Reviews of Arrowood

‘Arrowood is a flawed but engaging hero and the plot spins from peril to twist and back with real panache’ – The Times (London)

Arrowood is a fantastic creation, sweating, beetroot red of face, his stomach bulging, but he works with subtlety — decoding emotions, reading expressions and gestures, seeking evidence in the things that are said, or unsaid, understanding human psychology…’ The Spectator

‘William Arrowood is a Falstaffian fellow who lives behind a pudding shop and prides himself on being “an emotional agent, not a deductive agent,” like his famous nemesis. “I see people,” he boasts. “I see into their souls.” His assistant, Norman Barnett, is content to study the filthy streets teeming with “night-time people” who “stagger and shriek,” blind with drink and despair. Gin is both medicine and religion for many of these slum dwellers, who privately believe that Jack the Ripper is “God’s punishment for the drink.” – New York Times

‘If you ever thought the Sherlock Holmes stories might benefit from being steeped in gin, caked in grime and then left unwashed for weeks…Mick Finlay’s 1895-set detective debut is for you.’ – Crime Scene Magazine

Crackles with energy and wit‘ – The Times (London) Summer Reads

‘This is an intricately woven plot .. The characters are lovingly formed creating a real feeling of that larger than life world of the Victorians .. Finlay has opened the door into Arrowood’s flamboyant Victorian world and his writing will delight.’ – Shotsmag

‘Arrowood feels… like he’s always existed, we’re only now being treated to an introduction. Mick Finlay’s atmospheric, detailed, singular London is a terrifying place I hope to return to again and again.’ – Ross Armstrong, bestselling author of The Watcher

‘A book with enough warmth, charm, humour, and intrigue to signal the start of an excellent new series.’ – Vaseem Khan, author of The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra

Stunningly dark and atmospheric crime debut. This is a story that packs a powerful punch. With murder, intrigue, dark humour, compelling characters and an extraordinary backdrop, it’s to be hoped that Arrowood is just the opener for a thrilling and original new series.’ – Lancashire Evening Post

‘After two chapters, I was wholly immersed in the story and remained so until the end …  I found Arrowood truly enjoyable and I dearly hope that Mick Finlay will continue to write about the flawed duo and their adventures’ – Baker Street Babes

‘The story is complex and is carefully crafted together, culminating in an exciting end, but with sufficient strands left to encourage the reader to follow up in the next book. A very strong start to an original and intriguing premise.’ – Crimesquad

Readers of historical detective fiction will enjoy this well-set, darkly humorous addition to the canon.’ – Historical Novel Society

Exciting, entertaining and incredibly atmospheric, Mick Finlay’s new detective novel is a fine rival for the upper-class Sherlock Holmes. Told through the eyes of Arrowood’s dutiful assistant Barnett (a Doctor Watson type sidekick), this is a Dickensian style tale that conjures a perfect picture of grimy, poverty-stricken London in 1895. Arrowood and Barnett make a great crime-solving duo .. Nineteenth century amateur detectives don’t get much better than the opinionated, overweight and often inebriated Arrowood!’  – Culturefly

‘Oh, I loved this book! I really hope it is the start of a new series as I am hooked .. Arrowood is a detective who hates Sherlock; he’s wildly envious of his famous competitor and is driven into a furious rage every time Sherlock is handed yet another high-profile case. This is despite the fact that Arrowood operates in shady South London – a world away from Sherlock’s posh, West London digs. The case is very twisted, dark and intriguing, making this a fantastic book to travel with. I was completely drawn into this story and even enjoyed reading the grizzly bits (which is unusual for me). I highly recommend this book!’ – Minka Guides

‘The clothes and the trapping may be be mostly Doyle, but the style is all Chandler.’ – The Thrilling Detective Web Site

‘It had to come – and Mick Finlay leads a backlash against the rising tide of Sherlock Holmes imitators with this atmospheric and detailed depiction of a London the Great Detective in any of his representations would hardly recognise in this downbeat, down-at-heel and dark story of Victorian society…..  Finlay is a deft story-teller with a real lightness of touch, which makes this both an interesting and enjoyable read … and one which will hopefully inspire Finlay to further adventures for this likeable alternative detective pairing.’ – John Cleal, Crime Review UK

‘London 1895, gloriously brought to life in all its grizzly glory. Arrowood is a weathered Private Investigator with a soft heart and a weakness for a drink. He shares the same skies as the famous, revered detective, Sherlock Holmes and yet he can only dream of sharing the same accolades and financial rewards .. The atmosphere Finlay creates is authentic and Arrowood’s animosity towards Holmes adds an interesting twist. Arrowood is a very different detective. Repulsive at times, yet sad and kind-hearted. I couldn’t help but warm to him. His assistant and our narrator Barnett, leads us through the case right to the thrilling climax that had me on the edge of my seat.’ – Shelley Fallows, Lovereading

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