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The Revenant of Thraxton Hall
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The Revenant of Thraxton Hall
UK

The Revenant of Thraxton Hall

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"My murder will take place in a darkened séance room—shot twice in the chest."

The words are a premonition related to Arthur Conan Doyle when he answers a summons for help from a woman who identifies herself only as "A Spiritualist Medium of some renown."

The house is a fashionable address in London. The woman's voice is young, cultured, and ethereal. But even with his Holmesian powers of observation, Conan Doyle can only guess at her true identity, for the interview takes place in total darkness. Suspicious of being drawn into a web of charlatanism, the author is initially reluctant. However, the mystery deepens when he returns the next day and finds the residence abandoned.

1893 is a tumultuous year in the life of the 34-year old Conan Doyle: his alcoholic father dies in an insane asylum, his beloved wife is diagnosed with galloping consumption, and his most famous literary creation, Sherlock Holmes, is killed off in The Adventure of the Final Problem. It is a move that backfires, making the author the most hated man in England. But despite the fact that his personal life is in turmoil, the lure of an intrigue proves irresistible. Conan Doyle assumes the mantle of his fictional consulting detective and recruits a redoubtable Watson in the Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, who brings to the sleuthing duo a razor-keen mind, an effervescent wit, and an outrageous sense of fashion.

"The game is afoot" as the two friends board a steam train for Northern England to attend the first meeting of the Society for Psychical Research, held at the mysterious medium's ancestral home of Thraxton Hall—a brooding Gothic pile swarmed by ghosts. Here, they encounter an eccentric melange of seers, scientists, psychics and skeptics—each with an inflated ego and a personal motive for murder. But as the night of the fateful séance draws near, the two writers find themselves entangled in a Gordian Knot that would confound even the powers of a Sherlock Holmes to unravel—how to solve a murder before it is committed.

An historic mystery novel, The Paranormal Casebooks Of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Book 1, The Revenant of Thraxton Hall is a volatile cocktail of Sherlock Holmes-meets-the-X-Files with a dash of steam punk and a whiff of London fog. Complete at 87,000 words, The Revenant of Thraxton Hall is the first in a series of Casebooks where two of the most creative minds of Victorian England solve bizarre murders, unravel diabolical plots, and unearth long-buried mysteries—each with a paranormal twist.

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Minotaur Books, US hardcover, March 2014, ISBN: 978-1250035004
Titan Books, UK paperback, March 2014, ISBN: 978-1783292660


PRAISE

"...a most curious, singular, funny, and frightening tale. It expands constantly, but never flags or ceases to intrigue...Entwistle keeps the reader off balance all the time...HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION."
   —I Love a Mystery (read the full review)

Entwhistle truly manages to find the balance: he doesn't take the source material so very seriously that the book becomes overly serious. He knows it's bananas. He loves that it's bananas. B.A.N.A.N.A.S. And so do I. But at the same time, he does take quite seriously the business of making a good book. The story is compelling, the mystery solid, with all the good red herrings and false reveals that a strong mystery story demands.
   —Criminal Element (read the full review)

"Not only is The Revenant of Thraxton Hall well written, it's SO MUCH FUN. It's like a Scooby Doo episode for nerdy adults."
   —Cozy Little Book Journal (read the full review)

"This is Grand Guignol fun. Entwistle is an original who has assembled a delicious, extravagantly eccentric cast of characters.
   —Open Letters Monthly (read the full review)

"This is a well written novel and the banter between [Doyle and Wilde] drives the story as well as the detailed moments of paranormal activity."
   —Books and Lesser Evils (read the full review)

"Combining mystery and suspense with a sprinkling of humor and a dash of romance (as well as a dollop of the paranormal for good measure), Entwistle tells an entertaining, engaging tale in vivid prose with apt description. While the story is, of course, completely fictitious, the author portrays the time period with historical accuracy, brining Victorian-era England back to life on the pages of the book. To put it into the words of Oscar Wilde's character, the story is truly a 'mind-ripping spectacle that will leave you both confounded and astonished.'"
   —Fiction Reboot (read the full review)

"Atmospheric, witty, suspenseful, and wholly entertaining The Revenant pf Thraxton Hall is the first in a highly promising series."
   —Ivy D Truitt, Riffle (read the full review)


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