Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil

Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil

by Tim Symonds


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It's the year 1906. Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching - not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London's Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes's task - discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch'ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain's vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake. Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781787050358
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication date: 11/14/2016
Pages: 310
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.65(d)

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Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
DarkRavenDH More than 1 year ago
Doctor Watson called to China! My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my copy of this book. Tim Symonds writes about a specific time in the history of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. All of his novels take place after Holmes has retired to keep bees and Watson is still seeing a few patients. Most of the time I have found these books to be extremely interesting. This one has been an exception to the rule… Doctor Watson is given orders to go to China to help set up medical teams with China’s army. His contact is General Yuàn. Watson has to go overland to China and there is no way to really protect him along the way. Except that Holmes is also involved… I just couldn’t get into this one. I have tried and failed to finish the book on at least six occasions. I will read maybe twenty pages and then sigh and put the book down. It makes no sense to me, because I know that Tim is a great writer. I have had the pleasure of reading several of his books and enjoyed them very much. I will give the book three stars based on Tim Symonds’ usual writing ability. I cannot give any more stars, because I just cannot get into this book. Sorry, Tim, what can I say? Quoth the Raven…
Richard_Bunning More than 1 year ago
Firstly, I’m not a raving fan of the fictitious Sherlock Holmes, though I’m certainly an admirer of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I read several Sherlock books in my younger years enjoying their adventure and appreciated their cleverly weaved plots, even if it was other works of Doyle that really grabbed me. Professor Challenger, who first appeared in ‘The Lost World’ has always been my favourite character. So a weak amateur fan of the original books though I am, I couldn’t but enjoy how genuine this read felt. I could have easily been fooled into thinking that this was the writing of the great man himself, even though this is as much historical fiction as the team once of Baker Street. Further, once embroiled in unmasking the sinister, even the plot was worthy of the Sherlock Holmes stamp. This book is not only brilliantly written, it is exceedingly well researched. I enjoyed the detail in the history every bit as much as the story itself. The historical fiction is as clever as the stylistically accurate incorporation of by far the two most famous characters of Doyle’s huge imagination—two characters as famous as any in literary fiction. I very much enjoyed the ‘glossary’ at the end of the book, which gave depth to so much of the period detail. This additional information doesn’t add to, or subtract from, the story itself, but certainly gives readers such as I, ignorant of Chinese history, a much needed and speedy education. All the detail is self-explanatory enough in the run of the story, however, the additional information rounds off this reading experience quite delightfully. I recommend this book to fans of Sherlock Holmes, lovers of historical fiction and to all those that like a wide variety of well-written fiction. I will be looking to read further books from Tim Symonds’ pen.
Jessica Roberts More than 1 year ago
I'm giving this book a solid 4.5/5.0 This is the kind of novel people are looking for when it comes to finding a traditional Sherlock Holmes and Watson novel. Writers are always reinventing the characters and stories, and don't get me wrong, sometimes it works really well! But if you're looking for the original characters in a new adventure, this is what you've been looking for! I for one love the Sherlock stories. They're insane and over the top and Tim Symonds has duplicated them perfectly. Sherlock is his stoic, impressive self while Watson dances to his own adrenaline seeking beat. They're a perfect combination and their relationship is what makes or breaks a Sherlock novel! Although Sherlock and Watson are older, this is a journal from Doctor Watson's POV and not one of the post-Watson death novels written by the detective Sherlock, himself. Although they don't live together, their relationship hasn't changed. They need one another in their lives just as they need a good mystery. "The Nine-Dragon Sigil" is just that. A perplexing, over the top mystery that ties heavily into the Forbidden City and historical Chinese culture. Sherlock and Holmes don't belong where they end up in this one, and that just made the novel for me! It was incredible to read the "original" characters in such an unusual situation and although in my head I knew this wasn't Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work, I was successfully tricked throughout the actual reading process. This is a must read for anyone seeking the original Holmes and Watson.
