Preview Reviews: Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner

Preview Reviews: Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner

Cryogenicist Dr Georgette Watson has mastered the art of bringing frozen hamsters back to life. Now what she really needs is a body to confirm her technique can save human lives.

Meanwhile, in New York City, winter is closing in and there’s a killer on the loose, slaying strangers who seem to have nothing in common. Is it simple good fortune that Georgette, who freelances for the NYPD, suddenly finds herself in the company of the greatest detective of all time? And will Sherlock Holmes be able to save Dr Watson in a world that has changed drastically in 200 years, even if human nature has not?

Read our Preview reviewer thoughts here:

Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner is Sherlock Holmes with a twist. Cryogenicist Dr Georgette Watson, the descendant of the famous Dr Watson, has brought Sherlock Holmes back to life… in 2020. Dr Georgette Watson has worked out how to bring people back to life that have been frozen & who better to bring back after discovering they are frozen somewhere in Switzerland than Sherlock Holmes. A great story with a mix of everything. With two cases to solve, one they are fully aware of with Dr Georgette Watson working with the NYPD & another that puts her & her sister Simone in danger. A new Sherlock Holmes for fans new & old & a new Australian author that I keep adding to local authors that I will read in the future. – Terry, NSW, 5 Stars

I’m a massive Conan Doyle fan, I’ve read all the Sherlock Holmes books so I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book, I did, I loved it !! Murder, mystery and Sherlock Holmes all bundled into a perfect mix. The storyline was interesting, clever, fast-paced with lots of twists and turns. I really enjoyed the whole book. Fascinating to see what Holmes felt about the present day and how he coped in the modern world. I loved his views and observations. I really engaged with Dr Watson the Cryogenicist a great character I really wanted her research to succeed. I don’t always like male authors writing from a women’s perspective (Artemis – Mr Weir) but Dave Warner was spot on. I hope this will be the first of more Holmes & Watson books from Dave Warner. Loved your work Mr Warner, brilliant. – Debra, NSW, 5 Stars

In her search for a process of reanimating people who have died from cold Cryogenics scientist Georgette Watson and is unable to resist the opportunity to test her theory with a perfectly preserved body – albeit one that is 200 Years old. Quite an interesting concept in play but with the addition of a serial killer, romance and idealistic views this novel is truly a very good read with many facets to ponder. The beginning really sets the pace which seldom slows albeit for a short period about a quarter of the way in where everything momentarily stalls. This aside I found the who story an enjoyable read and at times hard to put down. I found the characters to be intense when needed but also quite comical when the circumstances deemed it necessary. This help winds the constant pressure of the serial killer down so that the reader can come up for a breath of air. All in all a good read for both the romantic as well as the lover of a good murder mystery. – Mick, SA 5 Stars

If you like crime books with twists in the storyline Over My Dead Body is the book for you. Dave Warner has created a fantastic story which is well worth the read. – Heather, NSW, 5 Stars

An absolute delight to read. The character of Sherlock Holmes in the present day added a depth and richness to all the characters, enhancing the story. The twists and turns were like an out of control roller coaster. A thrilling ride. I read this thriller with a smile on my face I enjoyed it so much. – Alice, NSW, 5 Stars

Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner was a very intriguing twist on a 21st Century Holmes & Watson thanks to cryogenics reviving Sherlock Holmes and a modern-day Watson. I’m not an avid Sherlock Holmes fan so couldn’t say how they would take the novel I found it to be extremely well written and was a real page-turner. – Katrina, QLD, 4 Stars

I really enjoyed this book. Over My Dead Body is the type of book that I find hard to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense novels. Can’t wait to read more from this author! – Christine, QLD, 4 Stars

Sherlock brought back to life! Dr Watson takes on a new life, as a female cryogenic consultant for the NYPD. Together they investigate the Noah serial killer but also work against the clock with the side effects of Sherlock’s unfreezing slowly becoming unearthed. The twists kept on coming, right to the very end. – Alyssa, ACT, 4 Stars

