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The Arnifour Affair (Colin Pendragon Mysteries #1)

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  400 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Set against the fog-shrouded backdrop of turn-of-the-century London, Gregory Harris's new historical mystery series introduces tenacious sleuth Colin Pendragon, and a case that illuminates the darkness lurking in the heart of one of England's most noble families.

When a carriage bearing the Arnifour family crest--a vulture devouring a slaughtered lamb--arrives at the Kensin
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2014)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
A historical mystery that seems tailor made for fans of Sherlock Holmes, but are looking for a more edgy character and different angle on the relationship between the detective and his sidekick. The mystery was pretty well developed and the story has some nice twists.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine for the February 2014 issue:

Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, reviews
3.5 stars - First off, this book will be appreciated by those who like gay mysteries, especially the historical kind, and are fine with diving into a *very Sherlock-inspired* mystery that has little to no heat between the detective and his live-in lover who also helps him solve crimes on the dark gritty streets of Victorian London.

I didn’t know what to make of Colin, to be honest. This is VERY MUCH an homage to Sherlock Holmes, but an homage where Sherlock and Watson were together, like together
Althea Ann
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Tailor-made for Sherlock Holmes fans; this is one for those who've powered through all of Conan Doyle's detective's outings and are bemoaning the fact that there's no more to read. The detective here, Colin Pendragon, is clearly Holmes, and his sidekick/lover (the relationship is tastefully and obliquely referenced) is clearly Watson.

I think a lot of fans will enjoy it, although some purists will, of course, have objections.

Myself, I found it to be an enjoyable but fairly standard murder myster
Judy Lesley
Lady Arnifour has come to ask Colin Pendragon to investigate the murder of her husband, the Earle, and the attack on her niece which may well prove to be fatal also. She has no faith in Scotland Yard and is willing to pay the high fees demanded by the famed private detective even though the evidence of her crumbling estate would lead people to wonder how she would manage to scrape together the money. Pendragon and his colleague, Ethan Pruitt, find themselves thrown into the underbelly of Victori ...more
First, let me just say that I'm always interested by novels with gay characters published by a mainstream press, second, I'm a big fan of Victorian Mysteries and third, this book could have been better!

This series introducing a pair of sleuths is obviously an homage to Sherlock Holmes which was a nice try if not completely successful in my opinion. Pendragon & Pruitt both have interesting personalities, I like them but there's not much of a backstory on either one. The plot was entertaining
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Note: This review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (

Note: My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: I am always on the lookout for a new author that I will adore and impatiently eagerly await their next novel. Whether it's their amazing characters that I can't stop thinking about, their witty writing or the
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed The Arnifour Affair; it takes place in Victorian London, with a good amount of time spent in the famous Whitechapel district. The novel is follows work of a private detective Mr. Pendragon and his partner Mr. Pruitt as they use methods of detection to solve crimes. Mr. Pruitt is the narrator of this mystery; his narration of events adds authenticity to the time period this novel takes place in. I just adore the language that is used throughout the novel. The vocabulary Harris us
Naomi Blackburn
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I seriously could not warm up to this book. I found it boring and I couldn't focus on the book so it took it longer to read than it should have. I also found it to be a dime a dozen book in that there was nothing to really grab my attention. This is definitely a series I wouldn't continue with.
Ulysses Dietz
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Arnifour Affair (Colin Pendragon #1)
Gregory Harris
Kensington Books, 2014
Four stars

“It made me wonder, this business of family.”

As sometimes happens, I got started the wrong-way-round with these Colin Pendragon books, by reading the second in the series first. Oddly, I like the first in the series better, but I think that’s because I got to know the couple at the center of this gay-ish take on the Holmes and Watson tradition better by reading the second book first. I knew what to look for in
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-book
This was like reading a Sherlock Holmes/John Watson fan fic. To start with I didn’t mind, as I’ve enjoyed some truly great fan fic stories. But the flaws in the writing soon became hard to accept, with historical incongruities and Americanisms cropping up. Reading became a chore, rather than a pleasure. I persevered until the end, hoping to see some romantic interaction between Colin and Ethan (nothing doing), and to learn who the murderer was. The denouement was an anticlimax, but by then I did ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
A gay Sherlock Holmes? An opium addict Watson who is rescued by Holmes?

Well, not exactly, but that is where Harris is heading. Colin Pendragon is certainly gay and Ethan Pruitt is his partner, both sexually and in solving crimes. This could work.

But for me it doesn't. The book is written, as are the Sherlock Holmes stories, from the point of view of the "sidekick." He alludes to a mysterious past - his mother committed a horrible crime because she was insane, he ended up on the streets as an op
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Essentially a Holmes and Watson story with changed names and a more explicitly romantic relationship between the pair of Victorian detectives, The Arnifour Affair isn't without its charms despite its derivative premise. Ethan Pruitt is our Dr. Watson and narrator, who spent his formative years living on the streets of East End as an addict and general urchin -- he was rescued from this life many years ago by Colin Pendragon, our genius detective with Holmesian attitude and arrogance. The pair li ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
The Arnifour Affair is a fairly interesting mystery novel set in Victorian London. Whislt I immediately thought of Sherlock and Holmes, the author did a good job of making his characters have their own personalities.

