Reviewed by ‘Closed the Cover’

Posted by Matt Kuhns on May 13, 2013

Reviewer Ashley LaMar has very nice things to say about Brilliant Deduction, at the Closed the Cover blog:

I became so fully engrossed in [Brilliant Deduction] I couldn’t simply read it and put it away. I had to continue to pursue information and research. It’s intoxicating.

It was a riveting read from beginning to end. In addition to reading about the detectives it was also curious to read about the advancement of detective skills. How did [undercover] work first begin? What about footprint analysis? DNA? Fingerprinting? Tracking and observation? Informers? For anyone interested in criminal forensics or mystery it is unbelievably fascinating. It’s a recommended read for anyone interested in true crime, mystery and history.

… The research and storytelling is superb!

Does one blush?

In the context of such praise, one can hardly mind a modest criticism: “the number of sentences that began with the conjunctions ‘and’ or ‘but.’” Ms. LaMar is most considerate in pointing out that this is controversial, and that even with her own disapproval of the practice she “still enjoyed the book very much.” In light of such courteously presented complaint, one shall make at least some effort to moderate this practice in one’s next book.

Meanwhile, I have added this four-star review to my page of notices.

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Positive-review momentum

Posted by Matt Kuhns on Apr 28, 2013

Just over a week after the encouraging judgement of the San Francisco Book Review, I have another good review to add to the list.

Reviewer, writer and mystery fan Renee Shelton has considered Brilliant Deduction, and found it to her liking.

[The careers of detectives profiled in Brilliant Deduction] span nearly two centuries, and it is fascinating to learn about how they went about their work, and why solving crimes became so vital to them. … They are as interesting as any fictional character you will read about. Knowing these individuals made the history books and inspired others makes them even more engaging.

A great read, for both mystery and history buffs as Brilliant Deduction combines the two.

This is almost getting to be too much. I’m really not accustomed to this type of public accolade. “Baby, who knew?—even good things take some gettin’ used to.”

Meanwhile, as the reviews are at last issuing (and a few kind people are even buying the book, too), it almost feels like I might be approaching just a little of that invaluable momentum. At all events it may not be a bad time to note that you can help me out, dear reader; leaving comments or reviews, recommending my book, reading it in public, etc., etc., all mean a lot! Many, many thanks!

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Thank you San Francisco!

Posted by Matt Kuhns on Apr 20, 2013

Another review joins my virtual press clippings file… Writing for San Francisco Book Review, Glenn Dallas gives Brilliant Deduction four stars out of five, along with some thoughtful remarks about the book’s themes.

There’s something inherently oxymoronic about a famous private detective. Similar to questioning how good a spy James Bond is when everyone knows his favorite drink, you have to wonder about the efficacy of a detective who keeps secrets and hunts down criminals but also becomes a renowned public figure. This conflicting juxtaposition of qualities serves as the center of Brilliant Deduction…

The most fascinating idea in Brilliant Deduction is that “the great detective” is more a byproduct of a certain time period rather than an inevitable cultural development…

As welcome as the exposure and star rating are, it’s also splendid to find that someone a) picked up on my book’s major themes and b) found them interesting enough to write about in his review.

I suppose I had better keep working on that second book, here, hadn’t I?

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Midwest Book Review-ed

Posted by Matt Kuhns on Mar 12, 2013

The latest notices from Midwest Book Review are in, and Brilliant Deduction scores again:

From old hands in the crime game trading in their black hat for a white one, spy hunters turning their focus home, freelancers who helped the police bring justice, “Brilliant Deduction” is a must for anyone who loves true crime or wants to learn more about how Sherlock Holmes and his ilk have more connection to reality than we truly know.


Just to dispel confusion (which has now manifested in multiple reviews), though, I should emphasize that Brilliant Deduction is published by Lyon Hall Press. Which has absolutely nothing to do with Lyons Press, of Guilford Connecticut. Nor is the name any direct reference at all to Lyon, the French city that (Wikipedia informs me) is in fact spelled “Lyons” by Anglophone society but not by the community’s own residents…

Still, the book’s the thing, and I always appreciate positive notices.

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Library Journal’s Verdict

Posted by Matt Kuhns on Mar 4, 2013

The first formal review of Brilliant Deduction (that I have seen) is up, and I’m very happy to share the verdict here. Writing for Library Journal, Kirsta Bush reports:

Beginning with 18th-century Frenchman Vidocq (whom the author credits with creating the private detective agency), Kuhns takes his readers through time and across several countries in a Who’s Who of real detectives, concluding with Parker, who died in 1940. The book devotes a chapter to each man’s life.

Verdict Readers may wonder why these real-life detectives have faded from memory while the Hercule Poirots of fiction remain well known. Here Kuhns tackles a topic that has not had extensive coverage, and this book will appeal to true crime aficionados, as well as the vast realm of mystery lovers.

It’s a brief review, but: it’s positive, and it’s from Library Journal. Now I really am somebody! Thank you, Ms. Bush and Library Journal.

I’ve created a page for reviews and other reactions, now, listed above in the main menu. Hopefully more to come, hopefully also favorable.

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