I was interested to read Over My Dead Body, as I remember Dave Warner as a Western Australian musician. His latest foray into writing did not disappoint. Over My Dead Body is an entertaining thriller set in New York City, with an interesting twist of characters, setting and plot. Dr Georgette Watson has mastered bringing frozen hamsters back to life, but is struggling to get the scientific society to fund research into human trials. As fate would have it, she is presented with an alternative opportunity to test her techniques. Throughout the novel, Georgette faces many trials and tribulations, which kept my interest and the story flowing. The supporting characters of “Percy”, Simone and Harry offer some substance, a little humour and nostalgia to the story. All in all, for me, Over My Dead Body was a relatively easy read, that managed to keep my attention through to the end. – Karen, WA, 4 Stars

This is an engaging and entertaining book if you’re able to suspend disbelief. It relies on a few convenient coincidences, but these can be forgiven because of Dave Warner’s elegant, intelligent and mature prose. There were some truly beautiful passages, which you don’t very often find in crime fiction. The romance was a lovely addition and “Percy’s” thoughts about Georgette were romantic and touching, filled with longing and admiration. It was also loads of fun to get inside the head of a famous literary character and hear his thoughts on the modern world. An entertaining, suspenseful and believable mystery with a touch of romance and humour. What’s not to love? – Monique, QLD, 4 Stars

Being a Sherlock Holmes fan from way back, I was a little worried about reading this. But I really enjoyed it. Bringing Holmes to life again, maybe for a whole new audience! – Donna, VIC, 4 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! What always starts off with “I’ll just read one chapter before I go to bed” ends up being a few because it’s hard to put down. The end of most chapters are a cliffhanger! What I enjoyed is not having seen any summaries or reviews of this book prior to reading it so I had no idea what this book was about. I expected it to be 100% crime, but it felt like a cross between science fiction/fantasy and crime. When I found out who Georgette’s science experiment/sidekick was, it made the book seem unrealistic but also very entertaining at the same time. Another facet that made the book all the more mysterious and intriguing is that killer who is running loose in New York. I really enjoyed reading how he kills his victims as if I was there, and then it goes back to the main characters as they try and solve this mystery. I was dying to find out who the killer was! This is the first book by Dave Warner that I have read, and I wouldn’t mind reading more now! – Karina, NSW, 5 Stars

The quick thinking of Harry Watson, holidaying NY cop, saves his teenaged daughter Georgette from a near-death experience in an icy lake in 2000. In 1891 Sherlock Holmes was not so lucky, his frozen body secreted in a submerged cavern somewhere near Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls. Geeky Georgette’s life is shaped by the traumatic event, 20 years later becoming a feted doctor of cryonics. During a widely broadcast interview, she revives some snap-frozen hamsters, hoping to garner further research funds. With her bank balance showing less vital signs than these rodents she also has to supplement her income as the time of death specialist for the police. Which could be very propitious because there’s a serial killer in New York, who appears to have Georgette in his sights. A visit by a Scottish relative brings to light great-great-grandfather Dr John Watson’s diary containing notes on the cryogenic experiments undertaken since Sherlock’s demise, and the vital clues to his current whereabouts. Georgette, with unexpected help from her ditzy actress sister, manages to illicitly retrieve and reanimate the famous detective. He accepts his new reality with greater success than Rocky Horror but it is his knowledge of the contemporaneous Picture Killer murders which leads to the unravelling of clues and exposing the ghost from the 1890s. Icy waters and strands of family connections weave throughout the narrative, but the greatest solution might be revealed by a potted plant. Dave Warner’s Over My Dead Body was a delight to read, amusingly written with wittily descriptive lines ‘the brightness of day had slid away like a bored party guest’. The turns of phrase were having me turning the pages as much as the whimsical plot. – Anita, QLD, 5 Stars

I’ve never read a book by Dave Warner before but having read Over My Dead Body I’ll definitely be seeking out his others. I found that the story flowed well and kept my interest until the very end, at times it was incredibly hard to put it down and get on with what I was supposed to be doing. The story was well told, the characters real and the plot thrilling. I really liked the idea behind bringing a character to life and having them use their expertise in modern time. – Jodie, WA, 5 Stars

I honestly thought you lost me at frozen hamsters and Sherlock Holmes revived but what a quirky quick read that got me out of my comfort zone and into a new genre and author! Don’t judge a book by it’s cover and be open to new reads. I feel this would make an absolute cracker of a quirky mini-series with the characters and locations, someone send this book to Netflix to bring it to life! – Rodney, NSW, 4 Stars

