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Publisher's Summary

Imagine the twisted evil twins of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Professor James Moriarty - wily, snake-like, fiercely intelligent, terrifyingly unpredictable - and Colonel Sebastian Basher Moran - violent, politically incorrect, debauched. Together they run London crime, owning police and criminals alike. When a certain Irene Adler turns up on their doorstep with a proposition, neither man is able to resist.

An entertaining and wickedly humorous crime adventure from the best-selling author of Anno Dracula.

©2011 Kim Newman (P)2011 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"It's witty, often hilarious stuff. The author portrays the scurrilous flipside of Holmes's civil ordered world, pokes fun at 'guest stars' from contemporary novels and ventures into more outre territory than Conan Doyle even dared." (Financial Times)
"Kim Newman has done something really audacious with Conan Doyle's criminal genius.... The notion of reinventing Moriarty and Moran as malign dopplegangers of Holmes and Watson may have been done before, but not with the firecracker exuberance that Newman brings to it." (Independent)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Newman at His Best

Nobody spins Victorian literature on its ear quite like Kim Newman. I'm already a shameless fan of his Anno-Dracula series, and I have yet to read anything else of his that I thought was less than sub-par. This book fits right in with his proven track record.

This particular story is actually a handful of stories, all written from the memoirs of Moriarty's right-hand thug, Col. Sebastian Moran. What's inside? Depravity, cunning, top-notch characterization, and humor.

Not only do we get to see inside Moriarty's genius through the eyes of his loyal operative, we also get a look at the likes of Raffles, Lupin, Irene Adler (a rather obnoxious but humorous take on her), and of course, Holmes himself. And there are plenty others. The more you know about the pulp greats of that age, the better Newman's books are, but don't let that deter you. These books are gateways to discovery. The plots for this one are ingenius. My personal favorite from this one? Moriarty defiles the reputation of a former student by staging a martian invasion. The weapon of choice: vampire squid. It's priceless.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Rollicking good story, great reader

I can't recommend this audiobook highly enough.

Kim Newman tells Moriarty's criminal exploits in his associate Colonel Moran's voice. Colonel Moran makes the novel. He's a charismatic, unapologetic sociopath with an unquenchable relish for action. He loves to hunt and bags tigers, natives and Moriarty's enemies with equal verve.

Tom Hodgkins delivers a pitch-perfect performance, with a very convincing accent for a Victorian English colonel. What really makes the performance is the way he transmits Colonel Moran's unabashed relish in his dastardly deeds.

Colonel Moran loves action, even when the odds are stacked against him. This is an action-packed narrative of unscrupulous derring-do, and Hodgkins' rendering of Moran's voice makes it come alive.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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excellent fun if you are a sherlockian

I enjoyed Anno Dracula and was so disappointed in Bloody Red Baron that I didn't go to this one for a long time even though it was already in my library. Mistake. This is by far Newman's best. I would take stars away from Anno and give extras to this if i could. at times funny, bawdy, adventurous. nod's to not only sherlock of course, but victorian lit all over the place and even some others. a lot of fun. the irene adler episode, the red planet league, and the hound are my favorites, but the others are fun too. narrator is great, the voice is great and the stories are great. enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well written but overly misogynistic

I️ stuck with this through 9 solid chapters, but eventually began hating myself for continuing to listen to the repeated misogyny and gratuitous verbal abuse of women and girls. In holding with the characters’ attributes, it makes perfect sense and fits right in with the storyline. The stories are very well written and mostly enthralling, but for me wasn’t worth the trade.

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not really sure what to make of it...

I liked the story overall but the ending makes me dislike the journey. I say this because I'm not sure where to go with this is a memoir of colonel Moran's story. I as an audience member don't know if they are following the Holmes stories or going in completely different directions.

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  • sherri
  • Kirkland, WA, United States
  • 05-25-14

Lively action and equal opportunity insults

Unlike Newman's Dracula book (I didn't find Anno Dracula interesting), this one is fast-paced, humorous and worth a listen for the bon mots alone. Colonel Moran is hilariously amoral and cynical. The Holmes-Watson world is turned inside-out. Moriarity, for instance, cultivates wasps and takes great satisfaction in their deadly effects on experimental subjects. The action rushes along a little too quickly in places. I don't know if I cared whether there was any action at all; I was that captivated by the language.

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Interesting premise

I was excited to listen to this 'take' on Moriarty and Moran and enjoyed most of it. I especially liked to pick out the parallels between Moriarty's life and that of the "thin man from Baker Street", ie: the hound, landlady, the Woman, wasps vs bees, etc. It was occasionally cumbersome, however, with so many details and characters who had no part in the story. My only other complaint was the author's treatment of Irene Adler. Added to that was the narrator's voice of The Woman as a whiney Jersey girl.

Having said that, it did hold my interest. The ending was PERFECT!

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  • Franklin
  • Libertyville, IL, United States
  • 07-01-13

A darn fine time with replay value to spare

Just a fun, fun book.

Kim Newman handles these characters in a fresh, engaging way. His writing is entertaining and feels appropriate for a 19th century narrator without falling into the frequent pitfalls of a pastiche/vintage remix-I.E., slavishly following 19th century storytelling conventions that haven't translated well, shoehorning in too much period language, etc etc. He also manages to pack in plenty of cameos from turn of the century favorites without leaving the reader feeling like he's missing something if they don't pick up on them.

I also found narrator Tom Hodgkins' performance to be excellent. The characters sound distinct, and the numerous accents that crop up are handled well.

