Dracula’s Heir & The Crimes of Dr. Watson [Mini Reviews]

Dracula’s Heir & The Crimes of Dr. Watson [Mini Reviews]
Hello there! Two mini reviews for you all today 😀
Title: Dracula’s Heir
Author: Sam Stall
Publisher: Quirk Books
Published Date: 1st August 2008
Rating: 4 stars
 Title: The Crimes of Dr. Watson
Author: Duane Swierczynski
Publisher: Quirk Books
Published Date: 1st November 2007
Rating: 3 stars
*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*
Synopsis: In
1897, Archibald Constable & Company published Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the most famous horror novel of
all time. For reasons still debated by scholars, the first chapter of Dracula was cut from the book just weeks
before publication. Here, it becomes the central clue in a spine-tingling
original interactive mystery.
Dracula’s Heir begins
10 years after the horrific events described in the original novel. Jonathan
and Mina Harker are happily married and enjoying life in Bixby, England.
Meanwhile, their friend Dr. John Seward is tracking a string of crimes that
seems eerily familiar. A 14-year-old girl sleepwalks out of her parents’ house
and disappears into the night. Two “accident victims” are found drained of
their blood, yet there is no crime scene evidence to explain its loss.
When Seward shares his discoveries with the famous
vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, all the evidence points to Jonathan Harker.
After all, Harker spent weeks imprisoned in Castle Dracula as a guest of the
Count – was he infected without anyone realising it? Has the mild-mannered
English solicitor spent the last decade lurking in the shadows as a nosferatu?
Or is someone (or something) else
getting away with murder?
This chilling mystery novella features 8 removable clues,
including a newspaper, a death certificate, Renfield’s private journal, and the
original first chapter of Bram Stoker’s Dracula
When you think you’ve solved the crime, you can open the final signature
(sealed at the printer) to test your powers of deduction.
Review: I
absolutely loved reading this lovely little interactive mystery!
An interactive mystery is a mystery novel where the
reader is the one solving it, alongside the main character. I loved how it had
clues which you had to pull out and unfold, such as scrunched notes, envelopes
which needed opening and little notebooks. It also had its own newspaper.
Alongside all that fun, there were beautifully detailed illustrations that went
along with the story. I just had to love that aspect of the novella.
I also really liked the writing style of the novella. I
was pretty worried before I started reading this one because Dracula is a classic I have come to
adore. I was anxious about someone else writing those characters, and trying to
fit into Stoker’s style. But Stall does a wonderful job. Believe me, if I
hadn’t known better, I would’ve been able to believe that Bram Stoker wrote
this himself as well. Kudos to the author for mastering his writing style and
writing it in a way I could love.
Then we have the mystery itself. Dare I say it was a
better mystery and more so intriguing than that of the original novel? I did
not guess the culprit myself, although I should’ve been able to, now that I
know what the answer is. I really liked how it involved the previous characters
and how they were accused as well. In fact, the evidence is so convincing that
it’s hard to believe otherwise. But the clues were clever, and tricky, and it
was just fun to read. I especially liked that we get to play along and try to
figure it all out ourselves before the answer is given.
There were some new characters, and I did like them. I
liked how they moved the time on ten years down the line, and how that played
into the story. The ending was definitely haunting – the perfect atmosphere to
leave with the reader after having read such a chilling read.
I’m so glad I had the chance to read this one!
Synopsis: After the rooms at 221B Baker Street are set ablaze—and a mutilated
corpse is discovered in the wreckage—Dr. John H. Watson is arrested and
imprisoned at Coldbath Fields penitentiary. Writing from a cramped and dimly
lit cell, Watson describes the mysterious events leading up to his arrest.
Someone has been mailing him a series of cryptic warnings. His lifelong friend
Sherlock Holmes has vanished in the raging waters of Reichenbach Falls. And
Professor Moriarty’s criminal empire is expanding across Europe and throughout
In a desperate attempt to clear his good name,
Watson has compiled twelve clues that may prove his innocence, including:
     •  The front page
of a newspaper from Thousand Oaks, California
     •  A catalog of
Victorian fashions and merchandise
     •  An empty
matchbook containing cryptic handwritten notes
     •  The complete
text of “The Final Problem,” Watson’s famous account of the death
of Sherlock Holmes
     •  Plus a theater
ticket, an arrest report, a railroad timetable, and more
All twelve clues have been painstakingly
reproduced for this volume, along with the complete text of Watson’s manuscript
and specially commissioned illustrations by Homes aficionado Clint Hansen.
Review: This
was another interactive mystery, but this one was told from the point of view
of Dr. Watson. The novel is about those who find clues to a mystery which
apparently was supposed to be secret, buried and hidden. However, when new
documentation is brought to light, the reader can try and solve the mystery
with some of the clues which are given. This is brilliant for those who are
fans of Sherlock and enjoys these kind of mysteries!
I really loved the interactive side of things once again.
Perhaps even more so than the Dracula novel because these were even more
interactive. For example, there is a paper which has been cut up and burned,
and you get the pieces and have to put them together. Although there are still
notes, newspapers and so on, this has a bit more than the Dracula one did.
The illustrations are still intricate and so well drawn.
I will say that I preferred those in the Dracula mystery more, but these ones
were still able to take my breath away with their beauty. When you have
interaction and beautiful illustrations, it’s hard to label this book as
anything other than a winner.
However, for some reason when reading this book I felt a
bit confused. Not when we were getting things from Watson’s point of view, but
when we weren’t. When it was set in the present day, I got all mixed up with
the characters and whose perspective I was reading from. I wish a little more
time had been taken to describe who these people were so I would’ve gotten a
little less mixed up. That took some enjoyment from my reading, but that could
simply be something personal. Maybe others found it easier to follow, so make
sure you go to Goodreads and check out other reviews to be sure!
All in all though, it was another fun, quick read which I
flew through in a couple of hours. It’s well worth the fun!
Gif Summary:

