9 Nov 2022


 One of several bloggers who over 5 days will be participating in this Blog Tour. Today {the 3rd day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on ...


Genre ... Crime / Humour

Publication Date ... 1st November 2022

Standalone First book in a series

Estimated Page Count ... 299

Thrown together by the British legal system, Holmes and his court appointed psychologist, Dr John Watson, seem an unlikely pairing... but sometimes the stars align.

Our two heroes are soon drawn into a series of riotous adventures that both bewilder and beguile. Holmes’ mastery of data, deduction and logic combines with his gin-dry wit and a casual contempt for life-threatening danger to ensure there is never a dull moment as he and the good doctor battle the mysteries that have the local constabulary baffled.

The game is afoot... oh yes! ... Synopsis

For those who have ever been annoyed to have bought a book only to discover they already have it but published under a different title, be warned, The Accidental Detective was originally published under the somewhat less imaginative title of Holmes Volume 1.

Whilst there are doubtlessly countless numbers of people who will/have enjoyed this book; liking the re-imaging Holmes and Watson; enjoying the banter between them, for myself personally ...

Not an altogether un-engaging collection of short stories, I did enjoy that the author included some of the original characters and that there was a nod to some of the things we associate with Holmes, however ... 

Whilst I have managed to get my head around other  re-imaginings of Holmes {some more so than others} alas, try as I might, I just couldn't buy into this author's version of him, not the way he had him dressed; not where he had him live {not that I have anything against Middlesbrough which is a mere 41miles/66km from my home town city of Newcastle, I just can't imaging Holmes residing there}; not that he had him a sexual being {oddly enough, I think I'd actually have it found it easier to have found he and Watson were in a Gay relationship} and, most of all, most definitely not the way he had him peppering his sentences with a barrage of expletives which sadly was the thing that clouded my whole reading of The Accidental Detective. But then it can't be an easy task to take such an iconic, widely read character as Holmes and make him your own and and in this respect, all credit to the author who without a doubt made this Holmes his own.

Narrated, as in the originals by Watson, this is a collection of six stories brought bang up to date. I'm not a big fan of short stories but in the books favour these stories flowed together so beautifully; so seamlessly, that it really didn't feel as if I was reading a series of short stories but rather a complete novel. That it ended with 'Not the end ... Holmes will be returning in The Song Of The Swan'; good news for fans of the book I suppose, at least they know there will be another outing for Holmes. However, for those who aren't into cliff-hangers, this one book ends on a massive one.

About Melvyn Small ... Born in Stockton-on-Tees and raised in nearby Billingham, Mel left Northfield Comprehensive School at 16 to train as a civil engineering technician at Cleveland County Council Surveyor and Engineer's Department. It was during this time, spent either at a drawing board or on the clever end of a theodolite that, following a rather sharp haircut, he was bestowed the nickname Melvis. Thanks go out to Joan the tea lady for that one.


Fortunately Mel is not a vengeful chap and has not once even considered informing HM Revenue and Customs of Joan's illicit below-the-tea-trolley line in Kitkats and Marathons.  Whether Mel retains any likeness to the King of Rock 'n' Roll is debatable, however even the most imaginative would now concede he is less GI Blues and more the Vegas years. Mel loves a parmo.

On the completion of his traineeship at the council, which included BTEC qualifications studied on day release at both Cleveland Technical College and Teesside Polytechnic, Mel relinquished his unused right to countersign passport applications and photographs, and left local government for a period of employment in the private sector. This included stays at WS Atkins, WA Fairhurst and, perhaps his spiritual home, the now defunct Bullen Consultants Limited. During this period, interrupted by a bachelor’s degree in civil and structural engineering at the University of Sheffield, Mel undertook a lot of modelling work. Three-dimensional ground modelling work to be precise, Mel's use of isopachyte analysis being now the thing of legend.

A natural engineer, Mel expanded his capability into that of hydraulic engineering soon forming quite a reputation in the fields of both storm water drainage and sewerage design, his skills in this area being such that he soon earned the honorary title of the Shitman. It's no exaggeration to state that Mel has forgotten more about storm water attenuation than most people will ever know.

Feeling more inclined to a digital era the modelling shitman left the world of roundabout entry deflection and balancing ponds to embark on a career in information technology. Following a master's degree in information processing at the University of York, he gained employment in the IT department of a large financial services organisation. It wasn't his fault. None of it. Honest.

With respect to the written word, Mel's efficient writing style is perhaps the requirement of both engineering and computer science to communicate in a concise manner. The comedy in his literary output being more of a function of a Teesside upbringing. Mel's first foray into the world of creative writing came in the form of slogans for leading tee shirt retailer Shot Dead In The Head. Mel's work included the popular ”What Part Of Theoretical Physics Do You Not Understand?” and “If You Can Read This You Are Too Close”.

Upping the word count considerably into that of fictional crime writing, Mel's first printed work Holmes Volume 1 and the imaginatively titled Holmes Volume 2. The reviews for this reimagining of Sherlock Holmes a dry-witted, working class northerner plying his trade in current day Middlesbrough have been amazing. If you would like a copy of these classics including their cult cover art, act quickly, They will soon disappear to be republished as The Accidental Detective series in November 2022. This will include a new volume of stories including The Darlington Substitution. and two new feature length stories.

And it doesn’t end there. Mel has now turned his writing skills to music and Project Melv!s. The debut single from this initiative, Provisionally Yours, was released in September 2021 and was followed up with The Perfect EP at the end of 2021. Work on an album of original music is currently underway. It’s shaping up to be something quite special.

If you would like an email providing updates on Mel’s various endeavours please sign up to the newsletter.

Follow Melvyn Small ... ~ Website ~ Twittter ~ Twitter {Sherlock Homes} ~ FaceBook ~


Kelly said...

I have learned through the blogging world that readers either love re-imaginations of Holmes and Watson or absolutely hate them! Honestly, I've only read one Sherlock Holmes story in my life (gasp!!) and that was The Hound of the Baskervilles. I read the first in Laurie King's Mary Russell series featuring an older Holmes and while I enjoyed it, haven't read anymore.

All that to say, I probably wouldn't get much from this book despite the fact I do enjoy short stories. (however, I do not like cliffhangers!)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

That's a shame you couldn't really buy into this version of Sherlock. I like reimagining's of him and John, but sometimes it takes away too much from the original version.

Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

nightwingsraven said...

After reading your review, I am
not at all certain if I would
appreciate this re-imagination
of Holmes and Watson.
But as always, thank you for your
excellent and honest review.