The Accidental Detective by Melvyn Small

It’s a real pleasure to join the blog tour for The Accidental Detective by Melvyn Small today and my thanks go to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part. Mel has previously appeared on Linda’s Book Bag with a fantastic guest post you’ll find here when we celebrated The Darlington Substitution and you’ll also find me staying in with Mel here today to find out all about another of his books Three Pint Problems.

However, this post is all about The Accidental Detective which is available for purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The Accidental Detective

Thrown together by the British legal system, Holmes and his court appointed psychologist, Dr John Watson, seem an unlikely pairing… but sometimes the stars align.

Our two heroes are soon drawn into a series of riotous adventures that both bewilder and beguile. Holmes’ mastery of data, deduction and logic combines with his gin-dry wit and a casual contempt for life-threatening danger to ensure there is never a dull moment as he and the good doctor battle the mysteries that have the local constabulary baffled.

The game is afoot… oh yes!

My Review of The Accidental Detective

When I began reading I had no idea that, rather than one narrative, what you have here in The Accidental Detective is independent stories which have links to one another. As a result I enjoyed the book all the more as each story can be enjoyed wholly and satisfyingly when life is too challenging and busy to focus on a full length novel.

Each of The Accidental Detective stories plunges into the narrative from the very first sentence and maintains a cracking pace throughout. I really liked Watson’s authorial voice as it retained a formality that echoes the original character and balanced Holmes’s more expletive driven modern parlance. The quirks and idiosyncrasies of Holmes’ character have been recreated really effectively so that he feels familiar but also realistic and relevant to today’s world. This is not just a pastiche, however, as Melvyn Small’s Holmes is far more politically incorrect, ordinary and down to earth than might be expected. He’s rough and ready, swears continuously and is very willing to become engaged in his own illegal activities but has a social conscience too!

That said, one of the real strengths of The Accidental Detective is the way Melvyn Small balances his Holmes and Watson with sufficient touches from the original Sherlock Holmes books to engage fans and new readers alike. I loved the little references that pay homage to Arthur Conan Doyle’s books as spotting them adds another layer of enjoyment.

The stories themselves are engaging and entertaining. Whilst they are exciting and compelling, they also explore themes that feel fresh and relevant, from reality television to mental health so that there are added hooks for the reader. I thought the historical, geographical and cultural references, woven in particular to Holmes’s direct speech, were inspired.

There’s a real sense of place in the stories too, as Holmes and Watson’s escapades take place in Middlesborough. I loved the northern feel of the stories and the affection in adversity that Melvyn Small seems to weave into his settings and characters placed there. He doesn’t romanticise the north or conform to stereotypes. The setting simply is.

The Accidental Detective might be grounded in the Sherlock Holmes of Arthur Conan Doyle, but there’s more than a touch of Arthur Daley, the Keystone Cops and James Bond here too so that this is a smashing set of stories to divert and entertain the reader. I really enjoyed The Accidental Detective because it was fun and escapist with just enough edge to feel authentic.

About Melvyn Small


Born in Stockton-on-Tees and raised in nearby Billingham, Mel’s natural inclination is towards technical challenges and he has degrees in both Civil and Structural Engineering and Information Technology. It perhaps the requirement for concise communication in these disciplines that has resulted in his concise writing style. An upbringing in Teesside is to blame for the comedy that accompanies his literary output.

Thus far Mel’s published work comprises sixteen short stories and novellas chronicling the adventures of his reimagination of Sherlock Holmes as a dry-witted, working-class northerner plying his trade in present-day Middlesbrough. First published in 2015, these books have gained a cult following, with the upcoming Three Pint Problems being the third volume in the series.

In order to test his writing chops yet further, Mel has also written two full-length novels that are currently working their way through the publication process. Other works in progress include some more adventures for Sherlock Holmes, Boro’s Greatest Detective.

In addition to this, Mel has also spent some time in the recording studio working on original music. This includes The Perfect EP by Melv!s, a soundtrack to one of the aforementioned novels, which is now available to stream on the major channels. The debut single from this initiative, Provisionally Yours, was released in September 2021.

Mel is also the founder of Indipenned, an online portal for the promotion of independent literature.

If you would like an email providing updates on Mel’s various endeavours please sign up to the newsletter.

You can find out more by following Indepenned on Twitter @indipenned and Facebook as well as visiting the website. Mel also has a personal author website and you can follow him on Twitter @northernholmes or find him on Facebook.

There’s more with these other bloggers too:

2 thoughts on “The Accidental Detective by Melvyn Small

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