What a rollicking adventure Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner is. In a nutshell, it’s the story about the great Sherlock Holmes being brought back to life from a cryonic freeze, just in time to solve a modern-day serial killer mystery. Initially, I wasn’t sure which genre I was reading; was it a crime, comedy, or, as the story went on, a romance? I decided to just roll with the fun of it, and fun it is, hoping that my favourite characters weren’t actually going to be murdered, that the comedy would keep coming and there might be a kiss in there somewhere. So was there any kissing? you’ll have to do your own detective work to find that one out, and I recommend you do. – Kim, WA, 4 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed Warner’s previous novel River of Salt and thus was excited to read Over My Dead Body. I am glad to say I absolutely enjoyed the original and intricate storyline. I found the topic of cryonics fascinating and then introducing Sherlock Holmes as a character brought an interesting element to the story. Together with the protagonist, Georgette, they deeply involve themselves in attempting to solve a series of murders. Although Holmes seemed to adapt to life in 2020 remarkably well, I did enjoy the detective skills he employed to help with investigations. Many of his observations are also rather poignant and at one point aptly comments ‘Man fixes one malaise only to disseminate another.’ I also admired the relationship between Georgette and her sister Simone – although two completely different personalities they still managed to have a wonderful bond. There are many twists and turns in this novel which keeps you reading to the very last page. One downfall is the poor editing which detracts from the flow of the story. For example on page 7 where it says Simone was in the corridor yet clearly as indicated in the next paragraph – she was at rehearsal. – Vivian, SA, 4 Stars

This modern-day take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Watson stories is an absorbing and thought-provoking read. Georgette Watson is a cytogeneticist whose life’s work has been researching the revival of frozen hamsters. Her career stems from a childhood accident when she fell into a frozen lake and had to be brought back to life. The arrival of a parcel containing the diary written by her great-great-grandfather leads her to Switzerland and a discovery that allows her to ply her trade on a frozen human corpse. Georgette, also a crime scene consultant to the NYPD, is brought in to examine the victims of a serial killer who is targeting young women around the city. The list of suspects keeps increasing and it’s a race to find out who the killer is and whether they can stop him before he commits his ultimate act. Will it be old-fashioned detective work or modern policing techniques that lead to the killer’s demise? With a wonderful turn of phrase and endearing characters, Dave Warner explores the nature of crime throughout the ages and leaves you pondering what, if anything, has changed in a criminal investigation over the last 166 years. – Catherine, QLD, 4 Stars

I must admit to some apprehension at the start of this book as I’m never entirely comfortable with male authors writing a female voice, but it turned out I was in fairly safe hands with Warner. After a slow-ish start, I really started to enjoy the story about 100 pages in and one “the game is afoot”. On the surface, the premise sounds ridiculous – a frozen Sherlock Holmes is reanimated by the progeny of John Watson, and together they set their minds to solving a series of serial killings in modern-day New York. But take away the fantastical element of resurrection and you would still have a pretty decent crime procedural, one with enough twists to keep me guessing and which I thoroughly enjoyed. Sherlock himself adapts a little too quickly to 20th Century life to my sceptical mind, but his ability to take new technology and language in his stride ensures the plot doesn’t get bogged down too much. I was happy to see he was approving of feminism but must say I raised an eyebrow at his ponderings that the removal of the “divine” status of women from men’s education was responsible for unleashing the “beast” of violence against them. Not being a believer in the “Demonic Male” myself, this was a sour note. Our main character Georgette was likeable but barely fleshed out enough to really engage with. Her clever scientific mind seemed a bit slow at some points, but all in service of the plot. Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend to any crime thriller fan that doesn’t mind a dose of the supernatural. – Sarah, QLD, 4 Stars

A very easy read book. Kept you being intrigued right until the end. A little weird with Sherlock Holmes making a sort of comeback but kept you guessing until the end how the character would play out. Wanted to keep reading instead of sleeping. – James, QLD, 4 Stars

