Fresh start, fresh opportunities, fresh faces. There is nothing more exciting than a new NRL season, especially if your team's got a few handy recruits lying about. With all the trials in the books, we now know how each team will line up for their season openers. Take a look at each club's starting side for round one. Matt Gillett returns to the NRL at lock after missing the majority of with a fractured neck, while Brisbane's Jack Bird will play his first NRL match since round 10 last year at left centre.
Powerhouse forward Tevita Pangai Jnr starts from the pine after overcoming a hamstring complaint. Teenage tearaway prop Thomas Flegler has earned a spot on the bench. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is Canberra's new fullback, with Jack Wighton's switch to five-eighth confirmed. Highly-rated English recruit John Batement starts at lock for the Raiders.
Will Hopoate has retained the No.
Dylan Napa starts at prop after avoiding suspension for his off-season sex tapes scandal. Josh Dugan takes his place in the centres for Cronulla after shrugging off a head knock sustained in the Sharks' trial win against Newcastle two weekends ago. Young Sharks hooker Blayke Brailey has won a bench spot pending fitness as Shaun Johnson and Chad Townsend rekindle the scrum-base partnership from their days together at the Warriors.
Kurt Capewell and rookie Briton Nikora have won the race to replace the injured Wade Graham and the retired Luke Lewis in the second-row.
Breakout Titans star AJ Brimson has been pushed back to the bench, with the experienced Michael Gordon to play fullback. Titans winger Anthony Don has been dropped while enigmatic talent Bryce Cartwright is on the interchange. Brendan Elliott deputises for the injured Tom Trbojevic hamstring at fullback. The uncapped Reuben Garrick has nabbed a wing spot. Centre Dylan Walker is stood down and unavailable for selection until his domestic violence court case is concluded.
With Scott Drinkwater sidelined through injury, Jahrome Hughes gets the first chance to replace retired legend Billy Slater as Melbourne's fullback. Fourteen members of the Storm team that played in last year's grand final are named in the top Reliable back-rower Joe Stimson back soreness is out. It was written by George Mann, published by Titan Books and includes a steampunk element. It was fun and had me guessing at who was behind the various crimes. If I could change anything it would be to up the steampunk element. The mechanical men plot line was a B story that felt like an afterthought.
I don't know much about this new series of Sherlock Holmes stories from Titan Books but I will definitely be checking more of them out. Dec 25, Melissa rated it it was ok. I am a huge Sherlock Holmes more specifically a Doyle fan. I'm also very picky about my Sherlock Holmes stories. This story was actually fairly well put together but I gave it only two stars because the book's two mysteries were disjointed and didn't mesh together at all.
The actual mystery of the dead man's will was typical Holmes. But the "iron men" mystery read more like a steam punk novella and was completely unlike Holmes' stories or anything remotely realistic for the Victorian London er I am a huge Sherlock Holmes more specifically a Doyle fan. But the "iron men" mystery read more like a steam punk novella and was completely unlike Holmes' stories or anything remotely realistic for the Victorian London era. The "iron men" neither added to the story nor flowed with the rest of the story at all. If not for that part, I would have given the book three stars.
While Mann does write engaging stories, I didn't really feel like he captured the true essence of Holmes and Watson. He relied heavily on three or four specific words throughout the story and often used the same words repeatedly in the same paragraph, i. He also made Holmes out to be a little more gleeful than his typical sombre personality. All-in-all this was much better than another neo-Holmes book called the "House of Silk" but not nearly as good as "The Italian Secretary". Dec 19, Robert Spencer rated it liked it.
Nicely written in Arthur Conan Doyle's style, this entry by George Mann does a decent job with the standard Holmes mystery, but the steampunk stuff just seems thrown in on the side. Less a mash-up than two stories allowed to coexist in the same book. October - December Watson has left his wife in the capable hands of her mother and has returned to B Baker Street. Hudson had warned him that Sherlock was in quite a state, which often happens when he has no case to focus his mind on.
