Audiobook Blog Tour | feat. a new installment of Sherlock Holmes “Murder in Keswick” writ by William Todd, narrated by Ben Werling – the duo I previously enjoyed listening to earlier in [2018]! feat. during #cloakanddaggerchristmas

Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Murder in Keswick” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with William Todd on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to listen to ‘Murder at Keswick’:

As soon as you hear Mr Werling’s voice inside your headphones as your listening to A Reflection of Evil – you can denote how authentically Holmes is being portrayed in this story! There is a particular appeal for me to find another writer who can give us more of the cases Holmes might have investigated as I do love how Holmes worked out the methodologies of the cases he took on as he truly had a brilliant mind; all of us can agree about that. Yet, there is a particular voice to Holmes and I was quite wicked happy finding it coming through so very loud and clear!

We are given a short introduction of the current state of affairs by Dr Watson, who of course, is setting the stage for how this mystery shall unfold. Apparently they had recently been passing through a rather somber period of where no new mysteries were needing to be solved and in essence, the two of them were occupying their hours in wait for one to arrive post haste. It is 1896, the cusp of a new century is about to burst on the horizon – where Watson was seeking something out of the paper to draw Holmes out of his reverie. In true Holmes nature, it didn’t surprise me the reasons he gave Watson for downplaying the urgency of finding ‘lost dogs’ as you can tell how this would be beneath the great detective as it wouldn’t exercise his need to sleuth out the clues to the caliber he was used to experiencing.

In true Holmes fashion, he likes to entertain himself by solving something he finds imperative to understand – here we find him messing about with locking mechanisms which of course proved to be quite interesting as he was about to have an unexpected visitor. For some reason, this brought to mind many a scene from Elementary where Watson would find herself encircled by a project Holmes had strewn throughout the house in order to gain a better perspective about whatever it was which made sense only to his eyes of thought. Even finding Mrs Hudson had a strong voice and the personality of having long weathered Holmes demands felt fitting – as she had to put up with so much when it came to Holmes hearing him dictate the things he wanted at the market was not a shocked surprise!

-quoted from my review of A Reflection of Evil

As soon as I started listening to this audiobook series, I *knew!* I had found another after canon for Holmes I could stand behind and cheer the author on as he continues to develop these stories! There is something innately authentic about them – you’ll notice it as soon as you hear and/or read them and I, for one, am thankful I had the chance to listen to another one so soon after the first! As I started off the year on such a strong footing of #newtomeauthors and it is lovely I get to end the year on a similar note!

If you are unfamiliar with Mr Todd’s spin on Holmes, you might enjoy knowing I had this to stay about his adaptive styling of a Sherlockian story:

I truly loved the language and articulation of the characters’ thoughts as spirited through how Mr Todd etched out a familiar dialogue of a traditional Holmes story-line. You can find this tale could be easily inserted into the canon, to offer a clue to some of the missing cases Holmes could have tackled during those moments we were unfamiliar with his wanderings. Even the way in which he had Holmes and Watson conferring with each other was quite lovely as they were acting in the manners in which we’ve grown accustomed to them being found.

It was just the focus on Holmes himself which endeared me to this story, but rather how equal I found Watson being focused upon as well. Watson sometimes can become overshadowed by Holmes, but in this novella, it felt as if Watson had his equal due of the spotlight which was wonderful as you get to see how he thinks out what he’s observing whilst you get a small insight how he is as a doctor when a crisis an arise. I truly enjoyed getting to know Watson a bit better in this vein of light and of seeing how the duality of the narrative shifting between both his and Holmes’ perspectives were aptly handled by Mr Todd.

Everything about this novella felt true to the spirit of Holmes, which is what I was hoping to find inside it. I enjoyed watching how Mr Todd pulled everything together – from how he moved from changing the points of view between the characters we all know and love and the new ones who were giving Holmes quite a good chase! I am looking forward to seeing more by Mr Todd where he embraces his Holmes inclinations and gives us all a lovely collection of stories we can read alongside the original canon with a heap of joy.

