When people want a mystery solved and the famous Sherlock Holmes is not available, they come to 211B Baker Street to demystifier Hemlock Jones!
Hemlock Jones Chronicles #1
The book starts with Professor Bantham and his wife, dining out in a restaurant. Little do they know that their convivial evening will end dramatically with the Professor’s death at the hands of a dark winged creature. Soon, everyone calls the mysterious appearance the ‘Angel of Death.’ Twelve-year-old Edward Whitlow has not heard of the Angel but how could he, since he has never been in London before. Now, he is taking up rooms with Mrs Figgins of 211B Baker Street. Mrs Figgins has one other lodger: Hemlock Jones, a girl of the same age as Edward, or Eddie as Hemlock likes to call him. Hemlock (blame her father for naming her after a poison!) calls herself ‘demystifier’ opposed to the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street, whom she loathes and refers to as her “intellectually impaired rival.” It does not take long for Edward to take on the role of Hemlock Jones’ assistant – as Dr Watson is to Sherlock Holmes.
| Storyline |
As if moving to (Victorian) London is not scary enough for Edward, his meeting Hemlock Jones definitely turns his world upside down. She is completely different from all the girls he has met so far (be it not many since Edward is ‘a young gentleman‘ who had only attended a boys’ school). Hemlock is very confident and regards herself as superior to many a man, including the famous and successful Sherlock Holmes. Is it a coincidence she receives the widow of the murdered Professor? Hemlock does not think so and gladly takes on the case to investigate the curious circumstances in which Professor Bantham died. And to determine whether it was an accident, as the Police seem to believe, or … murder!
As Hemlock explains to Edward, a demystifier is someone who “removes the mystery from the mysterious,” capable of handling “any strange unsolvable problem.” Hemlock has complete confidence in her abilities but this case seems peculiar: a Professor dying at the hand of a winged creature – how will they ever find out what is going on? If it was murder, who would want to kill the Professor? His rival, Mr Lively, perhaps? Like the Professor, Mr Lively is also an inventor in the field of electricity and lighting. Edward tags along with Hemlock through London – to the restaurant where it all took place and to an old and dangerous theatre. Edward has no idea what to think of Hemlock, but nevertheless willingly assists her on her quest for the truth – but then he realises the extent of the growing danger, becoming ever more life-threatening with each new discovery…
Read the Character Spotlight on Hemlock Jones here
| My Thoughts |
Who would have thought Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr Watson would have had such worthy rivals? Hemlock Jones is quite a character with her determination and capabilities – she might not like Sherlock Holmes but her method and way of thinking come very close to his! Like Sherlock, she is overly self-confident and has no time to waste for such trivialities as eating or the refined behaviour befitting a young Victorian lady living in England. Edward is a sweet if somewhat conceited boy who has no idea what he is getting into, but he is willing to be an active participant in Hemlock’s adventures. The author has created two lovely characters and his writing style is entertaining and draws you right in. ‘Hemlock Jones & the Angel of Death’ is an enjoyable and exciting steampunk detective novel with whimsical humour and attention to period detail – a great read for .. everyone! Comes highly recommended!
| About the Author |
Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin Carroll wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, in between writing and moonlighting in marketing for a multinational financial services company, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things. Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards.
| Book Info |
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (8 April 2016)|