Reviews: Moriarty Meets His Match

From Steve Donoghue, Historical Novel Society Reviews.

“Anna Castle launches a new series of Sherlock Holmes pastiche novels starring none other than Professor Moriarty with this completely winning volume, Moriarty Meets His Match. The professor comes under suspicion of murder for a crime he believes was orchestrated by his nemesis, Lord Nettlefield. Evidence is being gathered against him by Sherlock Holmes, but when the suspicion shifts to the alluring American heiress, Angelina Gould, Moriarty’s motivation to clear his name is doubled by his wish to clear hers as well.

“Fans of both Sherlock Holmes and the man he dubbed the ‘Napoleon of Crime’ will absolutely love Castle’s fidelity to the details and atmosphere of the canon, and newcomers who have never read Arthur Conan Doyle (or, for that matter, John Gardner’s great Moriarty novels) will also find themselves eagerly reading along, thanks to Castle’s great skill as a storyteller.

“She knows very well the instinct her readers will have to cast Holmes as the hero and Moriarty as the villain of any story, and she skillfully and often quite wryly subverts those expectations – and delivers a fascinating whodunit in the process.

“Enthusiastically recommended.”


From D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

“Fans of Anna Castle’s prior Murder by Misrule, as well as newcomers who relish Sherlock Holmes will both be delighted by Moriarty Meets His Match, a different take on the usual Sherlock or Holmes focus which centers upon Holmes adversary Moriarty’s life and perspective.

“Here Professor Moriarty’s life has been challenged by Sherlock even as he faces a newfound romance that could be destroyed by his own obsessions and penchant for problem-solving.

“It’s intriguing to note that few other accounts have delved into the psyche and motivations of Moriarty from his perspective rather than that of Holmes and his troop. In adopting a focus that questions some well-established Holmes ideas and approaches, Castle has created a truly riveting and thought-provoking mystery that ultimately surveys the nature of good intentions and evil itself.

“As Moriarty Meets His Match progresses in a cat-and-mouse series of escapades tempered by a romance with Angelina, readers receive a riveting sequence of events in which Angelina’s own investigations and strengths provide a satisfying, powerful juxtaposition to the main protagonists.

“From compelling motives for murder and the convoluted special interests uncovered by Moriarty to different scenarios promising alternative outcomes, Moriarty here assumes a Holmes-like precision in analyzing events to their logical progression: “Moriarty poured himself a cup of coffee, working by touch, and took a sip. The bitterness suited this new train of thought. In this scenario, his role was merely to sharpen the lady’s skills and provide a little entertainment. He couldn’t bring himself to explore the possibility that she and her paramour were deliberating trailing him before Holmes and the authorities as a suspect.”

“His efforts sometimes lead to obstacles (“He’d come full circle. The ability to generate alternative theories was as much a curse as a blessing. He ladled a heaping spoonful of sugar into his coffee. The bitterness wasn’t helping.”), but one of the big pleasures of Moriarty Meets His Match is that, here, Moriarty is as much of a hero – and as savvy – as his counterpart Holmes.

“Having Moriarty be the central focus, without the constant interference of consulting detective Holmes and his sidekick, lends him a persona well suited to equal Holmes’ observational style and analytical prowess. Holmes and Moriarity work together in harmony for a while as they investigate a case, Moriarty is determined to keep one step ahead of Holmes’ processes and procedures (“…he had to see this through himself. He must remain abreast of Holmes’s inquiry, and the best way to accomplish that was to be made an active participant.“), and as he faces ongoing challenges from Holmes, he hones a direction which diverges from Holmes’ detail-oriented approach.

“From sabotage to possible motives, Holmes and Moriarity’s increasingly complex, dangerous involvements in uncertain motives make for a riveting mystery that will involve and delight readers as they explore more facets of Moriarity’s character than traditional Holmes accounts provide.

“Sherlock Holmes fans will find Moriarty Meets His Match exquisitely well-done: true to the nature and characters of both men, but adding extra dimensions to Professor Moriarty’s character that greatly enhance the entire Holmes scenario. Very highly recommended as a ‘must’ for Sherlock enthusiasts and anyone who relishes a good whodunit mystery.”


From Publisher’s Weekly BookLife

In this witty series launch set in Victorian London from Castle (the Francis Bacon mysteries), Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis, is no criminal mastermind. Rather, he’s an assistant examiner at the Patent Office, with a firm and fierce sense of justice. At the vast and hugely popular International Inventions Exhibition, Moriarty is on hand to unmask the anomalies in a newly designed steam engine. When the engine explodes, killing a man, Moriarty realizes that he must find out who tampered with the device or risk being blamed for the death. Shortly before this tragedy, Moriarty meets a beautiful American widow, Angelina Gould, who has come to London, ostensibly for the 1885 social season. As the mutual attraction between Moriarty and Angelina blossoms, the cunning lady introduces the professor to both love and larceny. As the subtitle suggests, the pair eventually wed. Readers will look forward to the couple’s further adventures. (BookLife)


From Ashton Tenby at Self-Publishing Review

Moriarty Meets His Match by Anna Castle is a mystery novel woven and detangled by Sherlock Holmes’ famous nemesis, James Moriarty, and his complicated love, Angelina Gould.

In this who-done-it, Professor James Moriarty wraps himself up in an investigation that revolves around burglary and murder, initially to save his own skin, but as he comes to know the beautiful and mysteriously complicated Angelina Gould, he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock may be surprised to find a kindhearted and heroic Moriarty at the heart of this first novel of Castle’s series. Readers have come to know this character as an evil, criminal mastermind, but Castle reinvents him. While he is still mischievous, and shows a possible propensity for crime down the line, even the greatest Sherlock fan cannot help but find empathy for this notorious character.

In addition to skillfully written prose, Moriarty Meets His Match is wonderfully well-researched. Set in 1885 London, it revolves, in part, around the International Inventions Exhibition and the Tower Spherical Engine. Castle exquisitely paints the scene of this bustling fair and the intricate workings of the engine, so readers are able to closely follow and uncover clues with the characters on this wild ride. The resolution of the plot leaves the reader looking for more, making this an electric start to a new series. Readers won’t have to wait, as the second book in the series, Moriarty Takes His Medicine, is already available.


From Jennie Rosenblum at Jennie Reads

I admit that I am a bit of a Sherlock Holmes fan.  Not a serious die hard fan but more of a fan of the spin off books like the Mary Russell series by Laurie King.  So, when I saw this book, I was intrigued but cautious and packed it into my kindle for a vacation read.  This book is written from the point of view of Moriarty – James to be exact.  And the lovely Angelina Gould, a recent widow (or is she – as she has problems recalling if the “not real” husband has been dead 12 or 18 months).

James is quietly working away at the Patent Office but a minor disagreement and a chance to show his superior knowledge leads to an explosion and a murder investigation by Sherlock Holmes.  James is suddenly the prime suspect.  The scenes between James and Angelina are beautifully done with romance, humor and intrigue.

I also loved the minor characters such as Sandy, Angelina’s twin siblings and Mrs. Peacock.  All of them add color and humor to the story.  The author has definitely done her research enhancing the story with great details from the exhibit halls to royal society to fashion.  I found the quirky humor and tongue in cheek scenes very entertaining.  I can’t wait to jump into the second book – Moriarty Takes His Medicine.

Oh and the cherry on top of the this lovely sundae – the Author is a local Texan!

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