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Audiobook Blog Tour | feat. a new installment of Sherlock Holmes “Murder in Keswick” writ by William Todd, narrated by Ben Werling – the duo I previously enjoyed listening to earlier in [2018]! feat. during #cloakanddaggerchristmasMurder in Keswick
by William Todd
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Ben Werling

While on a well-deserved holiday in the Lake District to get away from the toils and troubles of London, Holmes and Watson find no respite. As soon as they exit the train, they hear news of a grisly murder making its way around the murmuring commuters. A local aristocrat, Mr. Darcy, has been found missing his head!

And that very night, the wealthy widow finds a stranger in her home who, upon seeing her, abandons his plans and quickly leaves. She believes the intruder to be the murderer of her husband who is now after a large sum of cash she keeps in the house safe.

Unsure if the would-be thief is the murderer or an opportunistic burglar, Holmes devises a plan to catch the burglar, all the while investigating the murder of Mr. Darcy. Follow Holmes, Watson, and the local constable Mr. Wickham as they untangle the mystery surrounding a Murder in Keswick.

Genres: After Canons, Classic Detective, Classical Literature, Crime Fiction, Literary Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Short Story or Novella

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing


Also by this author: Guest Post about A Reflection in Evil, Sherlock Holmes in a Reflection in Evil

Also in this series: Sherlock Holmes in a Reflection in Evil

Published by Self Published

on 16th October, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 2 hours and 38 minutes (unabridged)

Self Published Audiobook

William Todd’s Sherlock Holmes stories:

Sherlock Holmes in A Reflection of Evil

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Broken Window

Sherlock Holmes and the Murder at Keswick

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About William Todd

William Todd

I have been writing online since the early 2000’s, primarily writing horror stories in the style of Poe and Lovecraft. I was the 2nd most popular author on the website for two years before moving on.

I had my first book, a Victorian era horror compilation called Bumps in the Night, published by Mystic Moon Press just a week before they closed their website and never saw my hard work pay off. Afterwards I took publishing into my own hands, became an Indie author and haven’t looked back. My first self-published book was Dead of Night, another compilation of Victorian horror stories, published September 2016 by Createspace and on Kindle by KDP.

After its publication I left my comfort zone for mystery and wrote a short story about Sherlock Holmes in the Conan Doyle style. I loved it so much I then did a longer story A Reflection of Evil, both published in 2017 through Createspace and KDP. I have just released Beyond the Gossamer Veil, another compilation of both Victorian and modern supernatural/horror stories and am in the beginning stages of my third Sherlock Holmes installment.

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my review of murder in keswick:

Watson returns! And, his dry wit and humour regarding recollecting the adventures of Holmes is beautifully intact, too! As we continue to walk through the unknown cases Holmes engaged in and of which Watson, now at long last has chosen to share with us all. The pair are on their way to their holiday in Northern England – you can even hear the train in the background – as they journey towards a softer gentler side of the country. With Watson’s classic confidence, he projects his impressions over Holmes’ need of respite and how this is as much as a holiday for his personal wellness as much as a treat outside the city they regularly haunt!

As we overhear the concern in Watson’s voice on behalf of Holmes, we see how close their friendship had grown – as the good Doctor recognises the need in Holmes to solve cases, as it was the only outlet for his overactive mind. The worry of course for now is the idleness to set in and for boredom to creep into the foreground of his dear friend. A fate worst than half as this would lead Holmes down a darker road than any backlit alley he chases down for a clue on one of his cases! Hearing it from Watson’s point of perspective, it feels almost ideal how this train journey to Keswick would allow both men to be well at ease in a smaller towne – where surely the pace of life here would be less than foul?

No sooner did they disembark from the train, than a case presents itself – by a cheery chap willing to reveal the details of a gruesome crime so soon discovered it was still unsolved. As Holmes and Watson make their way through the towne, they observe the normalcy round them. How the townespeople haven’t yet realised their area is now muddled with crime and the two gallant gentlemen off the train are intending to explore the grittier underground of their small community. You would almost want to be at the Constabulary ahead of them, just to see for yourself how they would handle their unexpected presence with their usual congeniality of excitement for a case presenting itself for them to solve.