Links: Goodreads and Amazon for Dracula’s Heir! And then Goodreads and Amazon for The Crimes of Dr. Watson. 
Olivia’s Question: Which classic do you wish had a sequel
to it?
Olivia-Savannah x

16 thoughts on “Dracula’s Heir & The Crimes of Dr. Watson [Mini Reviews]”

  • These interactive books look fantastic! I've only ever did kids interactive books and they are fun. Who knew that adults can have fun too? LOL, I am adding these to my TBR.
    Great review!

  • Gee, I don't know which classic I'd wish for a sequel. Perhaps, I would like Crime and Punishment. And on a little side, I'd like to know what happens next for The Wizard of Oz. =)

  • These look fun. I think I'd love for Jane Austen to rise from her grave and give me more of Mr. Darcy. P&P is my favorite classic. I also love To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. And since that book has a companion novel (which I can't bring myself to read because I don't believe she wrote it), it's not right to ask for a sequel. I just do not believe she wrote that. Just because some journalist supposedly asked her that on her deathbed, and she of course supposedly said yes, doesn't mean a thing to me. I really should have left it in the store. Every time I consider reading it, I put it right back on my shelf.

    • I would just want more Austen novels regardless of whether or not they were a sequel to anything! Wow, you really feel strongly about that one. I haven't really taken the time to read it or even consider reading it really. We'll never know for sure… but it is suspicious.

  • This is amazing. The books in themselves would be inexpensive to buy as these stories are classics and went into the public domain years ago. But these sequels are interactive. This makes me wonder if this doesn't bump up the price somewhat. I like print books, but as I'm living in a different country to where I belong and am not sure where I'm going to end up, I try not to acquire too many physical books which is easier said than done. That's why I generally prefer eBooks. But if anything will challenge the supremacy of eBooks, the interactive books will. I am just wondering about the quality of the writing and the stories, will they be of a good literary standard and satisfy the reader? Really, I could go on about this all day. Thanks for sharing Olivia. I'll surely keep an eye out for this type of book. I've done my share of reviews in my time. Gosh I sound like an old lady don't I? LOL

    • It does bump up the price some, but it is totally worth it for the fun that comes with the story! I think these work best as print books (I'm not sure if you can even get ebook copies) so if you are going to be investing in print books, I would recommend these ones. I found them incredibly satisfying to read, especially the Dracula one as it was written in a similar style to the well known classic.

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