Bartleby and James – A New Sherlock, Maybe

Book Review : Bartleby and James
Galvanic Century Mystery
By Michael Coorlim


Spoiler Alert!



Alton Bartleby is a social savant and the foppish toast of steampunk London’s upper crust. James Wainwright is a brilliant but socially stunted working class engineer with a flair for invention and a propensity towards violence. Together they solve the mysteries that Scotland Yard cannot.

This novel is the first in the Galvanic Century series of steampunk mysteries.
(Courtesy of

Adult Point of View

I recently read Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina and I’m sure that colors my view of Coorlim’s novel becaused I liked hers so much. Many of the electronic books I’ve read have lots of small errors, which is unfortunately true for this one too.We should all proofread more! I’m not sure if this book was written for young adults or adults.

I quite enjoy Sherlock and believe that it has become it’s own genre within mysteries. Bartleby and James format has several short stories within the novel which reminds me of Doyle’s originals and of course there are references like “the Great Detective”. Both Bartleby and James have some of the characteristics of Holmes. It took me a little while to keep the two main characters straight. I would like them to be more distinct. The tale is rather grisly in a few places. I actually felt some empathy for the mechanized monstrosity and certainly sorry for the little orphan in the last tale. By the end of the book I also was happy with the main characters and they will probably develop more depth in future books – James is more the Sherlock and Bartleby more of the Watson. I haven’t run out to buy more, but I did enjoy the book. It’s a fun premise to combine Sherlock with steampunk.

3 out of 5 stars

3 star

  • the Mother

If you liked this one try A Study in Sherlock by multiple authors and The Bee Keepers Apprentice by Laurie King. For more steampunk, women will like Lady of Devices, my teen boy liked Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and I also liked Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
This entry was posted in grown up books reviewed, young adult book reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s