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The Affair of the Mysterious Letter

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  50 reviews
In this charming, witty, and weird fantasy novel, Alexis Hall pays homage to Sherlock Holmes with a new twist on those renowned characters.

Upon returning to the city of Khelathra-Ven after five years fighting a war in another universe, Captain John Wyndham finds himself looking for somewhere to live, and expediency forces him to take lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. His new
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Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 18th 2019 by Ace
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  50 reviews


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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hands-down, I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a more quirky and original retelling, and I absolutely loved this! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter is a fantasy retelling involving Sherlock Holmes characters.

Captain John Wyndham is returning to Khelathra-Ven after fighting a war elsewhere for five years. He is desperate for someone where to live and winds up with Ms. Shaharazad Haas as a housemate. She’s a moody one, Ms. Haas, and is known for darkness.

Ms. Haas is asked to solve a case
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Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
This is without a doubt my favorite book of the year so far and my favorite fantasy pastiche of all time! It would take one hell of a book to usurp The Affair of the Mysterious Letter's first place position. Even though this is a fantasy pastiche of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, the likeness to the characters and their peculiarities is absolutely remarkable. The writing is also phenomenal. I really, really, hope further adventures of Shaharazad Hass and Captain John Wyndham will be coming to us so ...more
Moony Eliver
I won a GR giveaway for this one, but it pains me to say it was not for me. I DNFed it really early because it was just not holding my interest. There was a lot of exposition that was pretty dry, and I wasn't hooked enough to plow through it. :(
Emma Newman
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get a galley from my editor and OMG I loved this book so much. It was a sheer delight to read and has dragged me out of a massive reading slump that lasted for months. Honestly, do yourself a favour and get it as soon as it comes out. It's like the joy of reading Gail Carriger's Soulless all over again, but wrapped in a gleeful love affair with Sherlock Holmes.

Read it. READ. IT.
Georgie-who-is-Sarah
Oct 03, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: tag-reviewed
I want to read this, I really do, but £10.99 is A LOT for a Kindle book.
FTLOReading
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
• Title: The Affair Of The Mysterious Letter
• Author: Alexis Hall
• Series: Stand-alone
• Pages: 352
• Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Retelling, LGBTQ
• Rating Out of 5 Stars: 4

My Thoughts:

Picture this...Sherlock Holmes is a Sorceress. Still witty, intelligent, but with a penchant for taken complicated lovers and still has all those messy and addictive habits. Now sit that character down at a Dungeons and Dragon’s table with character’s nodding to those we’ve seen in Doyle’s works. Watson is our lo
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Ellie
May 31, 2019 is currently reading it
my most awaited release of the year!
Here we go :)
☕️Kimberly
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quirky and fun. RTC
C. A.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think I've found my favorite book of 2019 and it's not even halfway through February yet.

I love Sherlock Holmes pastiches and this is certainly that in that it involves a maddeningly intelligent and occasionally infuriating protagonist and a faithful ex-military doctor who serves as assistant, sounding board, admirer and biographer who live together at 221B with their landlady and solve crimes.

Except that this is the sorceress Shaharazad Haas who breaks the laws of gods and men as it suits her
...more
Amy
Apr 24, 2019 marked it as to-read
pansexual and trans rep!
Mystery! Fantasy! Sherlock Holmes retelling!
I need this now.
Karyn Silverman
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nook, 2019-reads, arcs, specfic
What a strange, delightful remix of the Holmes cannon with a little of everything (I definitely spotted a bit of Cthulhu in the various deities (sometimes in form, sometimes in spirit), some Treasure Island, and many other references). The prose is prissy and touchy and slyly funny — if you like Brennan’s Lady Isabella books, this will be a nice fit tonally — and the world is an insane mishmash that makes perfect internal sense. I still have so many questions, and there’s so much here that decon ...more
Grace
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a giveaway from the publisher, and was SO excited to have the opportunity to get my hands on this one early!

I really have enjoyed the romance novels I've read from this author, and was very much looking forward to see what they did with a slightly different genre. I love Sherlock Holmes, and thought this queer fantasy remake sounded very interesting, and I was not disappointed! Bisexual lady sorceress Sherlock Holmes with trans ~puritan-esque~ John Watson was everything I neve
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Karen Fan
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This is, in Alexis Hall’s own words, a “queer fantasy novel” and “it’s probably best summed up as: bisexual lady Holmes and puritan trans Watson solve crimes in a weird fantasy city.”

It totally was exactly that. And I expected to be so excited and enthralled with this, but I wasn’t. It was just too much thrown at me and I had a really hard time finishing this book. It was too convoluted and I was often perplexed for entire sections of the book.

But, perhaps if you often read steampunk/sci-fi typ
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Snooty1
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
"This cosmos which we inhabit is vast and indifferent. Every law, every teaching, and every tenet by which you might choose to live your life is a fiction that exists only so long as those around you agree upon it. In reality, you are entitled only to what you can take, duty bound to do only what you cannot avoid doing, and protected only by what power is in you to protect yourself"

DAMMMMMNNNN that's good writing, and honestly a very hard statement to respond to (which in the novel is actually
...more
Brooke Banks
Gods, I fucking loved this book.

I devoured it while reading. When I had to pause, my mind kept straying back, itching to find out what happens next.

It's so...gay and different. I didn't know what to expecting going in, just that I had to read it. It's better than I could've imagined.

