Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil

Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil

By: Tim Symonds
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Historical Fiction

PAPERBACK: $16.95 KINDLE: $8.99


It's the year 1906.
Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching - not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London's Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes's task - discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch'ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain's vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake. Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.



Rating: 5.0
Tim Symonds has mastered the art of historical fiction. It's not as easy as some people think. Adding robots or swords does not successfully convince a reader they have left the present. It takes research and devotion.
Mr. Symonds has skimped on neither.
From the start of this wild journey the reader is taken back to the early 1900s. Why?
For those who don't know, the original Sherlock Holmes stories were written in this time period. This also means that the writings were true to the era.
The characters "sound" different from what we'd expect today, and this author has not forgotten that fact.
It even comes with a glossary if you are having trouble with the vocabulary.
The craft of this mystery is marvelous.
It's not just a question of "who done it" it's an adventure.
The mystery of the nine-dragon sigil puzzled me, as did it entrance me. I never knew what to expect and I am very glad I had to opportunity to read this novel before it's release date.

Rating: 4.5/5.0
I'm giving this book a solid 4.5/5.0
This is the kind of novel people are looking for when it comes to finding a traditional Sherlock Holmes and Watson novel. Writers are always reinventing the characters and stories, and don't get me wrong, sometimes it works really well! But if you're looking for the original characters in a new adventure, this is what you've been looking for!
I for one love the Sherlock stories.
They're insane and over the top and Tim Symonds has duplicated them perfectly. Sherlock is his stoic, impressive self while Watson dances to his own adrenaline seeking beat. They're a perfect combination and their relationship is what makes or breaks a Sherlock novel!
Although Sherlock and Watson are older, this is a journal from Doctor Watson's POV and not one of the post-Watson death novels written by the detective Sherlock, himself.
Although they don't live together, their relationship hasn't changed. They need one another in their lives just as they need a good mystery.
"The Nine-Dragon Sigil" is just that.
A perplexing, over the top mystery that ties heavily into the Forbidden City and historical Chinese culture. Sherlock and Holmes don't belong where they end up in this one, and that just made the novel for me! It was incredible to read the "original" characters in such an unusual situation and although in my head I knew this wasn't Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work, I was successfully tricked throughout the actual reading process.
This is a must read for anyone seeking the original Holmes and Watson.

Rating: 5.0
I received a FREE pre-release copy of this novel!!
If you're new to the original Holmes stories, I suggest you start here. Tim gives an excellent introduction in this one that will make it easy for any novice to follow along.
I, myself, am only a half-novice to the world of Sherlock Holmes.
Most of my knowledge comes from the movies and a few of the more popular Sherlock Holmes stories by the original author.
This book is written in old English, so it felt as though I had picked up an original book rather than something from 2016! That was an awesome surprise when I first started this out!
Dr. Watson narrates this book as though one were reading his private journal. In it, he tells the story of a mischievous, war threatening scandal he (and Sherlock, of course) will investigate and put a stop to.
Dr. Watson is quick to head off to China, where the main events of this novel take place. It's in this foreign land he and Sherlock get their hands good and dirty! Because of the jam packed suspense and mystery, the novel flows relatively fast. It made it easy to follow along and I'm sure most readers will agree it does a good job of holding a person's interest.
I liked the complex writing style and theme, but I will confess I had to check that glossary in the back on more than one occasion! It was a very clever thing to add on the author's part!
Overall, I think Sherlock Holmes fans are going to really appreciate how much work Mr. Symonds put into making this read like old English text.

Rating: 5.0
Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon sigil is a fun and exciting mystery that takes readers back in time to the height of the Chinese dynasty. The story is written in a journalistic manner that "re-tells" the events through Watson's point of view. The mystery of the sigil is very unusual. It's heavy, dangerous, and thrilling.
This is the first time I've read something with such high stakes. Murder mystery isn't usually my forte, nor are the original Sherlock stories, but I do know enough to say this plot line is unique.
There's a scandal in China that threatens the country's unification and Sherlock is the only one who can stop what could otherwise destroy the country.
The text is odd in a sense that it, too, is new to me.
The traditional British writing style could lose a reader, I am certain, but because the author decided to use Watson's point of view it saved the story. If it had been written in Holmes' POV it may not have worked out so well, but because Watson emphasizes points that could potentially go over the average reader's head, the story comes together quite nicely.
The setting is exotic. It's loud, different, and colorful. It helps make the oddity of the mystery something you could only find in a Sherlock Holmes story.
Great, usual murder mystery.

