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Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder

(Sherlock Holmes Adventures #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  596 ratings  ·  101 reviews
The new novel from the author of Art in the Blood. December 1889. Fresh from debunking a "ghostly" hound in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, only to find himself the target of a deadly vendetta. A beautiful client arrives with a tale of ghosts, kidnapping and dynamite on a whisky estate in Scotland, but brother Mycroft trumps all with an urgent assignment ...more
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Published July 27th 2017 by HarperCollins Publishers Limited (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  596 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Cindy Burnett
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unquiet Spirits was a joy to read start to finish. I am not generally a fan of remakes or extensions of classics (as in another author retelling the original book or creating a sequel). For example, I love each and every Jane Austen book but do not love other authors revisiting or adding to her stories. However, Sherlock Holmes is the exception to this rule; recently while reading Unquiet Spirits and A Conspiracy in Belgravia, I was pondering why the character of Sherlock Holmes’ stories can be ...more
Bill Lynas
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sherlock Holmes returns in the very capable hands of Bonnie MacBird. In her second Holmes & Watson adventure our heroes investigate ghosts & murder from France to Scotland, & encounter a vast array of fascinating characters.
There are some wonderful surprises throughout the story, including a glimpse into the life of a young Sherlock Holmes. Like her first novel, Art In The Blood, this is a terrific adventure. If you only read one story featuring the great detective this year ma
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bonnie MacBird's "Art in the Blood" was impressive, but Unquiet Spirits - while it started out not necessarily as grippingly - was a masterpiece.

Having been a Holmes fan for much of my life - since I discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories as a kid - I am a huge fan of well written pastiches and continuation stories, specifically ones that are written in that vein: detailed, character-driven, and painstakingly accurate to the way the originals and best were written. I believe I f
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
The follow-up to Art In The Blood is another richly textured, multilayered Holmes pastiche. Once again, Mcbird shows an interest in industry, taking us deep into the workings of a whisky distillery in Scotland, as well as a suitably Gothic castle filled with secrets, ghosts and murders. Mcbird admirably captures the spirit of the originals while carving out a niche of her own in the crowded world of Holmes pastiche - a niche quite near the top of the heap. The 500 pages that make up this novel w ...more
Emily Richards
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bravo, Macbird - you’ve excelled yourself. I thought it would be hard to top Art in the Blood but I think she’s managed it. A cracking Holmes-Watson revival and a plot that is to be savoured, like an exquisite red velvet layer cake with just the right amount of icing.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A riveting read, full of twists and turns that'll keep you guessing to the end.
1889 and Holmes and Watson find themselves in the highlands of Scotland investigating the death of Laird McClaren's illegitimate daughter. Set in a Scottish castle and distillery it's not short of a few ghosts and a murder or two.
I loved the Art in the Blood and I'm looking forward to book three, The Devil's due.
Riju Ganguly
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good read. Dark. Complex. Violent. Intriguing. Full of ghosts that are actual, metaphorical, spiritual. The story became so complex that I felt for Holmes. No, not about his intellectual abilities. I found that the story had grown too personal. While the modern approach indeed calls for stories of Holmesian deductions to be replaced by psychological crime thrillers, I believe that this novel rather overdid it. Anthony Horowitz had kept his tales more nuanced in that sense. But th ...more
Mark Sohn
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-crafted tale, Unquiet Spirits takes Holmes and Watson on a case spanning Europe - from the South of France to Scotland. But is there more to this case than there seems? Could the supernatural be involved? Well, I'm not saying - you'll have to shell out for the book, matey. But is it any good? Glad you asked... MacBird is a Screenwriter - and it shows, with cinematic flourishes throughout and vivid imagery. If this were to become a film, it would do well - and, perhaps wisely, rather than ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm hooked on most things Sherlock, from the classic Conan Doyle to the numerous stories written by other Holmesians. Bonnie Macbird is my newest find and I am impressed. Ghosts in a Scottish castle? Seems ordinary enough unless the castle belongs to the McLaren clan and there's a Royal Warrant from the Queen involved. Whisky, you know. Holmes doesn't want to get involved...Watson does, mostly because Isla McLaren, the daughter-in-law of the Laird, is fetching and convincing. Holmes however deci ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This fell a bit flat for me. Not terrible, just not the best version of Holmes I've ever read.

First off, it felt like Holmes was more minimally in evidence than I would have expected. There was far more of Dr. Watson than there was of Holmes, and while I don't mind Watson, Holmes, with all his quirks is my favourite.

Also the people involved in this mystery were not very nice. Pretty much all of them were selfish or mean, and all of them were very mercenary and out for the
I was really excited that my beloved husband found a new Sherlock Holmes series on a recent trip to the library, and picked this book out for me. Thanks, honey! I love you!

Unfortunately, I didn’t love the book. Maybe it’s because I’m not into whiskey (or whisky), but the whiskey-focused part of the plot just dragged on and on, and on... and then on some more. I found most of the events in that plotline to be predictable, so that the big reveals in the last few chapters made me feel s
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's always a bit nerve-wracking to read an author's sophomore novel if you thoroughly loved their first novel. If the second novel isn't as breathtaking as the first, the disappointment will be great.

Fortunately, Bonnie MacBird's second book is just as well-written, mysterious, enchanting and ultimately satisfying as her first.

