Fresh Fiction Review of “Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire…

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Fresh Fiction just reviewed Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire by Dean P. Turnbloom

SH&RTNofWV Front cover

Reviewed by Monique Daoust
Posted October 15, 2015

Mystery Historical

Sherlock Holmes is now a country squire who has retired to Sussex to tend to his bees and write monographs. He hadn’t written to his friend Dr. Watson in a few months, so when the post brings news from Holmes, Watson is pleasantly surprised. But Holmes has more than a few banalities to tell his old comrade: bodies have been surfacing near the coast of Newfoundland, drained of blood, but there’s no trace of a shipwreck. Holmes fears their old nemesis, Baron Barlucci, after laying low for over two decades, is up to no good again. Barlucci is a painful thorn in Holmes’ side. The Baron is the only villain the great detective hasn’t captured, and of course, Dr. Watson must sail with Holmes to Manhattan Island, where more bodies have been found.

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE is not the pastiche I thought it might have been, but the almost real deal. Right from the opening paragraphs, I was overjoyed because I felt I was reading a brand new Conan Doyle mystery. Being a die-hard fan of the original, I then became wary: could a modern author be successful in this tremendous undertaking? The answer is a resounding yes! SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE is more than an homage to Conan Doyle: Mr. Turnbloom essentially captures everything that is Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson but makes it his own, without the reader ever having the impression of the author “trying”; never does the author endeavour to copy, but he in fact prolongs the formidable legacy of Conan Doyle. Mr. Turnbloom’s writing is eloquent and vivid, he captures the early twentieth century as accurately as a photograph, the tone is impeccable, the dialogues and the banter are entirely evocative of Conan Doyle’s, and Holmes and Watson are exactly how they should be. The pacing is perfect, and the story is as gripping as any Sherlock Holmes book.

If I have one regret it’s not knowing that SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE was the third book in this series, and while obviously this instalment can be read as a standalone, the previous books figure now on my to-be-read-pile because it is simply brilliant. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RETURN OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE is absolutely splendid from beginning to end, and should be read by anyone who hasn’t had enough of Sir Arthur’s great detective, and everybody who likes a good mystery!

GOODREADS Giveaway is over!

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Thanks to everyone who entered the Goodreads Giveaway for my latest novel, “Sherlock Holmes and the Return of the Whitechapel Vampire”. Over 2100 people entered and I will be mailing out the winners’ autographed copies tomorrow.

Congratulations SAMANTHA and MARIE!! Don’t forget to write a review as soon as you have read the books!

The invitation goes for anyone who has read my work to review it — either on Goodreads or on Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble.

My Review of “The Elements of Eloquence” by Mark Forsyth

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I recently reviewed Mark Forsyth’s wonderful new book at Goodreads. I decided to post it here as well.

The Elements of Eloquence

I read a good deal of books about writing, grammar, syntax, and the like, and was surprised that this book was not only informative, but cleverly put together and a delight to read. I don’t think it can be classified as an authoritative  text, and don’t believe the author meant it to be, but it was extremely informative concerning rhetorical elements of the English language as well as being quite funny. There were rhetorical elements with which we are all familiar, such as alliteration, but there were so many more that I’d never heard of but had a sense of, so much so that as I read I thought, ‘so, that’s what you call that’ particular structure. Mr. Forsyth has done an excellent job of taking a topic that by all rights should be abominably boring and made it not only interesting, but humorous as well. But beyond that, I believe it will become a reference book for my own writing, when I want to lend a certain amount of eloquence to a character.


New video review for “Sherlock Holmes and the Body Snatchers”

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Ross K Foad gives a review of the second novel in the Whitechapel Vampire trilogy.

Prologue to new novel…

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I’ve decided to allow everyone who visits this page to get a preview of my new novel, tenatively titled



I’m hoping this will entice Beta Readers, since I didn’t get any replies from my BETA READER post.

I hope you enjoy this:

The canvas topping of the longboat provides little protection from the frigid night air. She drifts into and out of consciousness. During her more lucid moments, she feels the cold stealing away her life. Her hair, dampened by the spray of icy water, stiffens in the wind. The storm tosses her from crest to trough to crest. Abigail strains to see the silhouette of the Animus Lacuna as it tops a wave. Each time it does her spirit sinks a bit more as the flash from the lightning shows it to be even more distant than the time before.

Cold, disheartened, and exhausted, she fights against the relentless onslaught of sleep, knowing it is a sleep from which she might never awaken. Only his promise gives her hope–a promise that now seems as remote as Antonio.

“Can you forgive me?” he’d said as he cradled her in his arms. “I should never have brought you on this journey.”

“Tonietto, don’t. I wanted to come, to be with you.”

“But the ship is lost, the hull breached. I’m not sure how long she’ll hold together. Even with all my strength I can’t protect you, can’t shield you from the storm…and the cold.”

