Stories:
3057
Members:
748
Submitted Reviews:
8736
Reviewers:
353
Reviews By drsteve
# Reviews:
54
# Ratings:
351
Avg Rating:
8

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: drsteveReview Date: 7/20/11 11:51 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Absolutely wonderful. Where, as a massive mystery-novel fan, I should have been disappointed by the almost non-existent level of whodunnit here, this is a wonderful and surprisingly moving drama.

I'm not sure how many other Robot stories there could be, but dammit, I want to hear them!
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: drsteveReview Date: 3/1/11 5:10 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Sometimes when you read a mystery novel, you start to worry that the writer isn?t trying very hard. While the villain of the piece is being kept secret, it seems to be stunningly obvious who it is from the start, and you feel that you?re just treading water until they finally reveal what has been apparent to you from the offset. And sometimes, usually in the best mysteries, the last few chapters feel like you?ve been slapped in the face while the book yells ?Gotcha!? at you, while revealing what has really been going on.

This is one of those books.

This is the third Mervyn Stone mystery by Nev Fountain, as published by Big Finish Productions ? I keep plugging the publisher, by the way, as I?m not sure the books are available in normal bookshops. I?ve reviewed the first two here and here, so it only seems fair to review the third.
Mervyn, script editor of the belated sci-fi soap opera Vixens from the Void, has been hired to help with the 21st century relaunch of the show, mainly because he managed to maintain the rights to the show?s main monsters. Things are going predictably badly when Mervyn starts to realise someone is trying to kill him ? only they?re not doing a particularly good job of it.

I?m probably repeating myself from the other reviews, but this is a superb book. Well written, a likeable protagonist, genuinely funny and most importantly for me, the best plotted mystery that I?ve read for ages. I can?t think of a single aspect of the plot that is completely irrelevant and yet when you finish the book, you?ll be wondering how on earth you didn?t put two and two together. It seems so obvious in hindsight, but I can almost guarantee you won?t sort it out beforehand.

Probably the best of the three books to date, but that like talking about which of three diamonds is slightly shinier than the other two. More soon, please.

This review first appeared in my blog http://www.classicmystery.wordpress.com
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: drsteveReview Date: 3/1/11 5:08 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Mervyn, as the script editor of the fictional TV show Vixens from the Void, is invited to recording of a DVD commentary for an episode, only to find it being picketed by religious protestors due to the fact that the episode is blasphemous. Halfway through the commentary, the writer of the episode opens a water bottle, picked at random from the table, drinks from it and drops down dead ? poisoned. But none of the other bottles are poisoned?

I?ve spoken before of my love of locked room and impossible murders, but it?s been ages since I?ve read a new one. Clearly Nev Fountain is also a fan, as all of the boxes are ticked on a three-layered mystery ? how the trick works, why the trick occurs in the first place and who did it. By the way, it?s not the same solution as Three Act Tragedy, in case you think it sounds familiar.

As in his other books, nothing is irrelevant. The Mervyn Stone books are like jigsaw puzzles ? even the red herrings are essential parts of the overall story. There is plenty of comedy here, probably the least in-jokey of the three books, but as before, this sits alongside the story ? the jokes are not making fun of the format, merely the characters therein.

One warning ? the Mervyn Stone books have some adult content, emphasised here not just in some naughty language but in one particular intimate scene which has to be read to be believed. I?ll say no more, as there might be young people reading this.

If you?re an adult though, or a naughty youngster who?s got their hands on a copy of this, you?ll have one of the finest detective stories of recent years. I honestly can?t recommend this book highly enough.

This review first appeared in my blog http://www.classicmystery.wordpress.com
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: drsteveReview Date: 3/1/11 5:07 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Nev Fountain wouldn?t have necessarily been the first person I would have expected to have written a classic mystery novel. As far as I?m aware, his main achievements in the past have been in radio comedy, although he came to my attention by writing two of the finest audio adventures in Big Finish Productions of Doctor Who. Both Omega and The Kingmaker, starring Peter Davison, are two of my favourites in the range and both very clever twist-filled stories that play with the expectations. So when Big Finish announced they?d be publishing three mystery novels written by Nev, I couldn?t resist.

The set-up of the books is designed to appeal to science fiction fans ? Mervyn Stone, the reluctant detective of the books, was the script editor of Vixens From The Void, a sci-fi soap opera about a matriarchal society, although this was only so that the show could have as many actresses as possible in skimpy costumes. The show has long been cancelled but lives on in the minds of its obsessive fans.

The first book, ?Geek Tragedy?, is set at a Vixens convention and recreates the sheer horror that such a place must be (never been to one and after reading this, never want to), especially from the point of view of a celebrity guest. Nev does have an insider?s view of this, given his partner is Nicola Bryant, Peri from Doctor Who, who must have been through these tortures many times. Needless to say, one of the organisers is murdered and Mervyn decides to investigate.

This is very much a classic style mystery ? it seems that, in common with the other books, everything that happens, happens for a reason, but while you might guess the killer, I?d be impressed if anyone could explain everything before it falls into place. On top of that, I think that the motive, which makes perfect sense, is unique in detective fiction.

I am somewhat curious as to whether someone with no interest in the genre would get as much of the humour as I do, but while there?s plenty of in-jokes, there?s plenty to make you smile if you don?t get these. First and foremost, this is a top-rate mystery novel which I hope gets the readership it deserves.

This review first appeared in my blog http://www.classicmystery.wordpress.com

Community

?>