Rating: 5.0
I received a free copy of this book from the author, but after reading it I just HAD to buy a physical copy to add to my Sherlock Holmes collection! If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan and you haven't read anything by Tim Symonds YOU ARE MISSING OUT!!
Like many Sherlock Holmes stories, you get an introduction to the narrative of Dr. Watson and the setting. It's a calm, steady, necessary expedition that benefits the complicated mysteries of this Sherlock novel well.
From this you learn Sherlock and Watson no longer live together for the consulting detective has settled down in quiet Sussex. Personally, I love the retired Sherlock stories because they prove that no matter how old the great detective Holmes and his trusty Dr. Watson get, they're always going to be the most incredible team in fictitious history!
Tim Symonds is not humble about this fact, which I love.
This author has done some of the most authentic Sherlock Holmes writing I have ever read! And believe me, I have read a LOT of Sherlock Holmes in my time!
I don't know if this author has ever been to China or not, but I sure feel like I have after reading this! What's even better is I feel like I've fallen into a worm hole and gotten popped out in 1900's-China! The text used to describe this fascinating setting is as busy as it is disorienting, no doubt making it all that much more realistic for the time, place, and scenario.
The author has clearly mastered the art of foreshadowing because, even though I had to have Sherlock point it out to me, all of the evidence and bits of information relevant to the story are written RIGHT THERE!! I love being tricked just as much as I love being guided in the right direction and Tim Symonds has managed to do both. Amazing piece of literature! I would love to see this converted at some point to hit the big screen. I can picture Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce playing these roles and even though that's no longer possible, I would have a field day seeing the old fashion Holmes and Watson back on screen by some fresh writing and faces!

Mary Beth
Rating: 5.0
This is the first book I've read by Tim Symonds and I am certain it won't be the last.
I feel like the original author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, left the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes open for writers like this. The story fits so perfectly with the original works, it's no wonder Holmes and Watson keep coming back!
This book is a perfect replication of the original writing style and characterizations. It's in Dr. Watson's point of view, just like the originals, and on more than one occasion does an excellent job of reflecting the good old doctor's sense of overwhelm/amazement onto the readers, themselves!
Holmes has retired to Sussex. But we all know retirement has a different meaning for a man like Holmes and his trusty doctor Watson.
It doesn't take long for Holmes and Watson to find themselves up and running again, solving crime like the good old days. Like the characters, you're taken to a world of wonder that has been beautifully described in Dr. Watson's first person old English.
The novel keeps a steady pace that seemingly picks up when the action and deductions start rolling in. It's kind of like a roller coaster, as far as pacing goes, and I love it! I always found the originals had a similar heart throbbing affect that tend to keep the readers on edge.
Let's just say this action packed mystery will keep you guessing, just as all Holmes stories should.
Are Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson capable of chasing clues around this chaotic new world? Or will this be one of those rare cases where the infamous detective gets bested??
I suppose you'll just have to read it to find out...

Rating: 5.0
Dr. Watson's kind of a bad ass in this, I think. I mean, he's always been a very fidgety, need to move around and kick butt kind of a guy, but in this book he really takes the initiative!
In the originals he's always been kind of overlooked, I feel. He has his moments, of course. But this time it's like he was put on the back burner too long, you know? He's got to get up and do something! Take charge! It's really nice to read him like that since, you know, it's always been there it's just not usually a focal point of the story as it is in this one.
As far as the story line goes, it focuses heavily on scandals and threats for the Chinese empire or dynasty, I should say. There's going to be a civil war that will absolutely destroy China if things aren't put back in their proper place and the truth isn't discovered. I loved the old Chinese setting for this.
It's a very colorful culture, even through text.
This Sherlock Holmes story is written in a journalistic way. It's Dr. Watson's POV being told after the fact.
For anyone who has never read the original detective stories, this is typically how they're told except for a few exceptions where Sherlock, himself, picks up the pen.
If you've seen the more recent modern day Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin freeman, it would be basically the same thing as reading John's blog, if that makes sense?
Very detailed and heavy on the Chinese culture.
I absolutely loved Dr. Watson's character in this and I can't wait to read more of Tim Symond's work!