“What will become of us, Tonietto?” tears stream from her eyes.

“Abigail, you know what I am; you know I will survive…” the plaintive tone in his voice chills her more than the night air.

“Yes, yes, I know, Tonietto,” she answers drawing his arms around her even more tightly, frightened by his eyes as much as by the ominous sounds of twisting timber and water rushing into the ship, decks below.

“But there is a way we can still be together.” Always confident, his voice is now more tentative than she has ever heard.

“How? What is it?”

“You must trust me. It won’t be easy for you and you may find it too horrifying to contemplate but it’s the only way.”

“I don’t want to die, Antonio.”

Gently he caresses her face, smiling into her uncomprehending eyes, “I can’t prevent that, but if you trust me, you can survive. We can still be together.”

“But how?” Her eyes plead for an answer.

“Do you trust me?”

Beta-readers wanted…

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Do you have a knack for seeing the errors in someone else’s written word? Do you cnnsider yourself above average at catching inconsistencies?

Do you like to read???

Why not become a beta-reader for my newest novel, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BODY SNATCHER!

Sign up now and tell me a bit about your qualifications. I can’t guarantee you’ll be selected, but I am sincerely looking.

Leave a comment, or contact Baron Barlucci on TWITTER!

CBS Elementary mini-review…



While recovering from minor eye surgery (can anything involving cutting the eye really be minor?) I discovered my cable company allows me to watch network primetime television “OnDemand”. A very convenient thing for me. But I digress, the recovery as well as the convenience of modern cable viewing allowed me to view a program that I’d not yet had the chance to see, CBS’s “ELEMENTARY”.

Being more or less a Sherlock purist, I was very doubtful that I would enjoy this program, but much to my surprise I found it to be an excellent program. The fact that the lead character’s name is Sherlock Holmes is, and this is difficult to understand, not at all incident to enjoying the show.

Yes, the main characters roughly parallel the Doyle characters, it’s kind of like they are in a parallel universe where things are just a bit different. For example, Dr. Watson is a former surgeon whose ‘wound’ came in the operating room and is psychological rather than physical. She left the OR and now hires herself out as a ‘sober’ companion for recovering addicts, which the Sherlock Holmes is and becomes her client, or patient. She was hired by his father (a departure in the universe). Even Constable Gregson is present, but he’s NYPD in this series rather than Scotland Yard.

So, all that aside, you have a recovering addict with a sober ‘nanny’ doctor who, by the way, is becoming more and more interested in her patient’s ‘consulting’ activities. From the four episodes I was able to view, I found the entire premise eminently likable and found very little to complain about. Oh yes, Holmes lacks some of his unflappable confidence it seems to me, but since he’s nearly always correct or at least on the right path, it’s simply another ‘parallelism’ in this universe.

I highly recommend it and only the most staunch purist would find it unenjoyable, in my humble opinion.

I look forward to being able to view the BBC’s ‘SHERLOCK’ one day that I might make a comparison and join the fray over which is the better carrying on of the tradition.

Five out of Six Napoleans: Ross K Reviews

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I’m very excited to present a review from one of England’s pre-eminent reviewers of books on Sherlock Holmes, Ross K Foad:

Mr. Foad, thank you so much for reviewing the work. I’m gratified you enjoyed it!

Sherlock Holmes Society Review…

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The Sherlock Holmes Society, that venerable group headquartered in London, England, a literary and social Society for study of the life and work of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, has seen fit to present a review of my book in the summer edition of their Journal, which I quote here:

Sherlock Holmes & the Whitechapel Vampire by Dean P Turnbloom (MX Publishing, www.mxpublishing.com; £10.99/$18.95/€12.99) is robust pulp fiction, imaginatively identifying Jack the Ripper as an aristocratic Italian undead bloodsucker. Fact and invention are so mixed that it’s easiest to imagine all this happening in an alternative version of our history. The narrative rushes along, carrying you with it, in the best tradition of the thriller. And at the end (a good touch, this) Sherlock Holmes still doesn’t believe in vampires!

Book Review: “The Holmes-Dracula Files” by Fred Saberhagen…


I downloaded this book for my Nook primarily because I had received a review from Publisher’s Weekly that mentioned it while saying my own book, “Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire” wasn’t very imaginative in that the Holmes-Dracula connection had been done. Since it mentioned this book, I thought I would read it to see for myself. I must say I disagree with the reviewer as this book isn’t even close to my own except it does have a vampire and Sherlock Holmes. I thought and still do think that my book is original in its premise that Ripper could have been a vampire.

Having explained that, I will say I found this novel entertaining and would certainly have given it a higher rating had I not found the relationship described between Sherlock Holmes and the vampire to be superfluous, unnecessary and simply unsatisfying. In my opinion, the book would have been much improved had the author left the two with less of a personal relationship. Beyond that, which for me was just too much, I found the book a good read.

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