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Annunciation Incarnation Manifestation -
The Adventure of the Apprentice's Coin - The Crack in the Lens -
The Consulting Detective Trilogy Part I: University & Part II: On Stage -
Publisher's Pocket Tax Guide - Writer's Pocket Tax Guide

Annunciation Incarnation Manifestation

"Diane ... shares deeply moving and profound reflections and insight to capture the essence of the day, season and a spiritual journey with God that can become our own. The context, language and experience, the everyday thoughts and insights provide and provoke us into a more intentional spirituality." Father Bob, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Amarillo, Texas December Newsletter

The Adventure of the Apprentice's Coin

"My first thought at learning this Barnes & Noble Nook short story (also available at Amazon for the Kindle) included a first- and third-person story was that I would prefer the first-person story. But I almost prefer the latter. Cypser's characterization of Jacky Moyer makes me wish she'd write several stories of the plucky lad's adventures with Holmes. Another touching aspect of this story involves Holmes himself, who must help clear the boy of the crime of which he's accused, even though Holmes is gravely injured and even though his only reason to believe the boy's story is the debt Holmes owes the boy. It's nice to see a Holmes who doesn't need logic or a sense of justice to motivate him, but a simple debt." Jennifer Petkus, My Particular Friend Diary [Read full review]

"Cypser's third person narrative brilliantly shows how, even if the reader knows the solution to the mystery (as he or she should, after finishing the first person perspective), that sometimes details are left out of the final telling. Cypser leaves it up to her reader whether or not those details are ultimately important or superfluous" Jaime Mahoney, "The note, as I remember, was quite short." (THOR), Better Holmes & Gardens [Read full review]

The Consulting Detective Trilogy Part I: University

"Through psychological insight, swift movement of the plot via effective dialogue, and consistent characterization, Cypser has fashioned a bildungsroman for young Sherlock with great skill." Lucy Pollard-Gott, The Fictional 100 [Read full review]

"The transformation of Cypser's young Sherlock of The Crack in the Lens into the maturing Sherlock Holmes of The Consulting Detective is both subtle and brilliant. By the end of Cypser's second novel, the reader stands in full knowledge and awareness of the man before them, and you wonder how you missed it, so understated was his development." Jaime Mahoney, Better Holmes & Gardens [Read full review]

"Holmes' world is vividly drawn and compelling; once you enter, you won't want to leave.... What I loved most about University, however, was the suspense.... Every scene has an ultimate purpose, and nothing is wasted. I was pulled in from the first, and had no desire to resurface.... My advice? Forget chores, ignore the laundry, order takeout for dinner and just settle in for the ride. You'll miss it when it's over." Leah Guinn, The Well-Read Sherlockian [Read full review]

"University sees a transformation of Holmes from a troubled boy to the beginnings of the man that would cause him to become the world's only consulting detective. I await the next stage of the Trilogy, Onstage with much anticipation to see how Holmes builds on the lessons learnt in University." Charlotte Smith, My Tin Dispatch Box [Read full review]

"In her intensively researched and lovingly written novel The Crack in the Lens, Darlene Cypser wrote of the boyhood of Sherlock Holmes. She continues the story in The Consulting Detective Trilogy, Part I: University.... Like Dorothy L Sayers, Ms Cypser sends the young Holmes to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, but his experiences there, apart from his unusual introduction to Victor Trevor and the tale of the Gloria Scott, come mostly from her own powerful imagination...." Roger Johnson, The District Messenger of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London [Read full review]

"It is a truly remarkable narrative that rings with possibilities and yet makes the events described seem to be natural outcomes of the situations.... I could say that the action is riveting, as it was, but there is really little action. I could say that the characters are fascinating, which they are, but most appear and then disappear, leaving their interactions with Sherlock as the only evidence of their existence.... Most of the details have been made fascinating by the author, so the book is a very 'good read.'" Philip Jones, The Ill-Dressed Vagabond

"She brings us from Sherlock's journey as a young man going through a terrible ordeal, to a man who has such passion for what he wants to become." Kate Workman, Thoughts From Baker Street [Read full review]

The Consulting Detective Trilogy Part II: On Stage

"In that prequel, Cypser began to explore reasons why Sherlock Holmes was, in the eyes of many (including quite a few Sherlockians) a reasoning machine. She continued to do so in University, which saw Holmes gain even more control over his emotions, as well as the people he chose to allow into his life. This journey continues in On Stage, but it's overshadowed by Sherlock's development as a detective. There are more cases-and more kinds of cases-and more opportunities for him to learn the skills he'll hone to near-perfection as an adult. Again, Cypser does something I always appreciate: she keeps her cases realistic." Leah Cummins Guinn, The Well-Read Sherlockian [Read full review]

"This book is a wonderfully sophisticated theatre novel... But The Consulting Detective Trilogy Part II: On Stage is thoroughly a novel of Sherlock Holmes. It is clearly steeped in knowledge of this endlessly fascinating character and his milieu in the Canon of stories and novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, readers will enjoy a perfectly apt quote from said Canon at the head of each chapter. But more than that, it works as a satisfying historical novel of theatre life and city life in the period 1875-1876 in England and the United States (and briefly in Paris). This historical grounding especially enhances the chapters that cast young Sherlock as a touring player-and budding detective-in the major American cities of his day.... I loved standing in the wings to watch Sherlock's many roles On Stage." Lucy Pollarat-Gott, Fictional 100 [Read full review]

"Cypser produces a convincing and intriguing plot to explain how Holmes's stage career might have come about, skilfully weaving in details from the canon, whilst introducing new characters and inventively expanding on the background of others. That the author has done considerable historical research is evident: from the London stage to the plains of America, the scenes are set in rich and vivid detail. Several cases take place along the way, a few soon-to-be famous faces appear and moments of suspense and rescue are balanced with quieter moments of introspection, making for an enjoyable read." Sarah Obermuller-Bennett, The Sherlock Holmes Journal, December 2017

