Book Review: The Aunt Paradox by Chris Dolley


HG Wells has a problem. His Aunt Charlotte has borrowed his time machine and won’t give it back. Now she’s rewriting history!

Reggie Worcester, gentleman’s consulting detective, and his automaton valet, Reeves, are hired to retrieve the time machine and put the timeline back together. But things get complicated. Dead bodies start piling up behind Reggie’s sofa, as he finds himself embroiled in an ever-changing murder mystery. A murder mystery where facts can be rewritten, and the dead don’t always stay dead.

This 100 page novella is the third instalment in the Reeves and Worcester Steampunk Mysteries.

Received as part of the Librarything May 2014 Early Reviewers batch. Published by BookViewCafe and can be brought from them here

Have never read these stories before, but it was soon evident that this is an homage to PG Wodehouse, with a little Sherlock Holmes, Steampunk (in the form of the mechanical Reeves) and Science Fiction (HG Wells as the requisite Bertie) thrown in.

It’s fast paced, silly, and you may be able to find some holes in the forever changing timestream if you wanted to try hard enough (but you dont really, because that would spoil all the fun). Discounting the multiple versions of Aunt Charlotte, there is a limited cast, most of whom in the second half are great-great-great relations of other people, most of whom have turned up dead in Worcester’s flat at some point – resulting in a rather unflattering book and new nickname. As a Wodehouse style novella, the story is short, and characterisation, especially of the secondary characters is not exactly in depth, but this is not a failing of the book by any means. Worcester’s character is easily evidenced by the need of the “emergency gin” bottles hiding around the place and Reeves’ continued attempts to recover the situation, much to Reggie’s dismay.

So if you are in the mood for a short story designed to give you amusement and even some laughs, this is the book for you!




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