The best way I've thought to describe it is thus: Futurama meets Soulless where everyone is queer with less Beavis & Butthead humor, narrated by Victor Melling from Miss Congeniality but instead of an FBI agent
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Charlotte
I couldn't get into it, sadly. The narrator is incredibly annoying by being so prim and proper that he substitutes euphemisms for other characters' cursing, then has to go and point out that they didn't actually say the euphemisms EVERY SINGLE TIME. Okay, so you had an ultra-conservative upbringing, I GOT IT, please either curse or euphemize and move on. That and the notes about "my editor tells me" whatever kept throwing me out of enjoying the book, which probably means I wasn't enjoying the bo ...more
Traci
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at The Reader In Indigo

Shaharazad Haas, who is essentially the bastard love child of Sherlock Holmes and Johannes Cabal, is a consulting sorceress in the semi-drowned city of Ven. Captain John Wyndham, native to the land of Ey (which went a bit Puritanical after overthrowing their Witch-King), suffered a bizarre wound fighting the forces of the Empress of Nothing beyond the Unending Gate, and ended up rooming with Shaharazad in Ven; Ey being less than sympathetic to m
...more
Meghan
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was super excited to read this book because Historical mysteries are very popular in our library and I knew our patrons will be ecstatic to know that one is about to be released. The Affair of the Mysterious Letter tells the story of Captain John Wyndham post-war looking for a place to live. While searching for a home he comes acr
...more
Soup
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely delightful (and often laugh-out-loud funny) adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes series. Highly LGBTQ friendly and delightfully Lovecraftian, this novel explores the first case of Captain John Wyndham (Watson) and the consulting sorceress Ms. Shaharazad Haas (Holmes). I dearly hope this book is the start of the series!
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
3.5 stars?

This was a really hard book to rate.

On the one hand—a gender-swapped (well, for the sorceress) and queer as hell retelling of Sherlock Holmes, set in a complex fantasy world? On the other hand—a Sherlock Holmes retelling written in the style of the original books.

After an unfortunate injury that prevented him from serving in the military, Captain John Wyndham, feeling adrift from his religiously conservative home (and not welcome in his father's house), returns to the city of his unive
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susan
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this book free from the Penguin Random House booth at the Emerald City Comic Con and I don't think I can possibly express how much I loved it without sounding like I'm just reeling of meaningless superlatives.

One of the best things about the con the last few years has been this booth, where I've managed to get a lot of books, both through signings and giveaways. Most of them have been good, a few of them have been great, and this may be the best of them so far.

The book is written in the s
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Amber
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Ace Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

From what I can see of his previous works, The Affair of the Mysterious Letter is a little out of his normal wheelhouse. A lot of what Alexis Hall writes tends to be paranormal romance, which is one of my least favorites genres. Had I known that, I probably would not have requested this one… but! The Affair of the Mysteri
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Ari Clay
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m a HUGE Sherlock Holmes fan. When I was in middle school, I used to read through my dad’s Collected Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the weekends. So you can imagine the amount of Sherlock retellings, re-imaginings, and inspired books I’ve read throughout the years since. The Affair of the Mysterious Letter is by far my favorite one of the bunch! I think this book would make a perfect edition to anyone’s beach bag this summer!

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I love the Adventures of Sher
...more
Booky Nooky
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Picture this: a queer, sci-fi, fantasy twist on the classic mystery styling of Sherlock Holmes. Need I say more?! Honestly: take my money, gimme-gimme-gimme, file this in the category of something I didn’t know I needed but DEFINITELY needed!!! Lucky for us the wickedly talented Alexis Hall gave us just that in his new book The Affair of the Mysterious Letter.

The detective of The Affair of the Mysterious Letter is Ms. Shaharazad Hess; a bi-sexual sorceress of renowned wit, unmatched intelligence
...more
Courtney
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Review originally posted here: https://courtneyreadsromancesite.word...

I received an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited to win a copy of The Affair of the Mysterious Letter, especially since at the time I originally found out I won, I was still coming down from the high of the awesomeness of one of the author’s other books, For Real, and was curious to see what Alexis Hall could bring to the fantasy genre.

And I think the results are gr
...more
Hollowspine
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5

Of the many interpretations of Sherlock Holmes, this is one of the strangest I've read. Also, very entertaining. It does rely heavily on familiarity, both with Arthur Conan Doyle's work, but also with the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and to some extent Agatha Christie. Doyle and Lovecraft's influences can be found on every page, and quite a few references might be confusing, especially to those unfamiliar with the Cthulhu mythos, so while it's definitely readable without knowing much about either,
...more
Colleen Corgel
This is what amounts to the old days of Sherlock Holmes adventures, but with a mean sorceress as the Holmes character and her Dr. Watson is a bit of a too earnest Captain who got injured in a war. There's a bunch of colorful characters that do help round out the cast, including a smart ass young lady and her fiancee for which the mystery revolves around, and a twist that only our grouchy sorceress was able to deduce. Some readers would have been able to put the clues together, but seeing the cha ...more
Lauren
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
I enjoyed "The Affair of the Mysterious Letter" for a lot of reasons, the main one being it was just fun. Told through the recollections of Dr. John Wyndham, this Sherlockian novel follows the exploits of Shaharazad Haas, sorceress supreme, as she and her co-tenant Wyndham search for the blackmailer of Eirene Viola, a former partner/lover in crime of Haas. Alexis Hall does a splendid job of capturing the verbose style of Dr. John Watson in Doyle's stories, though I recommend having a thesaurus h ...more
Riley
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fantasy
Sherlock Holmes as played by Shaharazad Haas and Dr. Watson as played by John Wyndham. Two very different people who end up as roomies.

A list of Miss Viola’s past, er, complications (i.e. the suspects) provides the map to tracking down a mysterious blackmailer. As each suspect is ticked off by way of an altogether too adventurous adventure (life and limbs are always at stake), Dr. Watson learns more and more about his new roommate. That is, she is absolutely insane. And brilliant. The adventures
...more
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