Justin Evans More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4.5 This was technically the first novel I read by this author, but I postponed reviewing it until I had the opportunity to read the one about Einstein's Daughter. I received free e-copies of these books from the author in exchange for honest reviews and despite this I pledge my complete and total honesty. I didn't like putting these books down. There's something about them that makes the reader want to keep going. The thrill of the chase? It was exhilarating. The dark (yet surprisingly colorful) Chinese setting and culture in this novel added tremendously to the mysteries of this literature. The intricate crimes and interactive "logs" made for an exciting thriller mystery true to the traditional British nature this author's work is quote on quote "replicating". I've always been fascinated by historical fiction and particularly the mystery sub-genre. I recommend this book for readers like me.
Andrew Gulley More than 1 year ago
Tim Symonds has mastered the art of historical fiction. It's not as easy as some people think. Adding robots or swords does not successfully convince a reader they have left the present. It takes research and devotion. Mr. Symonds has skimped on neither. From the start of this wild journey the reader is taken back to the early 1900s. Why? For those who don't know, the original Sherlock Holmes stories were written in this time period. This also means that the writings were true to the era. The characters "sound" different from what we'd expect today, and this author has not forgotten that fact. It even comes with a glossary if you are having trouble with the vocabulary. The craft of this mystery is marvelous. It's not just a question of "who done it" it's an adventure. The mystery of the nine-dragon sigil puzzled me, as did it entrance me. I never knew what to expect and I am very glad I had to opportunity to read this novel before it's release date.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes and the nine-dragon sigil is a mystery novel set in the early 1900s. It's a mystery weighed down by words that are far too large for a child to comprehend. This is an adult mystery that requires thought and, of course, that cheat sheet in the back for many of the older words not often used today. Again, I will emphasize this is an adult mystery. The main theme is murder, which proves my point further. Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes find themselves investigating a Chinese murder/scheme believed to threaten the country's alliance. We're taken to the Forbidden City, a wonderfully reconstructed part of history on Tim Symond's part. The Asian culture was not overlooked on this one. If fact, little was overlooked in making this a realistic trip to the past. From the words used to the dynamics of the characters' relationships, this is an excellent work of historical fiction. I recommend for fans of historical fiction and mystery.
Sasha Connors More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4.5 I'm taking off half a point since I usually prefer faster stories and this has a fairly consistent, steady pace. It's a mellow ride I didn't go absolutely crazy over, but definitely did get into. The beginning starts off with Dr. Watson, which moves a little slow for me. He's been apart from Holmes for too long so his life is also moving kind of slow at this point. He wants a more exciting life, and he gets that from being with Holmes, a very unusual detective with an anti-social personality from being smarter than the rest of the world, I would assume. The pace does pick up when Dr. Watson winds up in China, I will admit. There's been a murder and a plot to start a war, so that definitely caught my interest. I try to refrain from spoilers but quite frankly I may have already spoiled a thing or two. Point being! This is a mystery that goes deep into the mind of man and Chinese culture. Setting: China, 1900s. Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Crime
Margie Alexander More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes is a classic. Everyone knows the characters and at least one or two of the mysteries they've faced. This is not a re-telling, this is an original mystery written for the classic characters. What I mean is this is written as though it were actually from the time this story is set in. Because of this the story is capturing. It's like listening to a foreigner talk. You can't get enough of it, regardless of what it is they're saying. Even so, the actual story is very interesting. It's taken from early 1900s England to (same time period) busy China. If you like Asian fiction, you will enjoy this twist. The setting feels very real. I mean it seems you're actually there. The descriptions are on point and as a reader I could tell the author did extensive research to make it so. Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil is the first novel I've read by Tim Symonds, but from what I can tell his writing is very true to the original Holmes stories. The crimes are exotic and entice the human psyche, thus successfully capturing one's attention up until the satisfying conclusion. Loved it! Didn't come across a single issue/problem although I can understand how some might get frustrated with the old English text if they are unfamiliar with it. But for me? Perfect!