The main mystery, for me at least, felt a little lacking as I thought it was a bit too obvious and had been done before in other books, but the side mystery kept me interested and turning pages. I liked the dynamic created between the two main characters. They had a unique relations
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A clever and unique take on the Sherlock Homes style mystery novel. Set in Victorian London, Colin Pendragon and his long time partner Ethan Pruitt have a special relationship with one another that encompasses organic humor when appropriate as well as a depth that makes this book feel fresh. It is a relationship that will be fun to follow and see grow in the upcoming books.

Gregory Harris manages to not only create a authentic world but unique characters whose dynamics between one another keep th
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-book
I'm not sure why this book isn't getting better reviews. I thought it was great! I loved the historical period, I thought the main characters were really well developed and the mysteries kept me guessing. Maybe people aren't liking the obvious nod of the main characters to Sherlock Holmes and Watson? I actually enjoyed that. I thought these characters gave us everything that we have always secretly wondered about Holmes and Watson all along. And Mrs. Behmouth just added the perfect bit of comic ...more
Terelyn Marks
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
For a story that's supposed to be set in Victorian London, there are far too many 20th and even 21st century American colloquialisms. When Colin refers to the countess as 'viral,' I almost put it down right there. Good storyline, two interesting mysteries, but the author needs to do more work on period atmosphere.
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really liked this mystery set in England in the early 20th century. Very Holmes and Watson types as protagonist and some great characters to boot. It was witty, richly described and full of twists. I highly recommend this one.
While the relationship between the main characters had its moments, the book overall felt underdeveloped and derivative.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
Tried this one but couldn't get past the first chapter. Characters didn't ring true to me and I felt like I was entering in the middle of a series, not in the first book.
Mary G.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was just ok. The book could have been better. The characters and story were rather flat.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is a mystery about a detective and his assistant and romantic partner, set in Victorian times. I didn't really enjoy it.

The negative reviews I saw mentioned historical inaccuracies, and I noticed a few of those too. But that kind of thing doesn't bother me much. However, there are also a lot of awkward word choices. For example, someone throws a crystal ashtray against a mirror, and the ashtray "implodes." Unless this book is secretly set in another world where the laws of physics don't app
Russell Emlyn
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: loved-it-not
I wanted badly to like this book, and made it all the way through on the strength of that desire, but it was impossible. The myster(y/ies) were reasonably competent for what they were, the low-key relationship was sweet, and it gets a second star for Ethan Pruitt (the John Watson expy), who was almost a thoroughly compelling character apart from some peculiarly petty jealousy, and free-floating misogyny. This latter I might have passed off as period-appropriate, except the author clearly had no ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
The idea of yet another Holmes remake is that this time Holmes and Watson are a gay couple and Mrs Hudson it's the house dragon who raised Holmes, aka Pendragon.

And our hero is flawless so the drug addiction is left to the side kick. Who gets to narrate the story and thoroughly annoy in the process. Besides pointing out constantly how inadequate and how flawed he is and how wonderful his lover is and so on and on he's busy being jealous of any interaction of his partner in particular with any wo
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A classic British mystery series set in turn-of-the-century London, with the twist that the two detectives are a gay couple. The author slowly reveals the relationship and history of the two men, even as the detectives figure out who killed Lady Arnifour's husband and her niece. A light entertaining read.

Deb White
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
The characters are a take off of the Sherlock Holmes and Watson pair but updated a bit. (Hint: they are gay!!)
Set in London in current times, the two are trying to solve the Earl and his niece's deaths.
This is little more than mediocre Gay Sherlock fanfic.
Here's the thing, though: mediocre Gay Sherlock fanfic is sadly a genre I'm not too proud to fuck with.
Definitely adding this series to my List O' Trite Mindless Garbage Mysteries Full Of Chuckle-Worthy Anachronisms.
Susan Wight
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: detective
A Holmesian mystery with a grittier London, this is quite enjoyable even if a little thin.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun book--part Dickens, part Sherlock Holmes. Great cockney dialogue. Enjoyed this mystery that had so many twists as to who was whose parent!
Anthony Mattarelliano
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Poor man's Holmes and Watson. It got 4 stars because of strong characters and interesting mystery. I would read the other books in this series if they have as good of a story.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh what fun, a gay sherlock holmes type character solving murder mysteries in London? Sign me up for the whole series!
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Librarian Note:
There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Gregory Harris was born and raised outside of Chicago where he first developed a love of storytelling with the encouragement of a sister and cousin both blessed with fertile imaginations. He moved to Los Angeles where he attended and graduated from the University of Southern California.

He began his post collegia
More about Gregory Harris

Other books in the series

Colin Pendragon Mysteries (6 books)
  • The Bellingham Bloodbath (Colin Pendragon Mysteries, #2)
  • The Connicle Curse (Colin Pendragon Mysteries, #3)
  • The Dalwich Desecration (Colin Pendragon Mysteries #4)
  • The Endicott Evil (Colin Pendragon Mysteries, #5)
  • The Framingham Fiend (Colin Pendragon Mysteries, #6)