Tag Archives: audiobook review

One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes by J. Lawrence Matthews Audiobook Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The secret history of the infamous detective of Baker Street comes to center stage as his first case centers around the assassination of a US President, the protection of his son, and the hunt for a ruthless assassin in author J. Lawrence Matthew’s audiobook, “One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Finale Education of Sherlock Holmes”. 

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The Synopsis

“What do you get when you cross Abraham Lincoln with Sherlock Holmes? The alchemy of creative genius. Matthews brings us to the intersection of history and fiction in this beautifully written epic full of unfathomable twists and turns. It’s elementary: this book is sensational.” (Jim Campbell, syndicated radio host and author of Madoff Talks: Uncovering the Untold Story Behind the Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme in History)

“President Lincoln is assassinated in his private box at Ford’s!”

When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England named Johnnie Holmes grabs the 12-year-old son of the dying president, races the boy to safety, and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.

One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln and, in company with a freed slave named after the dead president, their breathtaking pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and as listeners will discover, it will haunt him until his very last.

At a time when Western history is being reexamined and retold, old heroes cast aside and statues torn down, and even the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator”, is questioned, One Must Tell the Bees is a timely reminder that our history deserves to be understood before it is entirely undone.

©2021 J. Lawrence Matthews (P)2021 J. Lawrence Matthews

The Review

Such an incredible story! The combination of the author’s ability to capture the tone and writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the narrator’s fluid and thematic speaking voice helped to draw the reader into the narrative. It was incredible how the author was able to bring to life the style of the original Sherlock Holmes novels that made him such an iconic literary figure. The amount of detail and precision that the author put not only in the narrative but into the dialogue of Sherlock Holmes himself was fascinating to read and watch unfold. The narrator was superb, really bringing that nineteenth-century English accent into the story and capturing the emotions and nostalgia that these characters and stories held for so many over the years.

The narrative itself was such a great story. The author found the perfect way to pay tribute to the original Sherlock Holmes stories through tone and atmosphere while shaking things up by exploring a young Sherlock Holmes and giving an alternate history that shows the famed London Detective taking to the streets of Washington DC and more. The addition of the detective’s hero being revealed as a Pinkerton agent was fascinating as well and allowed readers to get a glimpse into the formation of who Holmes would become known as in his future career. 

The Verdict

Nostalgic, entertaining, and thought-provoking, author J. Lawrence Matthews’s “One Must Tell the Bees” is a must-read historical fiction mystery novel! The audiobook version really created the theatrical nature of the setting and the narrative harnessed that classic literature style that really made this feel like an authentic Sherlock Holmes read. The captivating addition of this time period and the era of American History being so influential on the foundation of Holmes and his career in the future was brilliantly told, and if you haven’t yet, you need to grab your copy of this incredible audiobook today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: J. Lawrence Matthews

Narrator: Thomas Judd

Length: 19 hours 13 minutes

Publisher: East Dean Press

Released: Oct. 1, 2021

Genre: Mystery

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Susan Taki: The New Coven: The Hangman Universe (HMU), Book 9 by Dee Rose (Narrated by Jeremy Olivier) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After awakening from a magically-induced coma, Susan Taki returns to San Diego after helping her demon-hunter boyfriend, and after patrolling the streets at night as a supernatural police officer, she finds herself facing her old coven in author Dee Rose’s “Susan Taki: The New Coven”, the ninth book in The Hangman Universe.

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The Synopsis

Susan Taki awoke from a magic-induced coma in the events of The Death Brothers: A Supernatural Awakening. After helping her boyfriend, the demon hunter, Father Tom Padilla in New York, she has now returned home to San Diego. She is weighing an offer from the vampire slayer, Jericho Caine, to be his partner, while she patrols the streets as a supernatural policeman at night.

However, her old witches coven has returned with a new and powerful leader, Tatiana. They intend to make Susie stand trial for her role in the death of one of their former leaders. The punishment is death. The underworld also has an interest in the outcome of the trial as they know Susie is an ally of their enemies, the Death Brothers, the Grand Librarian, and the Hangman. 

