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Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder

A Sherlock Holmes Adventure
Narrated by: Simon Darwen
Series: Sherlock Holmes Adventure, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Summary

The new audiobook from the author of Art in the Blood.

December 1889. Fresh from debunking a 'ghostly' hound in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, only to find himself the target of a deadly vendetta.

A beautiful client arrives with a tale of ghosts, kidnapping and dynamite on a whisky estate in Scotland, but brother Mycroft trumps all with an urgent assignment in the South of France.

On the fabled Riviera, Holmes and Watson encounter treachery, explosions, rival French detective Jean Vidocq...and a terrible discovery. This propels the duo northward to the snowy highlands. There, in a 'haunted' castle and among the copper dinosaurs of a great whisky distillery, they and their young client face mortal danger, and Holmes realizes all three cases have blended into a single deadly conundrum.

In order to solve the mystery, the ultimate rational thinker must confront a ghost from his own past. But Sherlock Holmes does not believe in ghosts...or does he?

©2017 Bonnie MacBird (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"If the original 60 Holmes stories aren't enough for you, read Bonnie MacBird's Unquiet Spirits for another dram of the Great Detective. MacBird deftly blends a series of grisly murders and dark secrets from Holmes's past into a strong brew!" (Leslie S. Klinger, editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes)
"A superb Sherlockian adventure. Bonnie MacBird's take on Holmes and Watson is inventive and true to the canon, a splendid blend of fast-paced action and detection in a deliciously gothic Highland setting. I can't wait for her next book." (Dana Cameron, BSI, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity award-winning author of the Emma Fielding mysteries)
"Pour yourself a wee dram, toss another peat on the fire, and prepare to be swept up in the great detective's Highland fling. MacBird's spooky, scholarly, thoroughly 'spirited' follow up to Art in the Blood is a triumph of voice, place, and plotting. Highly recommended for fans of Sherlock, Scotland, and whisky lovers everywhere." (Catriona McPherson, best-selling author of the multiaward-winning Dandy Gilver series)

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good plot

After listening to this book, I must say I found the story as a whole very good. However I struggled with the narration. Although the narrator delivered the story clearly and with passion when needed. His voice sounded too modern.

It didn’t match with the era. An older more well spoken gentleman would have allowed me to picture Holmes in the way that I’m use to.

This is however my own opinion and I am, by now means suggesting that the narration wasn’t any good. It just made it very difficult for me to connect with the characters. Leading me not to enjoy the book as much.

5 people found this helpful

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Rather a waste of time

Poor narration of a poor imitation of Conan Doyle ‘s work . I finished only because it helped to pass the time while I redecorated and it required no attention. I had solved the crime a very long time before Sherlock.

6 people found this helpful

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Great Listen hope there will be more

Great listen hope there will be more , if you like Sherlock books this is for you

1 person found this helpful

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On the edge of my seat

This story kept me captivated throughout. A great narrator knows how to grasp the essence of the story as well as what the author wants to say and how it should be said.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome combination

Awesome combination - wonderful story and wonderful reading... being a Sherlock Holmes fan.. just loved it...

1 person found this helpful

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Good story, badly read

Good story, badly read by an enthusiastic narrator who just wasn't right for the tone of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Poor story, awful narration

Really quite poor and such a disappointment following on from her previous Holmes book. Anachronistic prose, that does not follow the Conan Doyle style.
Worst of all is the narrator with only two voices: his own and a “Scottish” accent. Completely impossible to tell who is talking. His style in no way captures the feeling of Sherlock Holmes tale.
As he is the narrator for the third book, I will not be buying it.

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another great book by MacBird ..But

as a Scottish person who lives in Aberdeen I find the voice performance lacking and at points offensive. Mr Darwen also has a Holmes voice that is underwhelming at times and somewhat indistinguishable from Watson. The story is great I do question the speed in which they travel around Victorian Scotland by steam train in the winter but that is nit picking.

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Fair Story

The storyline is fair although the solution was obvious from some way out. The too-frequent use of American idiom was jarring and the chronic lack of variation evident in the the reader made this an occasionally painful experience; the lurch from Scottish-to some brand of Northern Irish accent...and back in a single sentence was a little disconcerting on a few occasions. The previous Bonnie MacBird offering, 'Art in the Blood' had similar problems with the book's use of language (and other issues- er...Sherlock Holmes being the originator of 'mindfulness'?) but was salvaged for me, at least in part, by the reader. This was not the case this time. Any aficionado of the original Conan Doyle oeuvre could assist MacBird to authenticate the idiom to remove any obvious lapses... and the reader problem could be addressed by choosing one better suited to the material and cast of characters.