As the Keswick local authorities talk to Holmes and Watson about the community at large, they start to notice how this small area isn’t generally accustomed to this kind of crime. Getting to see the recently deceased took no time at all – for the local Constabulary was thankful to have the two give their twopence insight into what might have befallen the bloke! The exchange of facts and observations was lively – especially as different voices were being added to make those distinctions in the cast, allowing us the illusion of a room full of people rather than a singular narrator! I love when the world within an audiobook expands like this and gives us a sensation of a larger scope of its breadth!

It doesn’t take long for Holmes to show his deductive ingenuity – shifting the focus of the investigation before the local authorities could sort out anything as decisive! I was not surprised the pacing of the case took a decidedly faster pace – as now that they had a place to seek out and a place to contemplate how a crime could have been committed, everyone had an earnest reason to visit the locale. It was rumoured this particular patch of ground was known locally for pagan events and other people frequenting the area in regularity but nothing of memory which would serve as an earmark of concern for the Constabulary.

The widow of the deceased was the only person I felt sounded a bit off from the other voices – as sometimes I notice depending on the narrator, a switch in gender from their natural voice sometimes can come across uniquely. Despite this – what felt compelling about her entrance into the plot was well-timed as it felt like there could be something to be overheard here – something that might point us towards the truth even a bit ahead of Holmes, despite how impossible that could be! Laughs.

As Darcy’s widow spoke on behalf of her husband – you had the sense she and her husband were separated by upbringing but not in love. She had a curious attachment to sorting through why anyone would consider placing her husband in danger but throughout her recollections of her life and that of her husband’s – one had to wonder what was running through Holmes’ mind. Not just because he knew this estate was not in the best repair but because Holmes was seeing past the facts being told and was observing the quieter undertone of what was not yet spoken but readily observable. This is what gave Holmes his best advantage – he could quickly put the clues together and sort out a path forward before even Watson had caught up with where his mind tethered everything together.

Watson was surprised by Holmes behaviour when they went to eat – as quirky as it appeared to Watson, even rather shockingly unusual – Holmes changed tables. It was a classic example of how Holmes inserts himself where he feels he ought to be and does what he does at the drop of a whim – or so it appears, until you notice how calculating he is in both behaviour and disclosures. You never fully have the chance to understand how he relates to others as his mind is dearly focused on sleuthing – which is why even in ordinary instances, he is several steps ahead of everyone else.

The independence of the waitress was rather brilliant – as she relates to them how she is more than able to take care of herself whilst her husband is working as a Merchant Marine. She took to them rather instantly and they with her – even though the match was a quirky one on first sight. She had an interesting story to relate to them but they enjoyed her personality and personal attention to their table. It related to how smaller townes have a comfortable approachability to them and how even the wait staff can provide honest insight into a community.

You can tell how this community had the kind of ambiance Watson was looking to enjoy – he loved the outdoors and the natural environment, which he takes care to mention between musings with Holmes. I’m not as sure if this kind of reflection was on the forefront of Holmes mind as he was noodling away at sorting out the truth missing from the discovery of Darcy which only precipitated the events which once turnt foul. Holmes is enjoying chasing up clues but it would seem that something else is leading the case forward – as even the widow Darcy is not absent of news. Returning to her home so soon after they had first been there was puzzling – as there was a question of burgling. The widow’s voice was slightly hardened from the woman we first were introduced too.

In the sequence where we re-visit the widow Darcy, I felt slightly out of step with the story-line, as again it points to how she was voiced. In all other instances, the characters – supporting or lead are cleverly drawn out and have a pace you can relate as being one that is following in step with the continuity of the story-line. However, in this instance as with the previous scene of her first encounter with Watson and Holmes, I couldn’t help but notice her disclosures were feeling a bit more run-on and forced. Her voice in this instance to me left me winded as she related so much information all at once, that it was hard to keep up with all the details. Plus, I suppose in some ways, it was the delivery in which those fact were delivered which were not rubbing me the right way. Almost as if it was necessary to include her but how she was voiced didn’t add to the effect of the case for me as she seemed to be the one character who didn’t ‘fit’ inside the rest of the narration.