My only regret at this time (Aug. 24, 2o17) is that the printed version of the book is STILL not available in the US, while the UK release was a month ago. Fortunately
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored this as I did the previous entry to the series. It's a fast paced and intriguing romp that's been faithfully written in the style of the originals. I particularly enjoy the way that the book encapsulated Watson's fanciful interpretations of Holmes' life and work, just as in the originals. The dips into Holmes' background are a bit far reaching for me, but definitely believable in context. Especially considering, again, that you view this I through the lens of John Watson. One or two par ...more
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a very good Sherlock Holmes mystery. It was fast paced with lots of intrigue. I would have given this five stars, however, there were a couple spots where things just came out of nowhere to make the story complete. This did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. This was one of the few books I had a hard time putting down. If you enjoy Sherlock or a good mystery then I recommend this book. I will be going back and reading this authors first I. The series and any additional releases.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Bonnie Macbird has yet again created an enticing, page-turning, truly Holmesian story. It's rare that I pick up a book and actually hate to put it down, with this book, I stayed up all hours reading Macbird's perfect rendering of Holmes and Watson in this brand new adventure, and in my book that is exactly what a Sherlock Holmes adventure ought to be like.
Kathleen Daly
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an amazing book. I can't wait for the third book, Devil's Due to be finished.
Simon Mcleish
Quite enjoyable Holmesian adventure, which didn't feel as well put together as Doyle's originals: I found it harder to believe in what was going on. A minor quibble: plate tectonics was a discovery of the 1950s, so rather unlikely to be used as a metaphor by John Watson.
Wynter Phillips
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very captivating read, most definitely on par with Sir Arthur himself. Love the history that we get on Holmes, as well as the new stories from Dr Watson.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author captures Holmes & I think i'm reading Doyle. Story was a little muddled to start but it all comes clear. Ghosts, multiple murders and a bit of Sherlock' s youth revealed, a full and very engaging story.
A brilliant whodunit that will keep the reader guessing to the very last! Brilliantly researched and written by Macbride with plenty of action, danger and unexpected twists and turns that will compel Sherlock to confront the ghosts and regrets of his past so to ensnare a villain from his youth, leading up to a conclusion that will amaze you! Watson, ever loyal and honorable, is at his very best and is essential in saving Holmes' life as well as helping him successfully unmask a devilish fiend! A ...more
Andrew Hixson
Even though this was very good, I think the author has forgotten that SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE wrote short stories and novellas. In my opinion, THE UNQUIET SPIRITS is far too long. By the time I got to the end of the book I couldn't care less who dunnit and who didn't. Good but not as sharp as it could have been.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex plotting with an overlay of Gothic sensibility, combined with the revelation of a dark secret from Holmes' past, provides a satisfying, Doylesque mystery.
Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
I will read just about any Holmes/Watson/Conrad pastiche that I can get my hands on and Bonnie MacBird along with Alan Horowitz and Laurie King are the best of the bunch. (and seriously, the one author that decided that adding aliens and sex were a good thing, shame on you.)

There are many twists and turns and we (really, Watson) get to learn a bit more of the softer side of Holmes without it coming from him or being maudlin. Holmes at first turns down a case and finds himself sucked
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to Sherlock Holmes pastiches, my thoughts often run contrary to others. I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Kurland’s books featuring Moriarty, Quinn Fawcett’s series featuring Mycroft Holmes, Anthony Horowitz’s “Moriarty”, and Sherry Thomas’ “Lady Sherlock “ series. Laurie R. King’s writing is good, and I read several, but just couldn’t go there. There are some lines you can't cross with Holmes for me. See a trend? My preferred stories don’t feature Holmes and Watson other than perhaps p ...more
Carol Evans
Unquiet Spirits is a fast-paced, multi-layered mystery. Of course, all three pieces of the plot are connected. They almost always are in mysteries. I loved the atmosphere of the haunted Scottish castle and liked learning the details of the whiskey industry at the time. Holmes investigation brings him to the home of the McLarens in Scotland. The McLarens are not a nice family, though they make excellent whiskey. They don’t like each other, not even the married couples. They are spiteful and put a ...more
So dark, but so good!

MacBird really has a gift for well-written Holmes stories. I sincerely hope that this extension series doesn’t end with just two books!

As with the first book, the author’s contemporary mentality does creep in, but in such a way that, again, I don’t believe Doyle would find distasteful.

The ghosts of Holmes’ past, Watson’s enduring friendship and kindness, the awesomeness of the south of France and Scottish whiskey, and a variety of intrigui
Anna Bergmark
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't say I liked the first installment. Instead of a good solid plot there was an excessive change of locations and the would be Victorian atmosphere was traded for... well, the same excessive change of locations actually. There wasn't much else. But, thankfully, this time there's an improvement.

Sure, it starts off with a perfectly pointless trip to France - and a new run in with that hopelessly boring Vidocq character (why he keeps on surfacing I just don't know) - but after that w
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just read the ebook version and loved it. I found it scanning my library's mystery selections. I looked into it on Goodreads and found it had great reviews by readers. I have the entire Sir Arthur Conan Doyle collection of Sherlock Holmes book on my iPad and read some of them from time to time. The premise of this book is that the author is given a long lost collection of stories written by Dr. John Watson on Sherlock Holmes mysteries to get ready for publication since many of the manuscripts ...more
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Bonnie MacBird has been a screenwriter (TRON), studio executive (Universal) producer (three Emmys), a playwright and a classically trained actor. She teaches writing at UCLA Extension's Writers' Program, and is a regular speaker on writing, creativity, and Sherlock Holmes.

She has three Sherlock Holmes novels, out now: ART IN THE BLOOD (2015), UNQUIET SPIRITS (2017) and THE DEVIL'S DUE

Other books in the series

Sherlock Holmes Adventures (3 books)
  • Art in the Blood (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure)
  • The Devil’s Due