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3rd January
written by Steph
It seems like most bloggers (including myself) have vowed to try to read books they already own for at least the first three months of the year. So clearly the best thing I can do is highlight two new releases to tempt y'all to fall off the wagon post-haste! In the newest issue of BookPage, Tony and I both have reviews up of two pretty great books that it would be a shame for you to miss out on.

First up: The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. Tony reviewed this one because he is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan (who isn't, really?), and the premise of two stories - one involving Sherlock's creator Arthur Conan Doyle, and one in modern times involving a society of Sherlock devotees - that interweave was certainly intriguing. At a time of the year when reading time is hard to find, Tony managed to make plenty of time to plow through this book, which offers plenty of twists and is a lovely homage to one of literature's most beloved detectives. To read more of his (far more eloquent and penetrating) thoughts on this read, read his full review here.

Next: The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly, which I was super excited to snag for review. If comparisons to Jane Austen are my number one kryptonite, than comparisons to Tana French come in a close second, so I knew I just had to give this thriller a whirl when such parallels began to be drawn. This is one of those "murder in reverse" type tales, one where we know what crime has been committed and by whom (or so we think), and the bulk of the novel is spent detailing the events that lead up to the crime in question. I'm a big fan of books that are able to maintain suspense after laying down a high card so early on, and this one works really well, especially because Kelly flits back and forth between past and present. This is one of those books that keeps raising the stakes and picking up speed as it goes on, so don't be surprised if you gulp it all down in a single sitting. For more of the nitty grity on plot and whatnot, check out my full review here! Both really good reads and I wouldn't blame you if you broke your TBR resolve to pick up either of them! I'm just thankful we already have our copies! 😉


  1. 01/03/2011

    I have a copy of The Sherlockian waiting for me, and I am now off to read Tony’s review to see what’s in store when I pick that one up! I also am interested in The Poison Tree as well, and your mention that it is reminiscent of Tana French intrigues me quite a lot.

  2. 01/03/2011

    The Poison Tree sounds amazing. I love Tana French, so if a book is compared to her repertoire, that means a lot to me too!

  3. 01/03/2011

    I just got offered The Poison Tree this morning, and was going to wait to take a closer look at it before accepting it, but based on your enthusiasm, I went ahead and snagged it! I can’t wait now! Thanks!

  4. I love the sound of The Poison Tree. I still haven’t read Tana French though – I’ve made a note of the Poison Tree title and will grab a copy as soon as it is released in paperback here in the UK (March) In the meantime I’ll try to ensure I get around to reading In the Woods!

  5. 01/03/2011

    The Sherlockian sounds like a good read – I’ll be adding that one to my TBR pile. Thanks for helping me fall off the wagon so soon 😉

  6. 01/04/2011

    Ooh, mystery, fantastic! Most important first impression, I love the cover art! 😉
    I’ve yet to fall for Holmes but The Sherlockian is tempting even me. (Also, have you heard about The Baker Street Phantom? You might enjoy that.)
    The second book sounds great as well. So you’re a Tana french fan? I’ve been thinking of giving her books a try, can you recommend one that’s good to start with?

  7. 01/05/2011

    @ zibilee: I think you’ll have a lot of fun with The Sherlockian. It’s not perfect (based on what Tony mentioned to me and in his review), but it was diverting and certainly an interesting twist on the whole Sherlock Holmes realm, so certainly worth some time!
    @ Stephanie: I will say this isn’t quite up to Tana French’s standards, but you can definitely see the similarities between the two and it was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy it!
    @ trish: I think this will be a great pregnancy book for you! I know you’ve been looking for page-turners of late, and I definitely think this will be that!
    @ Jackie: So interesting that The Poison Tree is not coming out in the UK until March because the author herself is based there! Be sure to read French in the interim! 😀
    @ Nadia: Anything to help others by all the books I myself cannot!
    @ Bina: I LOVE Tana French! I would definitely recommend reading her books in order even though that’s by no means a requisite. I just think they’re more enjoyable that way. So start with In the Woods!
    @ sakura: Haven’t heard of Pirie’s series so thanks for the recommendation! I will have to check them out… as much as I like a cozy mystery, there is certainly something to be sad for dark ones, too. And if they’re well-written, that’s just icing on the cake!

  8. 01/05/2011

    Both books sound exciting (especially The Poison Tree which you’ve compared to both French and Tartt – how can I resist?) and I have put them on my wishlist so that I won’t forget. Btw, have either of you read David Pirie’s Murder Rooms series (subtitled The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes)? They feature Arthur Conan Doyle and his Prof Joseph Bell and are well-written, dark mysteries. The first in the series is The Patient’s Eyes.

  9. 01/05/2011

    The Poison Tree’s structure sounds really interesting. I’m curious to see how the author pulls it off!

  10. can i admit to not loving the cover of ‘the poison tree’? your review is enough to sell me, though! i have yet to read a tana french but love the backwards thrillers. both you and tony truly have a talent with words, and i’m waiting for your big debut, steph! 🙂

  11. 01/05/2011

    Glad to hear that The Sherlockian was a hit on your end because I have a lovely copy waiting right here for me now. All things Sherlock appeal to me! Will hold off reading that review until I am done though.

  12. Eva

    I have Tana French’s first book out from the library now; I’m hoping I enjoy it more than The Likeness (which in all fairness I read around hour 18 of a read-a-thon, so I was a bit of a crankypants, lol). If I do, I’ll have to give the Kelly a go!

  13. 01/06/2011

    I can’t resist the “nail biting thrills”! I’m adding The Poison Tree to my list now.

  14. 01/07/2011

    @ Dorothy: I’ve encountered a few authors who use the backwards mystery narrative and I always find it really interesting to see which ones pull it off and which ones don’t. I would definitely say that Kelly pulls it off!
    @ nat: You and me both… I love to write, but I fear I might have a brighter future in non-fic writing than fiction! I never have any plot ideas of my own! 😉
    @ Frances: We will see whether The Sherlockian magnifies your youthful desires to marry Sherlock! 😉 I hope you have fun with it!
    @ Eva: I hope you like In The Woods! It isn’t a perfect novel, but I really loved it and think French is such a great thriller writer. I will have to peek into your archives and see what it is you didn’t care for in The Likeness…
    @ Kathleen: I think you’ll have lots of fun with this one! Just don’t get a manicure beforehand! 😀

  15. […] first heard about this book on Steph and Tony’s Blog. She compared it to Tana French and I have to agree – this compelling thriller shares Tana […]

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