The trap is set in only a way Holmes would conceive – which placed Watson and Holmes on the scene to occupy the darker corners of the Darcy estate. It was here Holmes felt it would be easiest to catch the culprit as everything was rounding back round to the deceased man even if the reasons for his passing was still elusive. Getting to hug close to Watson as this plan took shape through the night hours gave us a curious impression of how cunning Holmes can become when he wants to either prove a point or explore a plausible conclusion he was the only privy too up to this junction in the story.

This is the sequence where the background ambiance picks up quite a bit – between the lightning and the music intermixing with the narration – as this is where Watson was having difficulty pursuing chase to those he had found up to no good! The lightning crackles behind Watson’s voice and there is a wonderful eclipse of atmosphere for this soundscape is inserted in just the right proportions to the dialogue evolving between Watson and Holmes after he chose to make his presence known.

You have to chuckle by how the local Constabulary wasn’t as keen having Holmes round as they had a preference for solving their own cases. On one hand, you can see their apprehension but on the other, you would have felt they wouldn’t have minded having him so willing to sleuth for them as it is what he does best! There was a lot of local fodder in the background of this story – where you can gather a better feeling for Keswick whilst feeling that the more sinister truths might be a bit more shocking once revealled for what was hidden behind the events which led Holmes into the fray of what became a darker shade of this community’s current state of affairs.

on the sherlockian writing styling of mr todd:

You feel so readily removed from your regular haunts and reading niches, it is a wonderment more Sherlockians who love Holmes and Watson as much as I do haven’t yet discovered this lovely series! There is a fullness to how Todd approaches his stories – as despite the fact they are considered on the short side of where stories can lead you, they are fully encased within the legacy of Holmes whilst giving you a ready moment of appreciation for how a contemporary writer can re-insert us so readily into this canon as it think these really are the missing accounts of Watson’s musings about how Holmes approaches his craft!

The best joy for me is feeling as if these characters are still viable and living their adventures together – as Mr Todd has tapped into their lives as sure as their original creator Sir Arthur once had himself. There is a respect for their characters but also, a keen curiosity of how to take them into new cases readers have never read or known about – a measure of interest there, as you would presume there were a multitude of cases not yet revealled. This series has has such a curious presumption about how Watson would react if he had a chance to finally disclose those cases and in that, the intrigue remains for me, as each new story by Todd is a chance to re-visit Watson’s admiration for Holmes.

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About Ben Werling

Ben is an award winning actor and voice over professional, who has performed all across the United States. From Shakespeare to Neil Simon, he has displayed a versatility and diversity in the characters and dialects he has portrayed.

Ben received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Leading Actor as abusive talk show host Barry Champlain in Eric Bogosian's TALK RADIO, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor as Prosecutor Villeforte in Alexander Dumas' THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, also in Chicago. He has worked with an extensive list of theaters in Chicago over the last three decades: Steppenwolf, Bailiwick, Famous Door, Next, A Red Orchid, Raven Theater, First Folio, Writer's Theater, Buffalo Theater Ensemble, as well as Utah Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory, Madison Repertory, and Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.

He is an Ensemble member of Shattered Globe Theater in Chicago. For almost a decade he was the voice of the Adler Planetarium, hosting live shows and pointing out the stars, planets and constellations on the big dome. Ben has an eponymous weekly vlog on YouTube, that he films, produces, edits and narrates. He lives in Chicago with his wife Amy, two dogs and three cats.

I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This marks my second story I’ve heard narrated by Mr Werling. I personally feel his voice is well-matched to these Sherlockian stories and it is a pleasure to be able to continue to listen to the series.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Dr Watson: His stoic understanding of Holmes and his willingness to remain open to readers is present in how he is voiced in this narration. His humour in watching Holmes handle enquiries and his ready understanding of why Holmes must sleuth in order to be at his earnest best in life is happily brought to life as well. In essence, in these audiobook performances you feel as if you’ve been inserted into a radio play and are watching them from afar; living their life and tucking you close to the mysteries they solve.

