November 14, 2003
The 6 Messiahs by Mark Frost

The Six Messiahs by Mark Frost: the sequel to Frost’s adventurous The List of 7.

Ten years after the events of The List of 7 we find Arthur Conan Doyle a celebrated writer. He has been made famous by the creation of Sherlock Holmes, loosely modeled on Jack Sparks, his old friend who died pursuing his evil brother, Alexander.

Doyle is getting ready to embark to America for a book tour and taking his younger brother Innes with him to serve as his secretary. While on board their American-bound ship, Doyle becomes embroiled in a plot to steal a priceless religious book. This leads him to once again put his life on the line to help stop a terrible event from occurring.

The 6 Messiahs follows the same kind of formula as The List of 7, but I don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed it for the same reasons I enjoyed the other book - lots of adventure and wonderful characters. I found this one easier to get into and also thought that it resolved some of the abruptness of the ending of The List of 7.

If you’re looking for rollicking good fun and an entertaining read, look no further.

November 11, 2003
The List of 7 by Mark Frost

The List of 7 by Mark Frost: a mix of adventure and occultism with a tiny bit of romance thrown in for good measure in Victorian England makes for quite an interesting book.

Arthur Conan Doyle is a physician of modest stature in the late 1880s in England. He has a few patients and submit manuscripts to local publishing houses. He also has a keen interest in the occult and spends a fair amount of time investigating spiritualists and mediums trying to find the real thing.

All this is abruptly thrown into disarray when he finds himself the target of a group of seven people that wish him dead before he can disrupt their plot - one he has unwittingly stumbled into.

At first, while I liked the book, I found it really hard to get into. It wasn’t until page 60 or so that I really started to enjoy the book and the direction it was taking. I was eager to see what would happen next and what the fates of various players in the book would be.

My only real complaint with the book is that at times it the prose was a bit windy. Also, while the book was set in Victorian England, I myself don’t know all their terms and slang. It would have been nice to have had some translations. The only reason that I knew that an alienist is, basically, a psychiatrist, is because of the excellent book by Caleb Carr The Alienist.

All in all, the novel contained quite the adventure and I look forward to reading the next book in the series The 6 Messiahs.