‘Do you remember anything?’ Dr Georgette Watson is a cryogenicist. She can bring frozen hamsters back to life and she wants to see whether her technique can work on humans. To do that, she needs a body. In New York City, people are being murdered. Is there a pattern to these murders? Dr Watson, who works with the NYPD to establish the time of death in some cases, suddenly finds herself in the company of the world’s greatest detective: Sherlock Holmes. (How will become clear when you read the novel.) Together, with some help from others including Georgette’s sister Simone and father Harry, they make a formidable team. But in addition to solving crime, Holmes also must adjust to life in the twenty-first century. And very few people know who he really is. Mr Warner demonstrates that anything is possible in fiction, at least for a while. This twenty-first-century pairing of Holmes and Watson kept me turning the pages, wanting to see how it would end. Would they identify the killer? Will Georgette obtain the funding she needs to continue her research? Can Georgette find an answer to a problem which is threatening her hamsters? Read on to find out. – Jennifer, ACT, 4 Stars

Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The book tells the story of Dr Georgette Watson who has perfected the science of bringing frozen hamsters back to life, now she needs a human body to confirm her technique can save lives. She unwittingly is led to the body of Sherlock Holmes and thus begins this wild ride. I love a bit of Sherlock Holmes and the way Warner has written Sherlock in this book I can easily imagine the scenes playing out in my head. I sped through this book, as it was such an easy read with a great plotline and well-written characters. The ending in particular I thought was satisfying and I could imagine a sequel easily. – Leigh, VIC, 4 Stars

Wow. What a fun ride this book has been. I love a bit of Sherlock Holmes and this was great. Putting him into modern-day and seeing him deal with all the challenges of life in the 21st century was fascinating. He handled it far better than I would have imagined. That is perhaps the only shortcoming of this book – even setting aside a belief, in reality, it’s a stretch to some of the events. None of that spoils the fun though. An original, enjoyable read. – Karen, VIC, 4 Stars

I was not sure what to expect after reading both the premise and the first few chapters of the book (bit HG Wells meets Patricia Cornwall) however was then swept along with the stories unfolding. Enjoyed the characters and their interplay, as well as all the twists and turns to the finale. Suspend your expectations (like Holmes on ice) and enjoy this well-paced thriller. – Carlone, QLD, 3 Stars

Sherlock Holmes is resurrected by a descendent of his faithful friend, Watson, in Over My Dead Body, an entertaining and inventive crime fiction novel from Australian author, Dave Warner. After Sherlock is revived by cryonics scientist, and NYPD consultant, Georgette Watson, in the year 2020, he becomes embroiled in two mysteries. The first has him hunting for a serial killer whose behaviour echoes a case familiar from his past. The second endangers the lives of Georgette and her sister as they are targeted by a killer driven by a desire for revenge. Warner builds suspense as the body count rises, and concern grows for Holmes’s health. It’s Holmes unique detecting skills in both cases that save the day, of course, but at a cost. There are some lighthearted moments in Over My Dead Body as Sherlock marvels at mobile phones, refrigerators and the internet, beats a shell game conman at his own game, and takes down a subway pick-pocket. There is also a touch of romance in the story. I found Over My Dead Body well-written and enjoyable. Not just for fans of Sherlock Holmes, the original premise and interesting mystery should appeal a range of crime readers. – Shelley, NSW, 3 Stars

This wasn’t what I expected. It took me a while to get into this book but by the end, I couldn’t put it down. – Nicky, NSW, 3 Stars

I feel a bit conflicted about this book, this is not a genre I read very commonly but I loved the idea of modern-day Watson being both female and a leading scientist in her field, I did at time wonder about the reactions to modern-day life that the resurrected Holmes had. It was a minor element to the overall story and probably would have very hard to work around with story continuity, but it was one thing that stood out to me when reading. Overall, I think anyone with an interest in Sherlock Holmes/detective stories would appreciate this book, Warner definitely brought new life to these classic characters and it was an enjoyable read. – Rachelle, TAS, 3 Stars

As an avid reader of Conan-Doyle and classic detective fiction, Sherlock Holmes resurrected by a female Doctor Watson in 21st Century New York City while a serial killer is on the loose, sounds like a recipe for perfection. Despite these high hopes, Warner’s new novel Over My Dead Body was unable to sustain my interest all the way through. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what I struggled with, maybe it was the confusing turns of phrase sprinkled throughout, the character arcs which were well established, but unfortunately fell flat, or simply that my suspension of disbelief was stretched a just little too far by the ambitious plot. The highlight of this novel were the subtle nods to cases and events from the classic Sherlock Holmes stories. Ultimately, Over My Dead Body doesn’t have me rushing back to modern crime dramas, which I will admit, are rare additions to my bookshelves. I would recommend Warner’s novel to fans of the genre who are looking for an easy and mildly enjoyable read. Just don’t think too much into it! – Kirsten, NSW, 3 Stars

