The Darlington Substitute by Melvyn Small – Book Review

The Darlington Substitute by Melvyn Small – Book Review

The Darlington Substitute by Melvyn Small

The Darlington Substitute

Author – Melvyn Small
Publisher – Indipenned
Pages – 102
Released – 14th February 2018
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book


With Watson’s literary career going from strength to strength, he secures a slot on local radio to publicise his new book. Uncertain as how to well it went, he is still a little surprised when the recording isn’t broadcast. Although disappointed, he disregards this snub to his confidence as a peculiar but unimportant bend in the path of his literary career.

Sherlock Holmes is not so dismissive. He seizes upon the event, certain that there is more to this rebuff than meets the eye. He grills Watson to the content of his interview, convinced a key fact will reveal all. There is nothing. Watson is sure off that. An investigation ensues that takes Holmes to the end of the known world, a place just near Thirsk.

The Darlington Substitution is a retrospective account, occurring during the same time as the adventures chronicled in Holmes Volume 2. It sees Holmes at the height of his wisecracking, foulmouthed, law disregarding deductive brilliance.

Review 2017

For anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes, Melvyn Smalls books are for you. He has taken Sherlock and given him a modern day makeover, without taking anything away from the sleuth that we know and love, except maybe that he now resides in Teeside.

Dr. John Watson has written a book about the cases that he and Sherlock Holmes have worked on together. When he’s invited to talk about his book on the local radio station, BBC Tee, he jumps at the chance. However, on the day it was scheduled to be aired another author’s work is showcased instead.

Watson, clearly not happy tries to find out why his slot on the show was pulled, but all he is told is that it has been deleted. Holmes, though thinks that there is more to it, especially when it turns out that Watson spoke about a case that could be related to the DJ, Charlies Darlington. With Sherlock on the case, you can be sure that no stone will be left unturned until he has the answer he is looking for.

The Darlington Substitute is a novella that is split into twelve chapters, all of which you can read for free via the link below. A chapter will be released, one at a time.

Melvyn Small’s writing is superb. He has managed to capture every mannerism, and off the cuff remark, just as you would of expected from the original Sherlock in Sir Arthur Conan Doyles books. The whole book is around 65 pages long, so it only took me about an hour to read it. It really is a fantastic novella and I fully enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Reviewed by Stacey

Click the link to start reading The Darlington Substitution for free –

About the Author

Melvyn Small

Melvyn Small is an author and the founder of Indipenned, a website that champions the work of independent literature. Thus far he has written two books, Holmes Volume 1 and the imaginatively titled follow up Holmes Volume 2 (Subsequently republished by Fahrenheit Press as the Victor Locke Chronicles).

Mel’s perhaps unique spin on Sherlock Holmes, which places the character in a different time, location and section of society, has found fans around the world and is fast becoming a cult classic.

His writing style is pacey and littered with gin-dry humour. It has been described as “hilarious, clever and hugely enjoyable.” The Darlington Substitution novella is his longest story so far and perhaps his best work to date.

facebook new


Website blue

Darlington Substitution Blog Tour poster

Blog posts straight to email via Bloglovin – Like us on Facebook – Follow us on Twitter

You may also like...

14 Responses

  1. Tin says:

    This book is interesting! ? I’ll share it with my friend who likes Sherlock.

  2. Nikki says:

    Sounds like a fun read for Sherlock fans! I will keep this in mind when I have to buy a gift ?

  3. Great review, sounds like a good book

  4. With all these retellings and modernizations and reimaginings of classics buzzing about, it’s great to hear of a good one that rings true to a fan!! Thanks for the review.

  5. This sounds really good! I’ve never actually read a Sherlock Holmes book but a modern version sounds like a place to start lol. Great review Stacy! <3

  6. DJ Sakata says:

    so cool – thanx!

  7. Pon says:

    Seems to be an interesting read; let me check. Very good review Stacy as always!

  8. Cia Black says:

    I always love when older books become modernized, it’s great to see where the author is going to take it.

  9. Latoya says:

    I watched Sherlock movies but never read anything. I do like a good mystery and that this is more updated version. Sounds good.

  10. Gayathri says:

    I love Holmes and the hapless Watson. I am sure I would enjoy this one. I will keep a watch for this!

  11. I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes, but I’ve never read any related books. I think I may need to change that! Great review!

  12. Allie Bock says:

    This book looks so good. Great review!

  13. Megan @ Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest says:

    This sounds fantastic! I am slowly building up my Sherlock Holmes library (including movies and tv). Call it a teensy obsession 🙂 This one looks like a must-read for me! Thanks so much for sharing it and I really enjoyed your review 🙂

  14. Wynne says:

    Not exactly my kind of read, but I am glad you enjoyed reading it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.