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terrible narrating !!!

The book seem to be interesting. but reader was Awful and Poor!! I couldn't understand what he was saying he read to fast!
So I return it back! disappointing really

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  • D. R. H.
  • 18-10-17

Good story, but.......

The story was fine but I think the author should have made up her own characters instead of using the Sherlock Holmes characters. It was unbelievable as a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Watson and Sherlock were completely out of character from the norm in this rendition. Every time there was an opportunity to apply Sherlock’s incredible deductive capability’s, the ball was dropped and he was made to look like a fool. She even had him crying. Seriously!!!!

27 people found this helpful

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  • D. D. Perkins
  • 07-10-17

Well worth a binge listen.....

Get ready to get hooked in from page one. I couldn't put it down. Multiple plots and mysteries require both Holmes and Watson to solve. The characters are well defined by the author, and the narrator does a great job interpreting the dialogue. I'm looking forward to another work from this author.

5 people found this helpful

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  • C. Brown
  • 27-08-17

Kept me from getting my work done

What did you love best about Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder?

In other reviews, I was quite disappointed with “The Beekeeper’s Daughter” and “The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes.”
Now we have the books those could have been.
Ms. MacBird has two very similar women in Mlle. Emmeline La Victoire (Art in the Blood) and Aila MacClaren (Unquiet Spirits).
Smart enough to be confident, their primary affect is not the need to prove themselves, but rather the confidence not to hide their own light. They are smart, but open to the insights and accomplishments of others. Holmes and Watson are not dumbed down to make these women shine; they don’t need that.
They earn our respect without themselves being disrespectful, and without doubling down on Holmes’s more Asperger traits.
I never tire of well-written Holmes and Watson, but Aila MacClaren is poised to become the female detective the genre’ has been waiting for.
As compared with Doyle’s writing, Ms. MacBird’s characters feel right, but are more three-dimensionally developed. Watson, in particular, is more fleshed out and admirable, without breaking character.
The plots are more complex than Doyle’s, and the solving bits are comparable. The adventure element is brought out more, and I don’t how much physical abuse Holmes can survive at Ms. MacBird’s hands …
It’s been a long time since a book was so engrossing that I actually shirked some of my duties to keep reading, but both of MacBird’s books had that effect on me.

What other book might you compare Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder to and why?

Nicholas Meyers' Holmes books.

What about Simon Darwen’s performance did you like?

Darwen was fine. His rendition of Sherlock is a bit querulous, and he has a little trouble juggling a Scottish accent and nuanced inflection simultaneously.

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

Oh, my. Yes!

Any additional comments?

More, please.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen W Osborne
  • 08-02-18

A Very Un-Holmsian Holmes

This was closer to the TV show SHERLOCK rather than anything from the pen of Doyle. The case itself was interesting, and exciting in places, but Holmes acted so unlike the Great Detective that I was immensely disappointed. There was a huge argument between Holmes and Watson which didn't sit well with me, and there seemed no resolution to it...no mention of it again, as if it never happened!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 09-04-18

Good Mystery, but the characters were odd

Would you try another book from Bonnie MacBird and/or Simon Darwen?

Maybe

Which character – as performed by Simon Darwen – was your favorite?

Wonderful narration, I loved all the Scottish accents.

Did Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

Just kind of an odd book. If Sherlock Holmes if it had not been in the title, I would have never guessed this book was about him.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 07-02-19

Overacted and lost story

I just had to give up. I love Sherlock Holmes books but this is overacted and the story was all over the place.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Raymond
  • 05-04-20

loved it

Good old fashioned thriller. The story was fun with twists and turns and plenty to keep you guessing.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M B Yorton
  • 09-03-20

Very good Story, tho not quite my old Sherlock

An interesting & well-told murder(s) mystery, but it would've been just as good if the detective and side-kick had different names & it were placed in a different context. There is no real Holmesian insight or solutions beyond what any other popular fictitious detective would've done. Worth reading, just don't expect a Doyle-like story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-01-20

a fun ride

it is in similar vains to the classics with a nice new touch, well worth the listen!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Lee
  • 01-12-19

Great sequel but average voice acting

The narration is not as good as the first book’s in that Holmes’ voice is often quite similar to Watson’s, and that leads to occasional confusion. Great plot, but I wish they had gotten the narrator from the first book.