Book Review: “Sherlock Holmes & The Three Winter Terrors” by James Lovegrove

Cover of "Sherlock Holmes & The Three Winter Terrors" by James Lovegrove
Cover of “Sherlock Holmes & The Three Winter Terrors” by James Lovegrove.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Sherlock Holmes & The Three Winter Terrors” by James Lovegrove! As a reader and author of murder mysteries, I think it was inevitable that I’d pick up a book related to Sherlock Holmes at some point. Not all of Holmes’ mysteries are murders, but this book contained three murders in one. Also, yes, I know it’s not an original Sherlock Holmes mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle, but I was still intrigued enough to pick it up and read it.

Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“1889. The First Terror. At a boys’ prep school in the Kent marshes, a pupil is found drowned in a pond. Could this be the fulfilment of a witch’s curse from over two hundred years earlier?  

1890. The Second Terror. A wealthy man dies of a heart attack at his London townhouse. Was he really frightened to death by ghosts?

1894. The Third Terror. A body is discovered in the dark woods near a Surrey country manor, hideously ravaged. Is the culprit a cannibal, as the evidence suggests? These three chilling and strangely linked crimes test Sherlock Holmes’s deductive powers, and his scepticism about the supernatural, to the limit.”

Plot Development: 5 out of 5 stars

At first, this seemed like a collection of three short novellas in one book with some continuity between  them. I really loved the continuity and references. It was fun to see recurring characters and references to other cases during the events of each mystery. However, this continuity actually led incredibly will in the major twist revealed in the last third of this book.

Sadly, I can’t give details. However, it was amazing. This is probably the first murder mystery book that actually impressed me with the twist, because I didn’t see it coming at all! I was floored by the reveal, and then reread the entire book to only realize that I missed the foreshadowing in the first two mysteries that uncovered the big reveal that the third mystery had.

Character Development: 5 out of 5 stars

All the characters were so fun to read. Watson and Holmes are the obvious standouts, given that they’re the main characters. However, the other characters that appeared throughout all three cases (or at least two out of three cases) were incredibly fun to read as well.

This main group of characters that appeared throughout the three mysteries was overall fun to read. They had such fun motives, personalities, and an air of intrigue about them that fit the story so well. There is also a major plot twist involving some of the characters that appear throughout the three cases that I enjoyed, but I don’t want to spoil it here. The reason I’m not sharing that is 1) it’s a fun twist and 2) I think the book will be more enjoyable for you to read if you didn’t know the twist beforehand.

I also enjoyed reading the other characters featured in their individual stories. They were also additionally fun to read, each of them having their own established backgrounds or personalities shining through. Even if they were fairly minor compared to Holmes, Watson, and the recurring characters, at least they stuck out in a good way.

Overall, I’m rating this book 5 out of 5 stars!

I would highly recommend this book for anyone up for a wintry read, especially if you enjoy reading murder mysteries.

Also – for those murder mystery fans, I have two self-published amateur sleuth murder mysteries (“Winner Takes All” and “Engagement To Die For”) you could add to that reading list!

Book 3 of the series, “Bloody Fantasia,” will also be released in June 2024. Stay tuned for more information about that!

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