why they’re doing it.

The clues are another vital element to a good mystery. The clues, far from shedding any light, should make things even more baffling. The clues Artie comes across give him a headache more than anything else - that is until he finally understands what they mean.

It’s also hugely fun for the writer and reader if the crime itself appears to be utterly impossible. My favourite mystery writer John Dickson Carr is the acknowledged master of such puzzles as ‘How was a man able to jump into a swimming pool surrounded by witnesses and completely disappear?’

In The Vanishing Dragon Artie is faced with a similarly impossible crime; a gigantic mechanical dragon is stolen from a warehouse when the only exits and entrances are a door securely fastened with multiple locks and a window far too small for the dragon to fit through.

The crucial point in any mystery story is when the truth is revealed. If this is done well, the reader will see all the pieces of the mystery falling into place like a magical jigsaw puzzle fitting itself together. My aim is that as they behold the completed picture readers will cry out in delight, “Of course! Now I see!”

That’s what I enjoy in a good mystery.