Samantha Stephans More than 1 year ago
It surprises me every time an author manages to successfully take something so classic, so well done, and make it their own. Despite the similarities to the original Sherlock Holmes, I didn't feel this book was cliche, so to speak. The writing style and voice of Watson are excellent replications of Sir Author Conan Doyle's work, while the actual story itself felt new and refreshing. We start with Watson in his new life. He's been separated from Holmes for years now and has taken to a steadier life of debt and medicine. As one might expect from the old doctor, he's restless. He needs more excitement, more Holmes in his life if he's going to sooth his jitters... As always with Sherlock Holmes, he gets a little more than he bargained for. As one may infer from the cover image, this story heads quickly over to Asia (1906) for the majority of this novel's investigation. The pacing of this story is meant for readers seeking a "slow and go" type of read. Although the author's writing style is overall engaging, there are parts where you simply cannot put down the pages. I docked a star because even though this is a great story for mystery and historical fiction fans, I didn't fall madly in love with it. I feel those who would are going to be readers interested in Asian culture, complicated crime, and the classic Sherlock Holmes stories.
Mia Lundbergh More than 1 year ago
I received a FREE pre-release copy of this novel!! If you're new to the original Holmes stories, I suggest you start here. Tim gives an excellent introduction in this one that will make it easy for any novice to follow along. I, myself, am only a half-novice to the world of Sherlock Holmes. Most of my knowledge comes from the movies and a few of the more popular Sherlock Holmes stories by the original author. This book is written in old English, so it felt as though I had picked up an original book rather than something from 2016! That was an awesome surprise when I first started this out! Dr. Watson narrates this book as though one were reading his private journal. In it, he tells the story of a mischievous, war threatening scandal he (and Sherlock, of course) will investigate and put a stop to. Dr. Watson is quick to head off to China, where the main events of this novel take place. It's in this foreign land he and Sherlock get their hands good and dirty! Because of the jam packed suspense and mystery, the novel flows relatively fast. It made it easy to follow along and I'm sure most readers will agree it does a good job of holding a person's interest. I liked the complex writing style and theme, but I will confess I had to check that glossary in the back on more than one occasion! It was a very clever thing to add on the author's part! Overall, I think Sherlock Holmes fans are going to really appreciate how much work Mr. Symonds put into making this read like old English text.
Legend Brook More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book from the author, but after reading it I just HAD to buy a physical copy to add to my Sherlock Holmes collection! If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan and you haven't read anything by Tim Symonds YOU ARE MISSING OUT!! Like many Sherlock Holmes stories, you get an introduction to the narrative of Dr. Watson and the setting. It's a calm, steady, necessary expedition that benefits the complicated mysteries of this Sherlock novel well. From this you learn Sherlock and Watson no longer live together for the consulting detective has settled down in quiet Sussex. Personally, I love the retired Sherlock stories because they prove that no matter how old the great detective Holmes and his trusty Dr. Watson get, they're always going to be the most incredible team in fictitious history! Tim Symonds is not humble about this fact, which I love. This author has done some of the most authentic Sherlock Holmes writing I have ever read! And believe me, I have read a LOT of Sherlock Holmes in my time! I don't know if this author has ever been to China or not, but I sure feel like I have after reading this! What's even better is I feel like I've fallen into a worm hole and gotten popped out in 1900's-China! The text used to describe this fascinating setting is as busy as it is disorienting, no doubt making it all that much more realistic for the time, place, and scenario. The author has clearly mastered the art of foreshadowing because, even though I had to have Sherlock point it out to me, all of the evidence and bits of information relevant to the story are written RIGHT THERE!! I love being tricked just as much as I love being guided in the right direction and Tim Symonds has managed to do both. Amazing piece of literature! I would love to see this converted at some point to hit the big screen. I can picture Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce playing these roles and even though that's no longer possible, I would have a field day seeing the old fashion Holmes and Watson back on screen by some fresh writing and faces!