The tried and tested tropes of Sherlock and Watson have been used in every way possible which can cause a reader to sigh with boredom and close the book entirely. BUT ‘Over my dead body’ created a fresh look on an old tale of a detective and his assistant better modeled for a modern world, whilst this book was difficult to start the more I got into it, the quicker I read. – Chloe, VIC, 3 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed Warner’s previous novel River of Salt and thus was excited to read Over My Dead Body. I am glad to say I absolutely enjoyed the original and intricate storyline. I found the topic of cryonics fascinating and then introducing Sherlock Holmes as a character brought an interesting element to the story. Together with the protagonist, Georgette, they deeply involve themselves in attempting to solve a series of murders. Although Holmes seemed to adapt to life in 2020 remarkably well, I did enjoy the detective skills he employed to help with investigations. Many of his observations are also rather poignant and at one point aptly comments ‘Man fixes one malaise only to disseminate another.’ I also admired the relationship between Georgette and her sister Simone – although two completely different personalities they still managed to have a wonderful bond. There are many twists and turns in this novel which keeps you reading to the very last page. One downfall is the poor editing which detracts from the flow of the story. For example on page 7 where it says Simone was in the corridor yet clearly as indicated in the next paragraph – she was at rehearsal. – Chloe, VIC, 3 Stars

Set in New York, Dr Georgette Watson, cryogenicist and great-great-granddaughter of John Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame, has been working for years on bringing back guinea pigs to back to life but has failed to secure the funding to move to human trials. At the same time, there is a serial killer on the loose and Dr Watson is called in for her expert opinion to the death scenes. Will the NYPD be able to solve the crimes and stop the serial killer? I really wanted to enjoy this book. It had some great ideas but lacked finesse. Without giving away any spoilers, a major plot point is explained away, somewhat unsuccessfully, in just a few pages. I would have liked the editor to pull back the similes – they were clunky and affected the flow of the story, right up until the second-last page ‘She turned back to the capsule, her mind running though options the way a dog who has been cooped up in a car crashes through a field’. Or ‘Not even a quick bout of bartitsu, the umbrellas forlorn in their stand like single women at a town-hall dance’. The serious, more hardboiled crime content was at odds with some of the ridiculousness of the parallel situation and storyline following Dr Watson. I felt the book was confused as to what it wanted to be. – Shelley, NSW, 2 Stars

A boring and long-winded story. It took me a long time to read due to its dry and uninspired storyline. – Dianne, SA, 1 Star

Reviews

Read Our Q&A with Dave Warner, Author of Over My Dead Body

Review | Author Related

14 December 2020

Read Our Q&A with Dave Warner, Author of Over My Dead Body

    Your Preview Verdict: Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner

    Review | News | Preview

    30 September 2020

    Your Preview Verdict: Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner

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            Publisher details

            Over My Dead Body
            Author
            Dave Warner
            Publisher
            Fremantle Press
            Genre
            Crime Fiction
            Released
            29 September, 2020
            ISBN
            9781925816860

            Synopsis

            Cryogenicist Dr Georgette Watson has mastered the art of bringing frozen hamsters back to life. Now what she really needs is a body to confirm her technique can save human lives.Meanwhile, in New York City, winter is closing in and there’s a killer on the loose, slaying strangers who seem to have nothing in common. Is it simple good fortune that Georgette, who freelances for the NYPD, suddenly finds herself in the company of the greatest detective of all time? And will Sherlock Holmes be able to save Dr Watson in a world that has changed drastically in 200 years, even if human nature has not?
            Dave Warner
            About the author

            Dave Warner

            Dave Warner is an author, musician and screenwriter. His first novel City of Light won the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for Fiction, and Before it Breaks (2015) the Ned Kelly Award for best Australian crime fiction. His latest novel Clear to the Horizon features the lead characters from both these books. Dave Warner originally came to national prominence with his gold album Mug’s Game, and his band Dave Warner's from the Suburbs. In 2017 he released his tenth album When. He has been named a Western Australian State Living Treasure and has been inducted into the WAMi Rock’n’Roll of Renown.

            Books by Dave Warner

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