Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: Murder in The Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Ann Margaret Lewis

Three as yet untold Sherlock Holmes tales await you in Murder in The Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Ann Margaret Lewis.

This superb collection of Holmes mysteries based upon adventures hinted at in the original tome,  have been brought to life by Lewis's talented pen in a masterful way. Two of the stories are told entirely from the good Dr. Watson's point of view. In one, Watson shares this honor with Pope Leo XIII.

In "The Case of Cardinal Tosca," Pope Leo requests the help of Sherlock Holmes to investigate the sudden death of his curia. "The Vatican Cameos" is the second story and is told mostly from Pope Leo's point of view. This was my favorite out of the collection, as the reader gets an even greater glimpse into this leader of the Catholic Church. In "The Second Coptic Patriarch," a professional thief approaches Holmes when his friend Father Brown is imprisoned for the murder of a Coptic clerk.

I had not read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book of Holmes tales prior to reading Murder in The Vatican; though I do have it on my Kindle. As a lover of the mystery genre, that almost seems like a crime. I'm also a former Catholic, so I felt I was in familiar territory while reading the book.

Lewis's attention to historic details, combined with masterfully told stories, engaged me from the first page. I couldn't put the book down. Having some recurring characters appear in the stories helped to show their development; in addition, it was a nice to witness how the relationship between Holmes and Pope Leo evolved over time. As one would expect, the stories are eloquently told, spoken in a style that speaks to a by-gone era.

Any Sherlock Holmes fan or lover of the mystery genre will want to pick up a copy of Murder in The Vatican by Ann Margaret Lewis. It's the perfect bedtime read.

Title: Murder in The Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes
Author: Ann Margaret Lewis
Publisher: Gasogene Books
ISBN-10: 0938501526
ISBN-13: 978-0938501527
SRP:  $18.95

Amazon purchase link:

Purchase from the publisher:


Born and raised in Waterford, Michigan, Ann Margaret Lewis attended Michigan State University, where she received her Bachelor's degree in English Literature. She began her writing career writing tie-in children’s books and short stories for DC Comics. Most recently she published a second edition of her book, Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Alien Species, for Random House.

After attacking the Star Wars universe, Ann plunged into writing science fiction/fantasy, historical fiction, and, of course, mysteries. Her latest book is Murder in the Vatican:The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes published by Wessex Press. She is also co-writing a historical novel entitled Roman which tells the true story of a priest in 1840s southern Indiana who was accused of assaulting a woman in a confessional.

Ann is a classically trained soprano, and has performed around the New York City area. She has many interests from music to art history, to theology and all forms of literature. She is the President of the Catholic Writers Guild, an international organization for Catholic Writers and the coordinator of the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE. After living in New York City for fifteen years, Ann moved to Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband Joseph Lewis and their son, Raymond. Together they enjoy their life in the heartland.


Karina Fabian said...

Thanks so much for reviewing "Murder in the Vatican." Ann spent a lot of time and effort making sure she had the voice and historic details of the era correct--glad to see it's appreciated.

Karina Fabian

Ann Margaret Lewis said...

Thank you for the lovely review. Now you have to go read the originals (cuz is a crime not to read the originals...) ;)

You're the best!

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies. Ann, part of why I never read the originals is that I am partial to American stories. I never expected to enjoy books set outside of this country as much as I do. When I began diving into books set during the French Revolution and the Tudor era, I discovered I loved them, despite not being too familiar with the setting or events of the day.

I'm definitely going to make time to read the originals.

Wishing you the best,


lifeinreviewblog said...

I confess, I have not read any Sherlock Holmes. I wasn't a reader when I was growing up and then for a long time I wouldn't read anything historical, but only contemporary stuff. So, I'm way behind on the classics. LOL. This looks really good and I think I would really enjoy it.

Michelle V

terri.forehand said...

Sounds like a real find for those who love Sherlock Holmes. Thanks for sharing.