Rating: 5.0
Sherlock Holmes is a classic. Everyone knows the characters and at least one or two of the mysteries they've faced.
This is not a re-telling, this is an original mystery written for the classic characters. What I mean is this is written as though it were actually from the time this story is set in.
Because of this the story is capturing. It's like listening to a foreigner talk. You can't get enough of it, regardless of what it is they're saying.
Even so, the actual story is very interesting. It's taken from early 1900s England to (same time period) busy China.
If you like Asian fiction, you will enjoy this twist.
The setting feels very real. I mean it seems you're actually there. The descriptions are on point and as a reader I could tell the author did extensive research to make it so. Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil is the first novel I've read by Tim Symonds, but from what I can tell his writing is very true to the original Holmes stories. The crimes are exotic and entice the human psyche, thus successfully capturing one's attention up until the satisfying conclusion.
Loved it! Didn't come across a single issue/problem although I can understand how some might get frustrated with the old English text if they are unfamiliar with it. But for me? Perfect!

Rating: 5.0
First, I'd like to mention that I've loved the cover of this book since I first laid eyes on it! It gives an excellent indication of the Chinese setting/theme this book is based in and around, which excited me from the get go. Without even reading the first page I was drawn to the style of this book, simply because of the incredible foreshadowing done on it's cover page!
This technique, the foreshadowing, continues all thought the novel. It's done with such subtle expertise that you barely notice, but as it pops up again and again you find you can't think anything other than, "This is brilliant!!" As Watson might exclaim.
I absolutely adore the method in which Symonds has chosen to deliver the heavier information such as deductions and technical lines the average reader would otherwise be unable to understand. And if you should get lost in the old text, there is a handy glossary in the back!
Sherlock Holmes and the Nine Dragon Sigil is a mystery/crime novel worthy of the Sherlock Holmes title. I recommend this for any and all fans of Chinese settings, historical fiction, mystery, crime, thriller, and Sherlock Holmes. It covers a vast range of topics from old English apparatus's to the chaotic imagery of two men wandering around what feels like a whole nother world!
Don't miss out on this new and attention capturing read! You'll be flipping the pages so fast you won't realize it's over until you've reached the satisfying "Finis"!

Rating: 4.5
Sherlock Holmes is everywhere these days. Movies, Tv shows, novels- absolutely everywhere, I swear! Can't say I blame them, though. He is one sexy detective, no matter the visual.
He's brilliant and he's intelligent and that makes him an attractive individual, whether he's into the living or not, I really can't tell!! But who cares, right? It's hot!
So anyway. Back on point.
This is an old Sherlock story. By that I mean he's got some whities cuz he's retired, yes, but also this Sherlock novel takes place in the 1900s, so it's historical fiction.
Let me tell you, none of that stops this man's ability to be a deductive bad ass, ladies and gentlemen!
Same with Watson, of course!
These two take their crime solving skills to new places this time around.
ASIA. China, a little more specifically.
They race around this absolutely BONKERS web of a country and power overlord to try and solve a "more than meets the eye" kind of a case. And by that I don't mean transformers, sorry!! No transformers here! Maybe next time, nerds.
So, point being, this is a suspenseful mystery crime fiction novel that takes you somewhere you can never go, and I must say I found the ride thrilling. It was a fantastic experience really almost "watching" Sherlock's investigative process through the words of his companion, Dr. Watson.
It's hard to critique a work like this since it's not my go to genre. BUT I do think this is going to be a sweet treat for Murder mystery/crime fiction fans!
I received a free of charge, pre-release copy of this book from the author! That said, I have no relation with the man outside of his offering this book for my reading pleasures.

Rating: 4.5
I'm taking off half a point since I usually prefer faster stories and this has a fairly consistent, steady pace. It's a mellow ride I didn't go absolutely crazy over, but definitely did get into. The beginning starts off with Dr. Watson, which moves a little slow for me. He's been apart from Holmes for too long so his life is also moving kind of slow at this point. He wants a more exciting life, and he gets that from being with Holmes, a very unusual detective with an anti-social personality from being smarter than the rest of the world, I would assume.
The pace does pick up when Dr. Watson winds up in China, I will admit. There's been a murder and a plot to start a war, so that definitely caught my interest.
I try to refrain from spoilers but quite frankly I may have already spoiled a thing or two.
Point being!
This is a mystery that goes deep into the mind of man and Chinese culture. Setting: China, 1900s.
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Crime

Rating: 4.5
This was technically the first novel I read by this author, but I postponed reviewing it until I had the opportunity to read the one about Einstein's Daughter. I received free e-copies of these books from the author in exchange for honest reviews and despite this I pledge my complete and total honesty.
I didn't like putting these books down. There's something about them that makes the reader want to keep going.
The thrill of the chase?
It was exhilarating.
The dark (yet surprisingly colorful) Chinese setting and culture in this novel added tremendously to the mysteries of this literature. The intricate crimes and interactive "logs" made for an exciting thriller mystery true to the traditional British nature this author's work is quote on quote "replicating".
I've always been fascinated by historical fiction and particularly the mystery sub-genre. I recommend this book for readers like me.

