In Praise of Praise

Blowing your own trumpet is hard. It is so much easier to praise other people, especially when you really like what they are doing. It’s been really nice lately to be able to do just that for some great fellow Harper Voyager writers.

Solo trumpet is even harder if you’re British – honestly, we’re really bad at this sort of thing. Remember we are the people who apologise to the furniture when we bump into it! And when we do give the one-person woodwind a go, we’re usually pretty hopeless and come over as either self-serving egomaniacs or chronic apologists (I know I do.) So, with that in mind, I would just like to mention a few nice things another people have said recently about ‘A DEAD ELF’.

No wonder Detective Strongoak looks so happy! (Not a kid's book!)
No wonder Detective Strongoak looks so happy! (Not a kid’s book!)

These are from ***** reviews on (which constitute 48% of all reviews btw) and I should just point out that I don’t have any family in the USA. (And none of these people write for Harper Voyager either).

BRILLIANT mix of “Lord of the Rings” and Sam Spade!
By J. Komon

I read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy as well as mysteries, and write a fair amount of fanfic. It isn’t easy to build an AU – everything from the slang to character names to social structure to alien races. You try to keep things somewhat recognizable, and yet just strange enough so the reader can get immersed into a strange new world. Terry Newman does a terrific job: a good mystery, intriguing characters, delightfully snarky humor, and a cynical tough dwarf who does the best Humphrey Bogart tough-guy imitation ever!

I loved, loved this story, and look forward to future adventures of Det. Strongoak!

Nicely done
By Connie Standridgeon
I want more of Strongoak. This book was a great read couldn’t put it down. Loved the characters and loved the created world.

Pratchett-like world building (not flat world but fun!)
By Hans Olafon
This was a fun read. The guy is great with words–a real story-teller. He could probably built worlds–like Pratchett’s Disc World (a relief from reading so many books on Amazon that were obviously self-published because a real publisher would not publish them).

What a fun ride. I loved it
by K. Winkelmanon
Dwarf Detective Nicely Strongoak is one of the most delightful characters I’ve come across this year. The book was well written, witty as all heck and reminded me of Douglas Adams’ (yes, of Hitchhiker’s Guide fame) insanely fun detective novels – Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. While Terry Newman’s yarn doesn’t go quite off the rails as Douglas Adams did, the result is a an engaging story full of twists and turns set in an aging Citadel mountain city laboring under the strain of blending mixed races (elves, dwarves, goblins, men, gnomes, and more), politics and power struggles. It includes classic noir mysteries, dames in distress, betrayals and misdirection placed in fantastical settings overlaid with a steampunk feel. The cars and other forms transportation appear to be steam driven and quite whimsical. The characters were fairly well developed, especially the main ones. I was tickled by the idea of surf elves with enchanted boards, and the crazy way they dealt with banished royalty. The story was entertaining and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Detective Strongoak has some great comeback lines and I had a few laugh out loud moments amid the frequent grins and chuckles. I was not disappointed by this book… except that the novel wrapped things up and ended when I would have been thrilled to have it go on and introduce a new wild adventure and mystery to solve for the incredible Detective Strongoak. More please! And soon!

Thank you all, lovely people! And for those wondering about the next Detective Strongoak book, it’s written and I’m just waiting to hear from the publishers.

Published by


Author and scriptwriter, Terry Newman

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