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Reviewed by K S Marsden for Readers' Favorite
The Case Files of Aldicus Vescard by Mark William Chase has strong echoes of Sherlock Holmes, mixed with magic and steampunk adventure. Set in the Clockwork City of Corradon, it follows Aldicus, a once powerful and conceited mage who has lost his powers but has not lost his ability to see through all subterfuge, pursuing justice to its source no matter where that might be. This book is split into fifteen short stories or case files. It features recurring characters and locations, all building to a significant crescendo, and the Shadow Man makes an excellent Moriarty-style villain.
This is the first book I’ve read by Mark William Chase, but it will not be the last. The Case Files of Aldicus Vescard starts as a love note to Sherlock Holmes. It immediately feels warm and engaging, but it quickly transports you into a world of incredible imagination. There were times when the technical chatter went over my head (magic is researched as science in Corradon), but it never detracted from the story. I think it helped establish the intelligence of the characters. Aldicus Vescard himself is a strong-willed but pleasant character who surrounds himself with a very colorful and entertaining cast. Some appear in a single case while others are in several, and it was so easy to connect with every one of them.
I was initially a little apprehensive at the size of this book, but the structure and storytelling of the case files make it so easy to devour and come back wanting more. The last couple of cases were more sizeable, and by then I would have been disappointed by anything less! I thoroughly enjoyed all of The Case Files of Aldicus Vescard and highly recommended it. I can’t wait to read more of Chase’s Mythania books!