Rating: 4.5
The to-be-released novel (at the time of this review) Sherlock Holmes and the nine dragon sigil, takes readers to the year 1906. This is a historical fiction mystery novel largely taking place in the Chinese Empire, at it's height. The dynasty is a strong force on the verge of what will be a downfall if nothing is done.
A murder with the potential to start a civil war has taken place, and if action is not taken, it will.
This is the first sherlock novel I have ever read. I've seen some of the movies, but that's the extent of my Sherlockian knowledge.
Intense and intelligent are two words I would use to describe this mystery novel. It travels at a steady pace that speeds up every now and again, but over all it's fairly consistent.
I liked the fact that this novel was taken out of England, which I feel is probably the Sherlock Holmes comfort zone, right?
The Chinese setting worked really well in holding my interest throughout the heavy suspense and build.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this novel. It's interesting to catch a glimpse of the traditional Holmes and Watson. I will have to read more to better understand the similarities and differences, but I did like the whole conspiracy theme this novel in particular was based around.

Rating: 4.0
It surprises me every time an author manages to successfully take something so classic, so well done, and make it their own. Despite the similarities to the original Sherlock Holmes, I didn't feel this book was cliche, so to speak. The writing style and voice of Watson are excellent replications of Sir Author Conan Doyle's work, while the actual story itself felt new and refreshing.
We start with Watson in his new life. He's been separated from Holmes for years now and has taken to a steadier life of debt and medicine.
As one might expect from the old doctor, he's restless. He needs more excitement, more Holmes in his life if he's going to sooth his jitters...
As always with Sherlock Holmes, he gets a little more than he bargained for.
As one may infer from the cover image, this story heads quickly over to Asia (1906) for the majority of this novel's investigation.
The pacing of this story is meant for readers seeking a "slow and go" type of read. Although the author's writing style is overall engaging, there are parts where you simply cannot put down the pages.
I docked a star because even though this is a great story for mystery and historical fiction fans, I didn't fall madly in love with it. I feel those who would are going to be readers interested in Asian culture, complicated crime, and the classic Sherlock Holmes stories.

Rating: 4.0
Sherlock Holmes and the nine-dragon sigil is a mystery novel set in the early 1900s. It's a mystery weighed down by words that are far too large for a child to comprehend. This is an adult mystery that requires thought and, of course, that cheat sheet in the back for many of the older words not often used today.
Again, I will emphasize this is an adult mystery. The main theme is murder, which proves my point further.
Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes find themselves investigating a Chinese murder/scheme believed to threaten the country's alliance. We're taken to the Forbidden City, a wonderfully reconstructed part of history on Tim Symond's part. The Asian culture was not overlooked on this one. If fact, little was overlooked in making this a realistic trip to the past. From the words used to the dynamics of the characters' relationships, this is an excellent work of historical fiction.
I recommend for fans of historical fiction and mystery.

Rating: 3.8
This mystery novel is written in old English. The reason I took off a star or so is largely due to the fact that it is in very old text. There were a lot of words I didn't understand, so it slowed the pace for me and made it a little harder for me to get into the story. I think people who are used to this writing style will appreciate it more than I did, but I just got frustrated with it.
Creatively, I think it was a good idea to write it in that style since it's true to the era this journal is supposed to have been written in, I'm just not the best with big words to begin with let alone crazy ancient text- okay, it's not ancient it's more like the super early 1900s, but that was really my only issue with this book.
Aside from that, the story played really well. It was an intelligent murder mystery set partially in China and part in England. I liked the Chinese setting. I thought it was fun and a different choice given the characters start out in England.
Watson was my favorite character. He's not as smart as Sherlock, but he's still very intelligent and has a heart of gold and soul of a soldier. I also really liked the way the characters were introduced and described. Everything was very easy to visualize.
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for honest review.

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