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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of the Peter and the Starcatcher and Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson, brings us the stirring digital prequel to the Lock and Key series, which reimagines the origins of the rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty.

In The Gadwall Incident, listeners get a glimpse into James' life a mere 24 hours before the tipping point - before life as he knows it changes irrevocably and his childhood slips into the shadows. Listeners will come to know the dangers that surround the Moriartys before James and Moria are sent off to the hallowed halls of Baskerville Academy, where they first meet the insufferable, inexhaustible Sherlock Holmes. It's a tale full of intrigue and false starts and daring getaways, one that will leave listeners desperate to know what's next.

©2016 Ridley Pearson (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • CC
  • 03-16-17

Ok.

I had a hard time finishing this story. I didn't feel the voice was convincingly connected to the characters. I listened to it as a free book on Audible. I am not sure if it would have made a difference if I had read it myself instead of hearing it. I was not taken INTO the story, I always remained on the outside, just listening to it. It was frustrating. Something was lacking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Got me interested

This is a prequel book for Lock & Key. I wasn't sure what to expect for a free prequel but this definitely has me looking forward to Lock & Key. Good story and narration.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good for the Lemony Snicket Crowd

I listened to this audiobook using the Audible for Fire TV to see if this was a good way to listen to books. I have to say, I would have no problem listening to other books this way.

The book itself leaves a bit to be desired. Perhaps because I am reading a book, on my Kindle, that deals with the very real feminist issues of how women (and girls) are expected to behave with regard to men (and boys), I found the way that Moria interacts with her brother James is a glaring example of how NOT to raise a daughter. She had to play the meek, and weaker, sibling to mitigate his ire. Apparently, we are what we read, and the appreciation of one work heavily depends on the one that came before.

Throughout the book, I thought that the narrator was mispronouncing the name Moira. After listening, I went to my audible library and found that the girl's name, in the book, is Moria. My apologies to the narrator.

I am a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes legend. I've read the canon, I go to the movies, and I watch the TV shows. I also read the tales written by authors other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Seeing and reading the variations on the original keeps Holmes a contemporary, as well as historic, character. I'm okay with Holmes using a computer and cellphone in 21st century London, as well as Moriarty being a woman. I think that when I availed myself of this free prequel, I expected a bit more than simply seeing the family surname, Moriarty, as the only hint this was to be a precursor to the Holmes and Moriarty rivalry. In fact, I found Moria to be far more cunning than her brother James. Is this to be a case of 'behind every successful man, there is a woman?'

Overall, the story is interesting, however, the narrator sounded too much like she was reading a bedtime story. It was difficult to determine the age group for which these books are intended. My best guess is that they are aimed at the Lemony Snicket crowd (or from my childhood, readers of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys).

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A retelling of Hardy Boys episode one.

When you listen to this story, you will immediately recall the Hardy Boys "The Mystery of the Haunted House".
The story beats are right on par, unfortunately. The author is old enough to have watched the show on television and 'forgot' the story, so I won't accuse him of any wrong doing, but just be aware that the inspiration for this story is a 1977 Glen A. Larson television show.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Ridley Pearson never disappoint

The book was great, and a quick read. Interesting characters, and engaging storyline. I love it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Difficult

Difficult to keep interested. Seemed like unfinished endinf. Never explained anything that was going on.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nice little story

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Disappointed. Too many things were left unanswered, but I am not curious enough to buy next book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really, I was lost at first because there's little explanation of actually anything. Many things were left open, but it didn't hook me up to continue listening. Story was ok, but at the end I had feeling like nothing really happened.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Myztikal
  • On the Edge of Glory
  • 06-20-17

This Book Wouldn't Be Missed if You Don't Open It

What did you love best about Lock and Key: The Gadwall Incident?

The world building and descriptions. The sibling interactions were plausible but Moria acted older than her age. The missing mother is mentioned too much. Telling us James is her brother often was also annoying.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ridley Pearson again?

I'd read the first two books in the Starcatchers series. I would love to listen to them and complete the series. I would not listen to the Lock & Key series, but would immerse in his other works.

Have you listened to any of Nicola Barber’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first Nicola Barber narrated audiobook. She's a profound narrator and I would have added some of her other works to my Wish List.

Any additional comments?

This was a freebie on Audible. It's worth a freebie, but that's about it.
The narrator is decent and allows one to listen to completion.
The prequel supposedly offers some background to James and Moria's mysteriously missing parents but doesn't necessarily entice one to continue with the series. It's shallow, but few prequels pull me into a story.
The flipping first person Moria POV and third person James POV is trifling and a type I generally avoid.
Mr Ridley's structure is flawless, as we know from his StarCatcher series (which I adored!) In comparison, this was an embarrassing disgrace and let down.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

cute mystery

Good book to listen to while working on something boring. Nice narration. I will listen to the next installment.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dee
  • LA
  • 06-11-17

A great Nancy-Drew-Hardy-Boy type listen

Any additional comments?

I loved that this story dealt with the background of one of my favorite evil villains, Professor James Moriarty. It's told from the POV of two children so it reads read a bit like a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mystery but that's not a bad thing.

The narrator was excellent. The mystery was deftly told. The road trip was full of surprises. All in all, totally worth a listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Emily
  • 06-14-18

Interesting

I haven’t read Lock and Key, and I found this quite interesting. I really liked Moria, and I’d be interested to read more from her perspective. I do feel tempted to start the rest of the series.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-28-17

Good listen

Good listen with a modern day twist Looking forward to the next few installments of the series

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GAYLE S.
  • 05-02-17

Brilliant!

Me and my 9 yr old son loved it! Can't wait to hear next volume :)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-17

suspenseful enough to want more..

... it just ended. ok.. it's worth investigation and possible investment ;) I l love audible free <3