The Review

A fun, thrill-ride of a supernatural fantasy and action novel, author Dee Rose has done a fantastic job of world-building in this narrative. Admittedly, this is my first foray in The Hangman Universe, but the author’s writing and the narrator really do a great job of implementing a cinematic quality to the writing, bringing to mind shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Wynona Earp. 

The vast array of characters and mythology that the author implements into this narrative is engaging to say the least. The story implements a wide array of classic and iconic paranormal elements, from vampires and witches to demons and angels. The author breathes new life into the classic theme of good vs evil, crafting a series of complex characters that both define these two sides and at times stride the line between both. 

The Verdict

A masterful, action-fueled, and entertaining read (and listen!), author Dee Rose’s “Susan Taki: The New Coven” is a great new supernatural thriller. The author does a good job of complimenting the series that has preceded this novel while also giving newcomers a chance to really sink their teeth into the story. Great dialogue and cinematic imagery really craft a fantastic read that fans of the genre won’t be able to get enough of, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dee Rose was born on July 5th and resides in Denver, CO. He is the father of two daughters. “They are my life.” He says. He attended Metro State University of Denver, where he majored in Political Science. The Hangman is his third published novel and he plans to make it into a series. “Novels like the Hangman are the reason I started writing in the eleventh grade. I love taking readers on an incredible journey.”

https://www.facebook.com/DeeRoseBooks

Skin Curse (The Gate Cycle #2) by Kristin Jacques Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman searching for her brother in a city of monsters must navigate her growing power and the inner workings of the city of Avergard’s politics in order to save her family and friends in author Kristin Jacques’s “Skin Curse”, the second book in The Gate Cycle series. 

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The Synopsis 

The Children of the Gate wait for the call to Rise.

Azzy Brimvine knows her brother is in the vast city of Avergard. She must find him, but time is not on their side.

In the House of Seven Smiles, Azzy struggles to understand the constraints and limits of her power. She finds the whispering voices that guided her for so long, suddenly silent. The enigmatic Lord Wallach is both a frustrating ally and a dangerous mystery, and a strange entity lurks among the household servants. The haven Azzy sought may not be as safe as she thought…but is anywhere truly safe in the Above? 

The city of Avergard is full of monsters and secrets, and a dark history festers at its root. A yawning pit nestles in the house of a scheming lord, who will use Armin’s dangerous gifts to raise history, and raze the city to the ground. As Azzy finds herself and her brother pulled into these machinations, she must navigate the politics and society of Avergard’s brutal ruling class to save her family and friends before the Gate consumes them all.

©2020 Machovi Productions Inc (P)2021 Machovi Productions Inc

The Review

This was a gripping and engaging story, blending everything from fantasy and horror to sci-fi and dystopian themes. While I am new to this series, I found the author did a great job of implementing enough of the first book’s story into this novel to make it feel both fresh and well-understood. 

The pacing and haunting atmosphere played a big role in establishing this fantasy world. The blend of chilling imagery that really brought Avergard to life in the reader’s mind and the narrator (Amie Lyn Hornick) really did a great job of voicing this story, establishing the mix of wonder and terror the protagonist endures throughout the novel while capturing the raw emotions and action that Azzy must overcome to save those closest to her. 

The Verdict

A brilliant, entertaining, and mesmerizing fusion of gothic horror and sci-fi dystopian elements, author Kristen Jacques’s “Skin Curse” is the perfect fantasy read for both new and established fans alike of this series. As a fan of history, I loved the backstory the author established of using one of history’s greatest villains, the Third Reich, and showed their involvement in opening the fabled Gate that let the magic and monsters into this dystopian world, as I know it is well established that one of Hitler’s mad machinations was to harness the power of the occult into his hatred and war machines. Add to this a great story with both haunting and engaging characters and a heart-pounding narrative that readers won’t be able to get enough of, this is a brilliant audiobook that can’t be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Kristin Jacques

Narrator: Amie Lyn Hornick

Length: 9 hours 13 minutes

Series: The Gate Cycle, Book 2

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Apr. 21, 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

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