Luckily for both Watson and Holmes a case is about to walk in the door. Peter Maugham has come to Sherlock Holmes because the will of his Uncle Theobold, who died after a tragic fall, has gone missing.
The will has long been known to divide his substantial assets to his three nephews and his niece. Without the will the assets will go to the eldest nephew, Joseph, whose own sister fears for her two cousins and herself if this were to happen. Therefore finding the will is paramount. Though in trying to locate the will, Holmes also realizes that Theobold Maugham's death wasn't an accident, so the disappearance of the will may a have nefarious meaning.
And when the son of Theobold's disinherited sister, Hans Gerber appears, he instantly becomes the chief suspect. Older than Joseph, he would inherit the vast estate, and he's making sure his relatives know that this new world order is to be accepted at all costs. Yet no one is willing to accept this change and soon things become dire as Peter Maugham is murdered! The inspector in charge from Scotland Yard, Charles Bainbridge, seems to be less useless than most police officers in Holmes's mind, but he is stretched thin, with his boss not wanting to sign off of Theobold Maugham being murdered, and with the wealthy of London being plagued by large iron men who are breaking into their houses and stealing their most precious possessions.
If Holmes can wrap up the Maugham case, perhaps he'd be willing to lend Bainbridge a hand with these devilish iron men? By now, being readers of this blog, you should have realized I'm a big fan of George Mann. His Newbury and Hobbes series is definitively what Steampunk is to me.
He has helped shaped this new Victorian era for me so it seems only logical that he would eventually get around to writing a book in homage to the author and character that shaped the Victorian era in literature the first time around. Reading George's work you can see how he is indebted to Conan Doyle and even if the world's greatest consulting detective were to never grace the pages of his books George has a way to evoke the spirit of Sherlock Holmes with these new steam-powered adventures.
This natural progression of combing these two worlds sees it's fruition in The Will of the Dead. It doesn't hurt that this book is able to be enjoyed within the context of the Newbury and Hobbes universe or as a stand-alone. Those who haven't read George's previous work won't know that Charles Bainbridge, one of the first police officers to not completely offend and exasperate Holmes, is a staple of those other adventures, because he blends so well into this new story.
This is a wonderful tribute to the enduring legacy of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle and will hopefully capture George a few readers he might otherwise not have caught, this book handily being shelved in the "mystery" section of Barnes and Noble where that certain type of reader would never bother to go the few aisles over to "science fiction and fantasy.
The Will of the Dead is an odd little book in that it's precariously balanced between straight up Sherlock Holmes adventure and Steampunk and there's a part of me that wants to tip the scales one way or the other.
I get that this is a nice introduction to Steampunk for those who aren't inclined to pick up a book in this genre and lean towards the traditional gaslight mystery, but this was an opportunity to fully mesh Holmes with Steampunk and instead it came off as a dalliance. The thing is, Steampunk goes well with Holmes. It's just one of those facts of life, like peanut butter and jelly. It just is. So it's disconcerting that instead of forming a cohesive Steampunk whole George instead creates a traditional adventure running alongside a Steampunk one.
The two stories never meet and make a satisfying whole.
Each story is great on it's own, but that's just it, it's on it's own. If George had wanted to do this he should have approached the book more like the traditional adventures and written them both as short stories and added in that little extra story from The Casebook of Newbury and Hobbes to complete the book. This would have worked better in my mind then some story that tries to bridge the gap and instead just seems to emphasis the gap versus closing it.
But perhaps my persnickety self just had issues that despite how different the two cases were they ended up being concluded in similar manners. I should point out though that I don't think this is a fault of George's; it's a fault of Conan Doyle! Conan Doyle often had similar endings and themes, in fact I created my own shorthand to categorize the stories when reviewing them back in October and there were many stories categorized similarly.
But still, wouldn't it be better to go further and better than the creator? Perhaps one day that will happen, because I don't think George is about to stop writing about Sherlock Holmes As for tipping the scales towards Holmes versus towards Steampunk, I think George could have easily gotten away with this.
