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Book Reviews: A Thief In The Night+ Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula+ Year One Vol2+ Idols+ Roman Dusk

A Thief in the Night by E.W. Hornung, part 2

A Trap To Catch A Cracksman

Raffles is caught in a trap while robbing prizefighter Barney Maguire. Bunny has to save him. This is very good.

The Spoils of Sacrilege
Bunny decides to burgle the family who live in his childhood home. But he and Raffles are caught in the act leading to a chase. Good.

The Raffles Relics
This is set after Bunny and Raffles are exposed as thieves leading to Raffles faking his own suicide and Bunny going to jail. The duo learn that the Black Museum at Scotland Yard are exhibiting Raffles burgling tools so Raffles naturally steals them all back. This is good but has a bittersweet ending.

The Last Word
Bunny's real name is revealed and his love interest returns. Raffles manipulates from beyond the grave. Okay.

Best Line:
"He was a harmless sort of rotter."

~
Victorian Undead II: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula written by Ian Edginton

The follow up to 'Sherlock Holmes vs Zombies'. Dracula arrives in England with plans to conquer. Holmes and Watson must foil him. Van Helsing shows up to annoy and vampire brides in uplifting nightdresses flit around. This is good and action packed.

Best Lines:
"How on earth did Dracula, in his remote Transylvania bastion know of a firm of provincial Exeter solicitors?"

"Living in your own filth in that crumbling charnel house of a castle."

"His hellish harridans!"


~
The Green Hornet Year One Volume Two: The Biggest of All Game script and art direction by Matt Wagner

Back to Chicago 1938. First up, the art is hideous but the story is good. Britt Reid wants his paper to hype The Green Hornet, only one reporter points out that the Hornet hasn't actually done anything villainous. Britt and Kato continue their super-heroing. Elsewhere mob boss Caruso wants rid of the bug man and calls in The Scourge, a truly unpleasant villain.

This has non-linear storytelling, Lenore Case shows up, the workings of the gas gun is explained and is a good, involving gritty tale.

Best Lines:
"Never since the days of the Old West has a man in a mask blown into town and declared himself an enemy of the law."

"I mean, how are you going to sneak around at all hours of the night, out here in the land of gates and gardens, verandas and social registers."

"If this Hornet fellow is such a big gangster, how come no-one's ever heard of him before this? Moreover, where's his gang?"


~
The Green Hornet Volume Three: Idols written by Phil Hester

Kevin Smith's 'Green Hornet' continues as Britt Reid Jnr and Mulan Kato continue the legacy that made their fathers legends. The duo take on a criminal death cult as Kato Snr deals with what is left of Juuma clan.

This has the Green Hornet getting arrested twice, vomiting ninjas, nano-hornets, Kato getting shot and someone finding out who the new Hornet is. This is good as a new ally and a new enemy debut. It does have some dumb moments: nano-hornets and Kato's ID somehow not being uncovered, but one can overlook them.

Best Lines:
"No Reid manor makes you the world's richest homeless man."

"Kevlar weave. Why do you think I wear a trench coat in August?"


~
Roman Dusk by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

A novel of the Count Saint-Germain set in Rome 160AD. The Count is a prosperous merchant but makes an enemy of yet another tax officer (again?!?). He tends to an ailing widow and is drawn to her ill used daughter Ignatia. But Ignatia's younger brother is a Christian convert and takes against the Count. So now the Count has made his first Christian enemy.

The Roman Empire has begun its decline and fall under the decadent Heliogabalus and soon events will conspire to drive the Count from yet another home and from the arms of yet another woman he loves.

Trope Saint-Germian plots (mean tax officials and nasty Christians) aside this is a very good tale of a turning point in the eternal city,
Tags: book review, chelsea quinn yarbro, dracula, raffles, the green hornet
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