I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle. This book is one of the Dyslexic Friendly Quick Reads from BOTH Press, and I can’t wait to share my review of it with you all.

A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle

A masked and richly-dressed ‘Count von Kramm’ arrives at Homes’ Baker Street apartment. The man turns out to be the King of Bohemia and needs Holmes’ help in destroying evidence of a previous relationship he had with the opera singer Irene Adler, who is in possession of letters, a photograph of them together.

The king is convinced she’ll use the photograph to ruin him out of jealousy. Holmes agrees to take the case, but has the great detective finally met his match with Irene Adler.

Review

Confession time; this is the first Sherlock Holmes book I have read, I have watched all the films and loved the TV series but I hadn’t picked up one of these books until now!

Why? I hear you asking, I have no idea I answer, it’s just one of those things, isn’t it? I was pretty excited when this book came along for review, not only have I finally had the opportunity to read a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but I get to help raise awareness of an amazing selection of books with the target audience of Dyslexic readers.

I’ve not read a dyslexic friendly book before, and for a person who finds reading very easy, I am a ridiculously slow reader, but I found this book incredibly easy and enjoyable to read and would recommend it.

If your like me and you haven’t picked up a Sherlock Holmes book yet but have watched a few of the films then the story won’t be too dissimilar, it is a hugely enjoyable read. This mystery is all about the King of Bohemia who suddenly turns up looking for Sherlock Holmes in need of help, he is worried that some rather scandalous news about himself and one Irene Adler will become public, and he wants Sherlock to help him find and destroy all the evidence of his and Adlers affair before she can release it to the public. Easy, right? Not quite, not when the woman herself is far more ruthless and intelligent than anyone could have thought, Sherlock may have met his match in the beautiful and enthralling Irene Adler.

If you have watched the TV show; Sherlock, you will remember the episode where Sherlock is entangled with the gorgeous Irene – well this is pretty much the same and still enjoyable.

As you would have expected this story is full of mystery and intrigue, lots of twists, turns and a few dead-ends (a lot like being in a maze I suppose). I enjoyed following the case and watching as the mystery is finally resolved.

If you haven’t read a Sherlock Holmes then this is the perfect place to start, it’s incredibly short and very easy to read, perfect for those lazy afternoons.

Dyslexic friendly fiction for adults by BOTH Press

Following their successful “Open Dyslexia” Kickstarter in 2021, which led to publishing eight dyslexic friendly fiction titles, BOTH Press is launching on June 7th 2022, their second Kickstarter “Open Dyslexia: the sequel” with more high-profile authors than ever before, lasting 30 days and finishing on the July 4th 2022

The Kickstarter aims to publish eight more titles of high-quality fiction from bestselling authors: including household names such as Bernard Cornwell and Peter James.

The line-up is full of many front-list authors such as Gareth Powell, J.M Alvey(aka Juliet Mckenna), Scott Oden, Snorri Krisjanason, and James Bennett.

Peter James will also be doing an introduction for the 2022 collection.

There are very few initiatives for reading for pleasure for adults. The eight titles BOTH Press has already published are the only readily available dyslexic friendly fiction for adults in the UK and can be found in libraries and any bookshop. The scale of accessibility is not nearly enough, as around 10% of the UK population deal with some form of dyslexia.

Despite Jay Blades’s (the Presenter of ‘Repair Shop’) unique telling of his own learning to read on the documentary ‘Learning To Read At 51’, which the BBC recently aired. There are still few or no resources for adult dyslexia. A glance at Adult dyslexics charity websites and reading charity websites indicates there are few resources on reading fiction for pleasure for adults with dyslexia.

The dyslexic blogger Suzy Taylor who writes for Dyslexia Scotland, said:

“It is frustrating that we now have children’s books in dyslexic friendly formats. As adults we apparently do not require books in the same form.”

There needs to be a choice for people to read for pleasure, where there are books designed to be friendly to them and are not dumbed down, are high quality and enjoyable fiction, which people can chat and socialise about with friends and family.

Darren Clarke, the director of Succeed with Dyslexia, said:

“This books shop is doing incredible things and helping people to fall in love with reading again” [and] “I love the fact and the thought that has gone through on these [titles] with the spacing, the font, with the colour of the paper and the way that the book just flows.”

BOTH Press has had many heart-warming responses of how the books have impacted their lives.

Dr Alistair Sims said:

“Many individuals who have told us their stories do not want to be mentioned due to fear of stigma about their struggle to read. For example a man in his 50s is Scotland had not read a book since he was a child. His partner found us and bought him one of our titles. He read it. Then called us up to order another. He was so happy to actually read. In fact the partner wrote us a letter explaining how much of difference it is making and then ordered the four more for a Christmas present.”

BOTH aim to raise £16,000 to publish eight titles. Though looking to the future, they will need more than £20,000 a year to keep publishing eight titles regularly. All funds go toward the book production/ life cycle to make them readily available. The bookshop Books on the Hill and their manager Alistair Sims, who created BOTH Press, receives no profits from the project.

Further information is available at:

https://www.booksonthehill.co.uk/dyslexic-friendly-books-for-adults-/

Author Bio

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Doyle was a prolific writer and his works include fantasy and science fiction stories and humorous stories about a Napoleonic soldier, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels.

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2 thoughts on “A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle; A Dyslexic Friendly Quick Read ~ Book Review.

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