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Balfour and Meriwether in The Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs by Daniel Abraham
Review by Mel Jacob
Subterranean Press Deluxe Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 97810596065765
Date: 31 Oct 2013

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

The Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs is a delightful read about the search by two men for a third in 1880s England. All three work at times for the Victorian government on hush-hush activities. The resemblance to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is deliberate. However, Balfour and Meriwether are more action hero types than consulting detectives or medical men. Muscular and capable fighters; Balfour is expert in the use of knives while Meriwether prefers his pistols.

Lord Carmichael contacts them and requests their help in locating Daniel Winters who is missing near Harrowmoor Sanitarium. He had gone there to consult Michael Caster, an explorer and poet. Some poems Caster has written and his drawings hint at things below the ground. Carmichael terms the investigation a "blue rose" affair. In the past, these have involved many things including paranormal events and strange creatures. Carmichael hints he has more information, but is unable to share it. He warns the pair to be take care.

At the town of Harrowmoor, Balfour concentrates on picking up Winter's trail while Meriwether talks with Caster at the sanitarium. Balfour soon finds Winter's trail leads to a remote farm and a deep well.

Meanwhile, Meriwether visits Caster and learns the real reason for his imprisonment. He too, like the Church and Caster's relations, condemns him. He also convinces the poet to share with him his drawings and his nightmares.

When Balfour doesnít return, Meriwether soon picks up the trail and finds the farm and the well. He hears Balfour, but realizes if his friend is captive, he needs supplies and help.

The many details make the readers believe they are in Victorian England. This is a successful addition to the literature of those times and a true homage with nice difference to Sherlock Homes. Abrahamís imagination is unrivaled.

This novella is published by Subterranean Press, and there is hope more such tales of Balfour and Meriwether will be published in the future. Daniel Abraham is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction with several series and a number of short stories. He also did the graphic novel adaptation of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. As James S.A. Corey, a pen name for the duo of Abraham and Ty Franck, he wrote the Expanse novels of the settlement of the outer solar system and the war of the colonies with Earth and Mars. Titles include Leviathan Wakes, Caliban's War, and Abbadonís Gate.

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