I have read A LOT of writers failing to make even the most easy of stories convincingly part of the Holmes canon. In fact, big, best selling authors who have been endorsed by the Conan Doyle estate haven't created such a compelling mystery as George does here with the death of Theobald Maugham. But what I really liked is how he wrote the mystery in a very traditional way but omitted the most tedious of Conan Doyle's habits, such as the clients retelling their plight in front of the fire at B Baker Street.
Instead we are given little testimonial vignettes that get us inside the heads of other characters while also deepening the mystery.
This is a genius idea and is one of many ways that George maintains the original feeling of the adventures while also switching it up. I particularly like how Holmes's inscrutability visibly annoys Watson and how he occasionally calls Holmes out or at least elicits the sympathy of his readers, who have also, over the years, tired of some of Holmes's shtick. And this is why it annoys me that the book could have all gone this way, because it would have so worked! As for the omissions of the Steampunk?
Well, just having Bainbridge there would be the link! By then including the aforementioned short story at the end readers not familiar with Steampunk could see the way stories like Holmes's could be developed into something new. Plus, a riveting little short story at the end? I didn't expect that little bonus, and though I had read the story previously, I found myself instantly captured by the narrative once more, sitting there with Bainbridge on the edge of his seat.
That's how you convert them to Steampunk! Bait them with a tantalizing story after telling them the story they were expecting in the best possible way. I have the need here to go on a bizarre tangent; it's on the naming of characters. The naming of characters is an art. These are just perfect names. They flow, they are original, they are iconic, like the name Sherlock Holmes itself. An interesting aside, but did you know he was originally named Sherrinford Hope? Now that just doesn't ring true for the world's most famous consulting detective now does it? So that shows that even the best of authors have crazy ideas every once in awhile, Sherrinford Hope, really!?!
There is a subcategory to naming characters in which the name strikes a cord with us, maybe because we know someone with that name, or with a similar name. This is always disconcerting seeing that name out of context, and it's even weirder if it's your own name!
But what if the character is named similar to someone famous or iconic? Apparently that's the real reason for us not knowing about the adventures of Sherrinford Hope, because Sherrinford was a famous cricketer. Hans Gerber gave me no end of annoyance in The Will of the Dead. Let me set the stage. Of course there's a chance that this was on purpose and George put it in as a joke?
Please say it's true, because otherwise, well, I have weird images in my head right now. End mini rant. Well, to an extent. My basic approach is anything is fair game so long as it doesn't go against canon without explaining it. King takes time out to explain why her Holmes will appear different than the canonical Holmes as set down by Watson.
This is totally fine with me, I was given a reason, I was told up front not to lose my shit when something different appeared, fair play to Laurie R. As for Steampunk seeping to the canon, again, it's George Mann, it's to be expected, and therefore enjoyed. It's the little details that are gotten wrong that crawl under my skin. George nails everything pretty well but there is one detail that has gotten under my skin and it's driving me up the wall. So Watson married his first wife, Mary Morstan in According to George's website and the timeline of the Newbury and Hobbes universe The Will of the Dead takes place in the s.
It's important to know that it's the s because if it was later George could be referencing Watson's second wife that we know next to nothing about. The same can't be said about Mary, as she was an integral part of The Sign of the Four and we know her history, mainly that she's an orphan. Her mother died shortly after her birth and her father, well, to say what happened to him would ruin a decent story Every time Watson said that Mary was off visiting her mother I got a little nervous twitch right below my eye.
Seriously, to get everything so spot on and have this one thing just there. I might be taking this too seriously, but still, Holmes wouldn't let it slid so why should I? Aug 08, Shelley rated it really liked it. I bought this book in a second hand book store without realizing it is not written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. All I noticed on the cover was "Sherlock Holmes" and I wanted it. I had no idea that there are stories of his not written by him, so when I finally did clue in that it was in fact written by a George Mann and not Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, I was most impressed!
