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Title: The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall
Series: Reeves & Worcester Steampunk Mysteries #4
Author: Chris Dolley
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Steampunk Mystery
From the Publisher
An escaped cannibal, a family curse … and Reginald Worcester turning up on the doorstep. Could things get any worse for the Baskerville-Smythe family?
As the bodies pile up, only a detective with a rare brain – and Reggie’s is so rare it’s positively endangered – can even hope to solve the case.
But… there is the small matter that most of the guests aren’t who they say they are, the main suspect has cloven feet, and a strange mist hangs over great Grimdark Mire.
Luckily the young master has Reeves, his automaton valet, and Emmeline, his suffragette fiancee, on hand to assist.
While this is the 4th (or fifth depending on how you add/subtract/multipy/divide the series) book in the series, it is the first full length novel and I have to say, it suffered for that. Which is why it is getting 3.5stars instead of 4.
There was nothing bad about this, but the Wodehousian humor, just like with the original Jeeves and Wooster, can wear thin if spread too thick (ironic isn’t it?) Novellas and short stories work best it would seem for both Wodehouse and Dolley.
There is another novel after this one but I think I’m going to hold off on it until I see if Dolley produces any more and if he does, whether they are more novellas or full length novels. There is no overarching plot to draw me on and I have to admit, I am thankful Dolley didn’t go that route.
The title is a clever mix of both Sherlock Holmes (Hound of the Baskervilles) and Lord Peter Wimsey (Unpleasantness at the Belona Club). I didn’t make much of a connection to the Wimsey novel outside of the title but a more seasoned mystery reader might be able to put the puzzle together better than I did.
I am glad I read this series, as it tided me over until I felt like reading some books by Wodehouse himself. Kind of ease my way back into that brand of humor.