Sherlock Holmes: Holmes says little but when he does, his voice is happily altered to where you can distinguish him immediately from Watson. Although this is only my second time hearing this narrator, he’s established this series so distinctively that you find yourself resonating with his performance for what you’ll relate as ‘Classic Holmes’ and ‘Classic Watson’. Waiting for passages where Holmes has more length to speak is fascinating and I love how he’s endeared us to him!

Secondary characters:

Constable: At first he sounds off-putting as he doesn’t want to waste time on pleasantries until he realises his company is being kept with a infamous pair of sleuths! His personality softens then, but he has a hearty voice full of the confidence of a constable from a small town. Keen enough to realise how having these two in towne was to his advantage he took to them rather easily.

Community members of Keswick: There is a revolving door of secondary characters and the kind of characters who move in and out of scene in the process of solving a crime. The uniqueness of the narration is how each of these characters were given their own due – their voices never merged into each other but rather felt like they were individuals who just happened to be brought forward. It is one of the elements I love about the series – as Werling does a great job at presenting a ‘larger cast’ than what you might expect from a singular narrator.

How the story sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

I love the atmosphere of this novella – from the music to the prologue – wherein Watson is trying to express how he has become involved in relating Holmes solving crimes and why he felt compelled to share these stories with the world. It is told in the traditional Holmesian style – of where Watson wants to validate his involvement in the cases Holmes is sleuthing but also to offer a reason for why these stories are being told. Thus, for me there was a narrative style which befits the canon and these after canon extensions!

Regards to Articulation & Performance of the story:

You immediately resonate with Watson and Holmes as Mr Werling narrates this story – he has an innate natural ability in bringing these two voices to life! It is such a treat to hear his narration and allow your mind to suspend itself inside the story at hand!

The only time I felt the narration altered a bit uniquely was when Werling approached narrating the widow as I female voices are not his strong suit. Sometimes I think it felt a bit too rushed – as all the words in that sequence felt rather clipped to be spoken in a bit of haste. I would have appreciated if her voice had been different but she provided information needed for the case but overall, she was not my favourite performance inside the story.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

The beauty of these stories is the background ambiance – you get proper sound effects you’d generally feel was normal for a radio play – from the train to the musical interludes. All of this added the joy I had in listening to the story and gave me a well-rounded experience I appreciated dearly!

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

Hmm,.. I feel as if I’d almost prefer these to remain as audiobook editions – as there is something I believe I would miss if I read them in print. I would definitely re-listen to them!

In closing, would I seek out another Ben Werling audiobook?

Yes, of course! I find his narrations most entertaining – he has a way of capturing your attention and gives you a wicked good listening experience which is what your seeking out of a narrator! It just happens I love how he approached relating to us the new adventures of Watson and Holmes.

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

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This marks my first reading and showcase for:

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Murder in Keswick”, book synopsis, narrator biography and photograph, photograph of William Todd as well as the Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review banner, #CloakAndDaggerChristmas badge and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 5 December, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Literary Fiction

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2 responses to “Audiobook Blog Tour | feat. a new installment of Sherlock Holmes “Murder in Keswick” writ by William Todd, narrated by Ben Werling – the duo I previously enjoyed listening to earlier in [2018]! feat. during #cloakanddaggerchristmas

    • You’re welcome, Davida!!

      I am a Sherlockian whose not yet read the full canon of Sherlock Holmes (part of what I want to read / listen during my #BeatTheBackList in 2019) – these novellas in audiobook are so uniquely done. I had a few qualms about this particular one, but if you start with the other one I loved a bit more (A Reflection in Evil) I think you’ll have a better understanding of Todd’s style to bring us a Sherlock we can recognise. The narrator is really wicked good, too!

      Speaking of New Year’s – I hope your having a wicked wonderful New Year’s Day! Here’s to our future convos and the bookish stories that will enchant our minds and hearts throughout 2019! I am full of thankfulness I can now visit your blog and leave comments! Your visits are equally special to me and I appreciate your notes!

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