Title: The Revenant of Thraxton Hall: The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Author: Vaughn Entwistle
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, British Literature
Publisher: Minotaur Books (and courtesy of NetGalley)
Published: March 25, 2014
Page Amount: 258 pages
Blurb From Goodreads: “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.“
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.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Review Coming Soon: The Mindtraveler by Bonnie Rozanski