Arrowood

by Mick Finlay

Part of the An Arrowood Mystery Series

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime / Mystery Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on Arrowood

April 2017 Debut of the Month.

London 1895, gloriously brought to life in all its grizzly glory. Arrowood is a weathered Private Investigator with a soft heart and a weakness for a drink. He shares the same skies as the famous, revered detective, Sherlock Holmes and yet he can only dream of sharing the same accolades and financial rewards. The cases Arrowood and his long suffering assistant Barnett work are deadly, sleazier and of poor pay. Still carrying the ghost of a disastrous investigation that left a man violently beaten to death, they take on a seemingly straightforward missing person case. Before long a simple investigation turns into a dangerous step into the world of political violence and dealings with the very same crime boss involved in their earlier case. Anxious to keep a distance yet bound by obligation after the death of a young informant, they are soon deeply involved in something deadly.

Being a fan of Sherlock Holmes it was wonderful to revisit late Victorian London. The atmosphere Finlay creates is authentic and Arrowood’s animosity towards Holmes adds an interesting twist. Arrowood is a very different detective. Repulsive at times, yet sad and kind-hearted. I couldn’t help but warm to him. His assistant and our narrator Barnett, leads us through the case right to the thrilling climax that had me on the edge of my seat.

Shelley Fallows

Arrowood Synopsis

London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood. The Afghan War is over, a deal with the Irish appears to have brought an end to sectarian violence, but Britain's position in the world is uncertain and the gap between rich and poor is widening. London is a place where the wealthy party while the underclass are tempted into lives of crime, drugs and prostitution. A serial killer stalks the streets. Politicians are embroiled in financial and sexual scandals. The year is 1895. The police don't have the resources to deal with everything that goes on in the capital. The rich turn to a celebrated private detective when they need help. Sherlock Holmes. But in densely-populated South London, where crimes are sleazier and Holmes rarely visits, people turn to Arrowood, a private investigator who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele, and his showy forensic approach to crime. Arrowood understands people, not clues.

Arrowood Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Lisa Redmond - 'The writing is furious and fast paced...This is a fantastic start to what I hope will be a longer series.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Set in 1895 London, ‘Arrowood’ is completely different from the usual thriller – not least the fact the maestro himself Sherlock Holmes, it seems has competition...a truly superb read.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Loving Sherlock Holmes, I was a little apprehensive reading this, but WOW!! no need to fear, it is EXCELLENT, I didn't want it to finish it, It has everything, carriages, mist, fog,  grubby pubs, dodgy men, hopeless coppers, and two wonderful characters you will want to meet again!'
  • Kathy Howell - 'This is a well written book that moves at a good pace with an engaging mystery and likeable characters.  When I received this book I opened it to see what it was like...and struggled to put it down!'
  • Cathy Petersen - 'A good idea that makes for a pleasant, easy read but for me lacked that extra element to make it a really great crime novel.'    
  • Rachael Anderson - 'A light historical crime novel, which is almost a pastiche of the Sherlock Holmes stories.'
  • Jacki Moorcroft - 'Superb story of London in 1895.  Not your upper-class but the poorer street people, vividly brought to life by Mick Finlay in this tale of a missing person which turns out to be so much more.'
  • Keith Currie - 'Arrowood’s determination, Barnett’s decency and drive, the cast of London characters, the presentation of living conditions of the time, the lively dialogue all contribute to an amusing and very entertaining read.'
  • Alfred Nobile - 'This is a tale I would recommend to anyone who wants to smell old London and likes a book with character and evokes the times which it is set in.'
  • Alan Gee - 'a good story, involving murder, London gangsters, Irish terrorists and a cache of stolen British Army rifles'
  • Caye Gould - 'A struggle at times to get into the story for any period of reading time.'
  • Emily Curnow - 'The novel twists and turns throughout until a satisfactory conclusion is realised...Very much enjoyed.'
  • Emily - 'This novel contained everything a 'Sherlock Holmes' inspired story should; a dark criminal underworld and grimy London alleyways, not to mention a cantankerous private detective and his loyal sidekick.'
  • J Hutchinson - 'This is far more than just a Victorian murder mystery and I would love to read more of their cases.'

Arrowood Press Reviews

'A book with enough warmth, charm, humour, and intrigue to signal the start of an excellent new series.' - Vaseem Khan, author of The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008203184
Publication date: 23/03/2017
Publisher: HQ an imprint of Harlequin (UK)
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008203184
Publication date: 23rd March 2017
Author: Mick Finlay
Publisher: HQ an imprint of Harlequin (UK)
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical mysteries,

About Mick Finlay

Mick Finlay was born in Glasgow but left as a young boy, living in Canada and then England. Before becoming an academic, he ran a market stall on Portobello Road, and has worked as a tent-hand in a travelling circus, a butcher's boy, a hotel porter, and in various jobs in the NHS and social services. He teaches in a Psychology Department, and has published research on political violence and persuasion, verbal and non-verbal communication, and disability. He now lives in Brighton with his family.

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