Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

The Merchant Of Menace by Richard T. Ryan – Book Review



Reluctantly, Sherlock Holmes agrees to assist Inspector Lestrade who is being hounded by an obnoxious nobleman whose jewel-encrusted dagger has gone missing. However, what Holmes initially believes to be a simple theft turns out instead to be his first encounter with a master criminal, who is as ruthless as he is brilliant, and whom Watson dubs “The Merchant of Menace.”

Soon Holmes finds himself matching wits with a man who will steal anything – if the price is right. Moreover, this thief will go to any lengths, including blackmail and murder, to achieve his desired goal.

As Holmes comes to understand his adversary, he also begins to realize he can only react to the Merchant because he has no idea where this criminal mastermind will strike next. All Holmes knows for certain is the Merchant seems to specialize in priceless, one-of-a-kind articles. Will that be enough information for the Great Detective to outwit his foe?

From the British Museum to the Louvre to Blenheim Palace, Holmes finds himself in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Set against the backdrop of early Edwardian England, the Great Detective and his Boswell encounter an array of luminaries from the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough to a young Winston Churchill.

For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, this time around Holmes must try to bring to justice a villain who might well be the next Napoleon of Crime.


Richard T. Ryan’s Sherlock Holmes Adventures Series:

#1 The Vatican Cameos ​​

#2 The Stone of Destiny ​​

#3 The Druid of Death​​ 

#4 The Merchant of Menace ​



Someone has stolen a jewelled dagger, a jambiya, from the home of Lord Thornton. A suspect is arrested but then released without charge, and at a loss, Inspector Lestrade approaches Sherlock Holmes for help…..

There have been other robberies with similarities and this appeals to Holmes and the investigation begins…

I have read many of Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and this is a worthy addition to the canon. It has the same cadence to the language and many of Holmes quirks and characteristics, even his tobacco in a Persian slipper and his penchant for disguise.

Some light humour, historical references and a worthy adversary for Holmes, and of course, his friend Dr Watson. 

So well written and a joy to read a new addition to the Sherlock Holmes library…..brilliantly entertaining.

Thank you to Caroline Vincent and Bits about Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here



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Rich Ryan

A lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan is the author of “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book” as well as a book on Agatha Christie trivia, and his series, the Sherlock Holmes Adventures, now consisting of four books, all available from MX Publishing, London.

Richard Ryan obtained his master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in medieval literature; he is a die-hard fan of the Fighting Irish — it doesn’t matter what sport. He has been happily married for 40 years and is the proud father of two children.


Author Links

Twitter: @RicRyan52



Book reviews, Police procedural

Daddy’s Girls by Sarah Flint – Book Review


He wasn’t always a killer. At first, he just wanted to talk.

D.C. Charlie Stafford has an odd case on her hands. And it may be her toughest one yet.

A burglar who isn’t interested in valuables, the subject of Operation Greystream is a strange but smooth operator. In the dead of night, gloved and masked, he visits the elderly. He doesn’t hurt them and, if they beg, he won’t take anything of real value. 

All he wants is conversation… and they’re powerless to refuse him.

But then 87-year-old Florence Briarly is found by her friend, cold to the touch and neatly, too neatly, tucked into bed. And Charlie realises this case has taken a sinister, urgent turn. Now this stealthy burglar has had a taste of murder, it’s only a matter of time until he craves it again…



Daddy’s Girls is the 5th book in the DC Charlie Stafford series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Elderly Florence has an intruder in her house, he wants to talk……but the following day her friend George, finds her body. 

Charlie is part of Operation Greystream, as they try to catch a burglar who breaks into elderly people’s homes, he chats and takes a small souvenir ….but now it seems he has escalated to murder.

Running parallel is the story of Thomas, who is dealing with the death of his wife Catherine in the worst way possible….he is a drug addict and his poor daughter, Emma is struggling to keep it all together and deal with her own grief. But then Thomas tells her Catherine has come back, he’s seen her, he’s watching her…

Are these two cases linked?

This is a solid police procedural with plenty of character background so they have a real personality and sometimes messy lives of their own. The thought of someone targeting the most vulnerable older people is a scary thought and this tale really does have a sense of menace and you wonder who will be next…..

I found this to be very well plotted with a few surprises too …totally gripping from start to finish. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus and Aria Fiction for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here




With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah has spent her adulthood surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives in London with her partner and has three older daughters.


Follow Sarah: 

Facebook: @SarahFlintBooks

Twitter: @SarahFlint19