I felt like I was reading a true Sherlock Holmes mystery. George Mann had the characters, the time period and the mystery down pack I bought this book in a second hand book store without realizing it is not written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. George Mann had the characters, the time period and the mystery down packed. The only complaint I would say is about the two very different stories that don't intertwine with one another.
They were so different and I was confused at first because I kept wondering how they would relate, to find out that in fact, they never do. The joke was on me! Ha Ha. One of the great mysteries that has been asked since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put pen to paper in these wonderful series is what kind of Doctor is Dr.
In George Mann's version, we aren't asking ourselves, we are told Dr. Watson is a General Practitioner. When the mysteries are solved, Holmes and Watson are discussing going back to Holmes' place for a cup of tea and a slice of Mrs. Hudson's Madeira cake. Well, that got this girl okay woman asking herself what is a Madeira cake, maybe I've had it before because my grandparents lived in London, England and I went there many times when I was a girl. Upon googling it, I know exactly what that cake is. I can even taste it in my mouth, and I plan on making a loaf very soon. Dec 04, Max rated it it was ok.
I rather enjoy some of the non Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. I've dabbled in some great ones House of Silk - Anthony Horrowitz to some slightly more eccentirc types Stuff of Nightmares - James LoveGrove and Will of the Dead definitely fits into the latter category. It's entertaining enough following the dynamic duo Holmes and Watson as they investigate a case of what appears at first glance to be an accidental death of a gentleman falling down the stairs in the night however with his w I rather enjoy some of the non Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories.
It's entertaining enough following the dynamic duo Holmes and Watson as they investigate a case of what appears at first glance to be an accidental death of a gentleman falling down the stairs in the night however with his will missing it is somewhat suspicious. At the same time many houses are being robbed by a group known as the 'Iron Men". Automonous steampunk machines that are seemingly unstoppable.
I would say the author George Mann manages to capture the writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle relatively well and the stories are interesting ideas but the issue I have is that they just aren't especially interesting to see unraveled and Holmes never quite shines like I feel he should. Both sets of crimes seem unneeded with the second especially seemingly tacked on at the end and was even pretty predictable who the culprit was and what was happening. It just lacked the mystery and flair I expect in a Holmes novel.
All in all, it's an ok quick read that will entertain but I imagine will be forgotten fairly quickly afterwards. Dec 31, Chris Wood rated it liked it. This is sadly another attempt to hijack the popularity of Holmes and Watson by abducting and pushing them into a story that they would have no interest in.
Firstly the good, the story is interesting if a little obvious, there are no shocks or surprises, the atmosphere and description of the Victorian era is very good, I could easily picture the foggy dark streets of London and the bite of the cold, the author clearly has a love for the era as he does for steampunk, with lots of description Hmmm. Firstly the good, the story is interesting if a little obvious, there are no shocks or surprises, the atmosphere and description of the Victorian era is very good, I could easily picture the foggy dark streets of London and the bite of the cold, the author clearly has a love for the era as he does for steampunk, with lots of descriptions of whirring cogs and puffing steam.
The bad, why oh why do authors writing Holmes insist on stopping the story being told from Watson's perspective? The stories are hugely successful for a reason, this author has segments that cut away from the story so that different characters can offer their evidence directly to the reader, why? Its disappointing that Holmes and Watson have been attached to this, if the author had placed a different hero centre stage, this book would have scored higher, as more of a young adult story.
As a Sherlock adventure though, it comes very short. Dec 08, Jasper rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in The Will of the Dead is written by George Mann who is well known for his other Sherlock Holmes stories as well as his best selling Newbury and Hobbes series, that focuses on a different investigative duo in the same time span as Sherlock Holmes. Something that I really have come to like of the Sherlock Holmes stories is the introduction of Watson, where he recounts several dealings of the story you are about to read. This just put you right there in the story.
This could ofcourse be partially owed to the fact that Sherlock Holmes is an established genre by itself, everyone must have heard about him at one point, but it is also owed to the fact that George Mann knows how to write. I have read several other Sherlock Holmes stories from other authors and yes Sherlock is in the large lines comparable the scene is the same, but I can see that George Mann gently exerts his own influence on the world of Sherlock Holmes in The Will of the Dead.
