Michael RN Jones's News, Blogs, Articles and Short Stories


Victor Locke Notches Up It's First 5 Reviews

17th June 2017
(Blog Posting)

It's always good when you reach a mini milestone such as your first five reviews on Amazon.com. It's even better when they are all 4 and 5 stars.  

Holmes + Noir Mashup

The Accidental DetectiveA really fun collection. Manages to merge the feel of Sherlock Holmes with the noir-detective (Hammett) feel of more-modern-menace. Definitely recommended.

4 out of 5 stars
Amazon Customer
11 June 2017

There's nothing accidental about this masterful, inventive, funny and irresistible new mystery series.

The Accidental Detective will wow Sherlock Holmes freaks as well as readers indifferent to fiction’s most famous crime-solving duo. Jones clearly knows his Sherlock Holmes stuff, but lucky for his us, he knows a lot more, too. And boy can he write. The Accidental Detective will satisfy Holmesians by keeping the allusions coming––from a favorite beer––Engineer’s Thumb—imbibed in a favorite pub, The Twisted Lip, to truly clever nods to Holmes’ and Watson’s most famous cases. But if these bits of Sherlockiana float past the reader unrecognized, that’s okay. You don’t have to like or know much about Holmes and Watson to fall in love with Locke and Doyle.
Locke, a convicted drug abuser, computer hacker and thief is hilarious, sweary, brilliant and peculiar. His associate-become-friend, psychologist Jonathan Doyle is intelligent, humane and endearing. The pair will make you laugh, gasp, and leave you eager for more adventures. Sure, The Accidental Detective is a masterful, rebellious and inventive riff on Arthur Conan Doyle’s august creation; but it's also the launch of an irresistible new series of mysteries

5 out of 5 stars
Avid Reader
6 May 2017

A fast-paced and fun modern Holmes.

I have this section of my Kindle, a corner area, where I put Fahrenheit Press titles to gather dust after I buy them (I imagine the drive like a big patch of land -- I know that's not how things work, but I like it). Only Jo Perry and Charles Kriel have managed to avoid that area (Duncan MacMaster's Hack never ended up there, because FP gave it to me to read -- his other book, however . . . ). There are a handful of books there, and on adjacent plots, that I was going to actually read in January of this year, but well, that didn't work. Maybe by July? (feel free to pause for laughter here).

I bring this up because The Accidental Detective was purchased on release and placed their next to the other titles and was only FP's releasing of HER: The 1st Victor Locke Story back in March that got me to read this one so quickly. I didn't realize at the time that HER was the first story in this collection, I thought it was more of a prequel to this novel. Whoops. Still, HER was a fun story and I had to find out more about Victor Locke and his buddy, Dr. Doyle quickly, so I was able to rescue this from FP corner.

Essentially, this is a short story collection -- or a very episodic novel, depending how you want to look at it -- about a convicted hacker and his formerly court-mandated psychologist solving mysteries. The stories are very much in the updating-Sherlock Holmes vein. Basically, the stories are a Sherlock-like update featuring a Holmes (Locke) with a demeanor more akin to Elementary's Holmes while living a Mr. Robot lifestyle (at least early Season One Mr. Robot -- look, don't go examining these comparisons too far, all right?). Some of the ways that the Locke stories are updates of/tributes to/etc. the Holmes canon are obvious, some are subtle, and some are blatant -- and all work wonderfully. I've read most of the Holmes stories and all the novels at least once, but I'm not an expert by any means; still, I'm familiar enough to catch most of them without work. I laughed hard at this version of Mycroft in his first appearance.

All that's background -- now to the book itself, HER kicks off the collection with Locke (and his not-sidekick Doyle) being drafted into working for the FBI. The story doesn't end the way the FBI agents would like, but it seems to give Locke the idea that he could do more of this detecting thing. Unofficially, of course. So he goes looking for further opportunities like this. Most of his work is for friends and acquaintances from his neighborhood, but he does get pulled into doing some work for the police.

Locke's personality pretty much demands that he will have conflict with whatever authority/official-types he encounters, but, like every good Sherlock, most will recognize his talents and let him get away with it. Doyle is more than a sidekick and chronicler of his adventures, but he's no Joan Watson. Yet. I don't think Brown will leave him in his current role. Doyle is brilliant, he's a great observer of people and things, he thinks and talks fast and doesn't suffer fools gladly (unless he likes them). This doesn't mean that he won't have a blind spot or two, that he can't use some help from others occasionally, either. He usually knows when he needs the help, too.

Few of the stories result in any public success -- Locke gets the solution, but sometimes he can't do anything with it, or has to keep it under wraps. I love this -- it's be so easy to make him some publicity-seeking type. Or someone who doesn't seek it, but gets it nonetheless. But Jones lets his hero have public failures pretty regularly, keeping him as a struggling detective, not a superstar of deduction.

Fast-paced, clever, charming, funny, clever, and I should repeat clever. I thoroughly enjoyed these stories and gobbled them up pretty quickly. I know Volume 2 is on the way, and it won't end up in the dusty and ignored FP corner. You should go grab this one if you're a fan of Holmes or any of his modern incarnations. Even if you're not a fan of Holmes, you might find yourself changing your mind after reading Jones' take on the character.

4 out of 5 stars
Irresponsible Reader
24 April 2017

More please. Off to google other titles.

Loved this book. I can't wait to read more by this author.

5 out of 5 stars
1 April 2017

Wonderful New Series!

I stumbled on this book quite by accident and I'm so glad did! I was caught up in the author's writing style from the first page and was swept along from one case to the next. It actually took me several pages to realize the correlation between "The Accidental Detective" and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, and when it did hit me that this was a modern-day take of that venerable classic, it made me smile and appreciate it all the more. Taking a gifted, non-conforming, often belligerent and insulting non-hero and placing him in modern intrigues filled with high-tech high jinx opened the door to many satisfying puzzles. I'm very much looking forward to the next installment!

5 out of 5 stars
Cynthia Hamilton
12 March 2017

Click here to get your copy of The Accidental Detective

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Michael RN Jones
Michael RN Jones
(United Kingdom)

The writer of The Accidental Detective and the rest of the Victor Locke Chronicles.

www.twitter.com /michaelrnjones