I will say that if you hold the canonical versions/stories of some characters-particularly the thin detective of baker street and his trusty companion-to be sacrosanct you may not like how Mr. Newman portrays them. However, to paraphrase a classic TV show, if you're wondering how this all can be reconciled with the original stories, and other literary facts, just repeat to yourself its just a book I should really just relax.

In short: its great fun.

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Disappointing.

I enjoy reading Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes but found this alternate version of Moriarty very tedious and difficult to follow. Most books keep my attention but this did not. I kept drifting away to other things while listening. I could care less about the characters or what they were doing. I didn't see any point to the story. I agree with Chelice's take on this novel, who said more eloquently what I thought.

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  • Alifa
  • Jerusalem, Israel
  • 03-04-13

Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles

Sherlock Holmes, eternally popular, practically invites spoofing, and this is one of the greatest spoofs ever, especially fun if you enjoy that very English game of Literary References. If you've read a few thousand English books, you'll catch the many references, including, of course, the title itself. The stories also bring to mind George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series, but this is a lot more discreet about sex (and overall, Flashman was pretty discreet in his own jaunty way, too). The stories are intricate; the evil characters are evil, and Moriarty makes a perfect foil for the "thin man," and the book ends, as one might expect, at Reichenbach Falls. A ripping good read or listen. The reader, Tom Hodgkins, was excellent throughout.

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  • James
  • 12-23-11

Rather wonderful

Sebastian 'Basher' Moran (the 2nd most dangerous man in London) details a few of his adventures with a certain Professor Moriarty.
Whilst similar in structure to those of their more famous contemporaries, it's all just a lot more fun.

The book is a rather lovely combination of Kim's love of the original source topped with an application of some superior characterization and, I know I'm repeating myself here, 'fun'. I was a little uncertain before downloading, but both the book and the narration had me grinning like a loon throughout. It dovetails beautifully with the stories of the now almost insufferable goody-goody pair to such an extent I find myself wondering what these two were up to throughout those more pedestrian chronicles.
I want more of this. Please?

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Dwiver
  • 12-06-11

Awesome

This is a fantastic story, beautifully read. The author has put flesh on the bones of some of Sir Arthur’s villainous characters. It’s amazed me to discover how much they got away with before they fell foul of Mr Holmes.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sara
  • 01-05-12

Excellent

I listen to audiobooks while I do housework etc to make the time go a bit quicker and I found myself clearing out wardrobes simply to listen to the next chapter. I am not a huge Sherlock holmes fan but I know the basic characters and they are all woven very skillfully in this excellent tale.I would recommend to anyone.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • K
  • 09-28-16

A lively romp

Where does Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's a really enjoyable read. It's not a masterpiece by any means and is, at times, derivative or a simple pastiche of other novels, although, I believe it was written to be so and is a great lark because of that.

What other book might you compare Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles to, and why?

Obviously, Sherlock Holmes - his nemesis Moriarty is the subject of the novel - but also George MacDonald Fraser's 'Flashman' has been mercilessly but appropriately ripped off in the guise of the narrator, Basher Moran.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There are shorter tales in this larger work - they are all amusing and at times actually make you guffaw. The last tale is a little convoluted and not as jaunty, though.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

You could have done - it is a good old fashioned ripping yarn - but, you can also happily play as fast and loose with it as Basher does with his fillies.

Any additional comments?

A light-hearted cracker. Definitely one you could read again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Batwench
  • 04-08-13

Brilliant

Kim Newman writes this as an interesting take on the Sherlock world from the other side of the table, namely Moriarty and his 'right hand man' Colonel Sebastian Moran who is the main narrator of this book. Do not expect just one 'case' but a series of short stories that do link with each other. Also, it is very funny and I did get a few odd looks when laughing out loud when listening to this in a public place. It is book that I know I will be returning to time and time again. If you are a Holmes purist it may not be for you but give it a go and you might be surprised.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tod Werewolf
  • 10-26-16

jolly good yarn

well written story in a modern Victorian style.
I enjoyed the slant on the sherlock Holmes books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • steffen
  • 05-28-13

Fantastic Fantasy that fills in the blanks

If you are a fan of the good Mr Holmes, do treat yourself to this.

And a treat is what it will be, filling in the other side of the story. I only wish more was written to continue the tales

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 04-13-13

Excellent

Kim Newman has captured the spirit of Conan doyles villan and his co-hort in this thrilling turn on the classic Holmes stories. An absolute must for all Holmes fans and non Holmes fans alike

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria
  • 03-22-12

Surprisingly entertaining

...and very well read. A series of stories in the vein of Conan Doyle but from Professor Moriarty's and Sebastian Moran's perspective. Sherlock Holmes people will enjoy this listen very much because I did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Slyboots
  • 12-03-17

Sub Flashman parody

What disappointed you about Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles?

The narration was well executed, but the stories themselves were a rip off from Flashman - manuscript discovered which turns out to be the memories of a cad. Unlike Flashman however it provided no great insight into the events of the era described and the humour seemed forced and much too self aware.

Has Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles put you off other books in this genre?

Yes - specifically books by this author.

What about Tom Hodgkins’s performance did you like?

The narration was very well done, but that wasn't enough to keep my interest.

Any additional comments?

I'm out of step with most reviews of this audio book so you might like it. I would strongly suggest that you try the sample before you buy the product.

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  • christine griffiths
  • 02-18-16

Professor moriarty

Best books I've listened to moriarty. Sherlock Holmes Watson j and all the books based around Pinkerton and London police and all the other main characters. I wish I could find them all and I loved Julian Rhind Tutt playing Moriarty but calling himself Chase. Julian does a good American and David Succinct (real Hercule)
Moriarty are good listening books