Might not be in the way of changing Sherlock drastically but more with the story itself. Which now brings me to it. There are two different storylines in The Will of the Dead, one focusing on Sherlock Holmes and the other on detective Bainbridge. In the earlier confessions it was hard to pinpoint the culprit behind the affairs but later on in the book, the hints become more obvious and the scheming comes to show. But back to the two stories. Sherlock is tasked with finding the person who has destroyed the only copy of the will of the rich Sir Theobald Maugham, and has left the cousins divided.
Who in entitled to what? There is this interesting character, a fifth cousin to Theobald Maugham. This fifth cousin threw some extra coals on the fire of the story. He is presumed to be the murder and Sherlock and Watson are determined to catch this culprit. He leads the investigators on a merry chase, writing letters to the other cousins with quiet provoking texts. The second story focuses on Bainbridge and features as a separate story. Bainbridge is solely in the lead of this investigation. Several robberies of the rich have been occurring in the streets of London by mysterious Iron Men.
These automata that were designed for helping people with daily chores but some nefarious mastermind has gotten control over them. Though this investigation was more of a sidetrack in the book, there were some cool moments, it was good to see how Bainbridge was thinking in trying how to solve this case, when he questions the original creator there were some very strong points, that when you look back should have pointed me in the direction of who was the bad guy in this.
After the story of Sherlock with the will has been concluded, Bainbridges case with the Iron Men soon follows. And just when you were allowed to catch your breath after the door slamming episode, you are again in for a surprise!! Both storyline are a true pleasure to read. Even in the established world of Sherlock Holmes, George Mann is a strong voice and sets himself apart! Jul 10, Rob Cook rated it liked it. The main case is a by the numbers mystery that easily fits into the official canon, however the B story of the 'Iron Men' terrorising London is very outlandish and seems like a poor attempt to shoehorn in a steampunk element to the book.
A separate short story at the back is an enjoyable affair until it goes all a bit too scifi at the end. Nov 05, Eukaryote rated it it was amazing Shelves: crime-fiction , sherlock-holmes. I couldn't put this one down, so I read almost the entire second half in one day. The ending was surprising to me both of them. I liked every bit of it. If I had to be picky, I could say I would have referred to remain with just Watson's account, though I did like Bainbridge's perspective too.
Jun 20, CJ rated it liked it. All the basic elements of a Holmes mystery though not necessarily the essence of the originals Coming in with that understanding, this is a quick decent adventure tale. Steampunk elements not over the top or outrageous. Apr 16, Ivan Zullo rated it liked it. The will of the dead is a well written book, with 2 main plots.
With a perfectly built suspense the reader is going to know that Sherlock Holmes is involved in both and is going to solve both cases. The only issue is that the 2 cases the missing will and the iron men are not enough entwined. Jan 05, Mike rated it it was ok. Very lightweight and predictable. Hardly worthy is association with Holmes. May 11, Victor Gentile rated it it was amazing.
From the Back Cover: The iron men A rich elderly man has fallen to his death, and his will is nowhere to be found. A tragic accident or something more sinister? Without the will he fears he will be left penniless, the entire inheritance passing to his cousin. But just as Holmes and Watson start their investigation, a mysterious new claimant to the estate appears. Does this prove that the old man was murdered?
But how do you stop a machine that feels no pain and needs no rest? He too may need to call on the expertise of Sherlock Holmes. This is typical Holmes. A man dies by an accident, the will cannot be found, the remaining family is quite unhappy and Holmes is called upon to solve this problem. When I say typical I do not mean boring, not by a long shot. Holmes is in for a quite a challenge as he has to solve more than one murder and prevent more from happening.
On top of all this Mr. Mann has added the science fiction element of steam powered iron men who are doing daylight jewelry robberies. This is an intriguing, well plotted and fast paced mystery that goes along at a roller-coaster pace. Mann has given us a page turning thriller that will not disappoint any Sherlock Holmes fan.