Five Things I Think I Think (March 2024)

Five Things I Think I Think (March 2024)

And it’s another installment of Five Things I Think I Think. Because we all like to tell EVERYONE else our opinions, right? Social media was a godsend for mankind’s overweening self-absorption. Not that I have a problem with that…

Hopefully I hit on an item or two of interest.


Will Thomas has written fourteen novels and one short story featuring Sherlock Holmes’ “hated rival upon the Surrey shore” (“Adventure of the Retired Colourman”). Cyrus Barker is an Eastern-trained private inquiry agent. Thomas Llewelyn is his Watson. I had read the first several novels years ago.

Audible has most of them, and I went back to book one, the aptly-titled Some Danger Involved, and am about to start book eight, Hell Bay. I highly recommend this to Holmes, or Victorian detectives, fans.

Book six (Fatal Inquiry), featuring a character from earlier in the series, was my favorite. Until I read book seven (Anatomy of Evil). That one is a full-blown Jack the Ripper novel. Thomas clearly did extensive research. It’s grounded in practicality, not sensationalism.

I have a pretty good Ripper library. I’d like to dive back into that again some day.

I’m going to continue on with this terrific ‘Holmes adjacent’ series. Check it out. And Will is a Solar Pons fan – clearly a man of taste and refinement!

I talked a little about this series once before, in an essay on not starting your story at the very beginning.


The Wheel of Time is a massive series, covering fourteen books (including the prequel), and around 10,000 pages. I read it over the course of two decades, so I don’t know it nearly as well as I do The Lord of the Rings (I still dig into Tolkien’s world).

So, as I re-watched season one and started season two, I didn’t recognize every change from the source material, though I think I’m pretty attuned to it (I was kinda bummed they left out The Green Man).

Even with the changes, this has been a solid adaptation. They’ve left the story intact, adjusted some, and visually, it’s terrific. I’m enjoying this. Kate Fleetwood, as Liandrin, is stealing every one of her scenes. She’s superb.

I did a series on Rings of Power, which was a mega-budget fan fic. It did a few things okay, but season one was a massive disappointment, and I don’t care if season two never airs. Wheel of Time is a FAR superior adaptation of a fantasy epic. It’s a shame the WoT folks didn’t get to make RoP. They would have done FAR better. It airs on Amazon, and is worth watching.



In January’s Five Things I Think I Think, I talked about Glen Cook’s Garrett, PI. At loose ends on New Years Day, I decided to re-read book five, Dead Brass Shadows (book four is my favorite in the series; I just picked this one at random). I finished that and moved on to the next one. I’ve now read nine in a row, in just over two months. I started the most recent (and possibly final) book in the series over the weekend.

I have quite enjoyed this re-read. And I’ve got a surprise coming for you Garrett fans. More on that soon. Here’s an A (Black) Gat in the Hand essay I wrote about the series.



I play Fortnite with my teen son. I talked about the game here. We both get the battle pass each season and work our way through the quests to get all the rewards. It’s a fun thing we do together. I’m good. He’s better. We actually win about 20% of our Duos games, which is a pretty high rate. I play solo, but he’s the only one I pair up with. We played three games late last night, and won two of them!

There are different themes each season, with different skins (how your character looks, basically). Peter Griffin, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Optimus Prime, Clone Troopers, anime characters, and many more have been used recently. They rolled out a new season this weekend, and for the first time, it’s Greek Mythology. Mt Olympus and Hades are two named locations. And skins included Cerberus, Ares, Hades, Medusa, and Zeus.

Mythology is what got me into fantasy books, and Dungeons and Dragons. The Iliad remains one of my favorite books. I think it’s great that they’re doing Greek gods. And Zeus’ thunderbolts are a sweet weapon! Looking forward to working through the rewards.



I promote my blog stuff on Reddit. Man, Reddit generally makes FB look pleasant. The Lord of the Rings crowd loves to argue and be rude. Mods on Reddit are petty tyrants with no checks on their power. I may give up on it altogether. I don’t need Reddit that badly.

However, I will say, the r/SherlockHolmes subreddit has been pretty cool. I’ve posted a lot of shelfies; some of my old Black Gate posts; and some actual book covers. Folks are polite, and enjoy conversing in the comments. It’s been my favorite group, easily. Hardly anybody leaves a comment solely to disagree.


Five Things I Think I Think (January 2024)

Seven Things I Think I Think (December 2023)

Talking Tolkien: TenThings I Think I Think (August 2023)

A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Ten Things I Think I think (August 2023)

5 More Things I Think: March 2023

10 Things I Think I Think: March 2023

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Bob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ made its Black Gate debut in 2018 and has returned every summer since.

His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate from March, 2014 through March, 2017. And he irregularly posts on Rex Stout’s gargantuan detective in ‘Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone.’ He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He organized Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series, as well as the award-winning ‘Hither Came Conan’ series. Which is now part of THE DEFINITIVE guide to Conan. He also organized 2023’s ‘Talking Tolkien.’

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IV, V, VI, XXI, and XXXIII.

He has written introductions for Steeger Books, and appeared in several magazines, including Black Mask, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, The Strand Magazine, and Sherlock Magazine.

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