The Crack in the Lens

"It truly is a story about Holmes's character being forged through fire, so to speak. The kind of character Sherlock Holmes is is not created easily or pleasantly. And this book deals with those issues with absolute excellence. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Sherlock Holmes, and anyone interested in quality literature. I, for one, can't wait for the trilogy sequel." Thoughts From Baker Street [Read full review]

"In The Crack in the Lens, Ms. Cypser, long-time Sherlockian and current president of the Denver scion society, Dr. Watson's Neglected Patients, has written a book which should appeal to both newbies and seasoned fans." The Well-Read Sherlockian [Read full review]

"If this were merely a story of first love, it would be (and is) quite charming. But this is Sherlock Holmes we're talking about, so we know the lovers' course will not be a smooth one....A thrilling battle of wits and wills ensues, replete with angry fathers, a stormy night on the moors, the threat of madness, and the beginnings of drug addiction. Possible origins of several facets of the Sherlock Holmes ouevre are introduced, making the story ever more fascinating. Highly recommended for fans of Sherlock Holmes (of course), but also for those who enjoy the Brontes and historical fiction set in the 19th century. A great read." JoLynn's Reviews on Goodreads.com [Read full review]

"When I was recommended this book I was at first somewhat sceptical. A story without Dr Watson and instead focuses on Sherlock Holmes before he became the Great Detective? Impossible I said to myself, but despite my initial doubts I bought the book, and settled down over the next few days and began to read it. And oh my I could not put it down! I even stayed up overnight and savoured each chapter! I was hooked." My Tin Dispatch Box [Read full review]

"Cypser has also created one of the great sick bed scenes of all times, rivaling anything from Austen, Bronte or Dumas and her forging of the detective Holmes from the crucible of young Sherlock's despair [in] The Crack in the Lens has made a lasting impression on me." Jennifer Petkus, My Particular Friend Diary [Read full review]

The Crack in the Lens: "This first novel is thoroughly grounded in a knowledge and appreciation of the Canon. This is Holmes before he becomes the consulting detective, living at his father's home, Mycroft, on the Yorkshire moors. His deductive powers are not quite as polished as they will become; we view the formation of a powerful detective . The plot involves Holmes in a secret romance with the daughter of a tenant farmer and a fierce battle with a younger Professor James Moriarty who schemes to push Holmes the meddler out of favor with his father." Steven Rothman, Editor, The Baker Street Journal

"In The Crack in the Lens, the dramatic irony of all we know about the Great Detective could hang heavy, but Cypser blends old and new plot elements with a light, enjoyable touch.... Sherlock's romance with Violet is the most original element of the novel, and given its seeming improbability to most students of Sherlock Holmes' character, Cypser offers it up rather seamlessly and convincingly, creating both a watershed moment and a dark secret that explains much of what drives the adult detective." Fictional 100's Posterous [Read full review]

"Darlene Cypser's novel The Crack in the Lens offers a compelling new theory, and a fresh perspective on the Great Detective's early years, with careful consideration to what readers already know.... Cypser's teenage Sherlock is a man perched on the cusp of greatness, and her vision of how the Great Detective was ultimately fashioned is both devastating and captivating." Better Holmes & Gardens Blog [Read full review]

"Darlene Cypser paints a rich landscape for her Holmesian prequel. Well researched and thought out, it gives a possible beginning to Sherlock Holmes' story. It gives a look at the young man before he became the calculating machine described by Watson and how his interest in solving the unsolvable originated. It's a quick read with plenty of suspense." Book Eater Blog [Read full review]

"Darlene Cypser's The Crack in the Lens is a well-written story of Sherlock Holmes' early life in Yorkshire.... There's romance and adventure, nice local flavor, and a good look at what set young Sherlock on the path to becoming what he is in the Canonical tales." Peter Blau, Editor of Scittlebits & Bytes

"The Crack in the Lens ... tells an engrossing story of the boy Holmes and at the same time explores the reasons why the man Holmes turned out as he did - a brilliant, unconventional, and apparently emotionless righter of wrongs. In this account Mycroft, Sherrinford and Sherlock are the sons of Squire Siger Holmes of Mycroft Manor in Yorkshire, where Sherlock is educated by a private tutor, Professor James Moriarty. These inventions of William Baring-Gould have become far more influential in America than they should be, but they make a colourful and appropriately atmospheric basis for a tale that seems to owe as much to Emily Bronte as to Arthur Conan Doyle." Roger Johnson, Editor of The District Messenger, Newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London [The District Messenger in PDF]

"The writing is clear and direct, with prose that evokes the Yorkshire Dales and the people who have lived there from time out of mind.... The wild and lovely scenery is a backdrop for a tale of madness, love and deceit with a few side trips into the normal world of family and friends.... It is a tale about forging a boy into a man, as one heats, pounds, tempers and quenches steel.... This is a book that provides explanations for some of the odd qualities we have all remarked in the Master. Those qualities could not have come easily or pleasantly." Philip K. Jones [Read full review on Amazon.com.]

"The author has done a wonderful job of "filling in the background" of Sherlock Holmes.... The story is engrossing and the pace makes it difficult to put this one down until finished." [Read full review on Amazon.com.]

"Now I know why Sherlock Holmes is who he is! I will be honest that I did not end up with a lot of time in which to read the book, but when I sat down to read it I could not put it down.... Your book gives a very plausible background for the future actions within Doyle's works.... Again, I loved the book! It really painted Sherlock as a person not just a calculating machine. We see how he advances from someone who longs for affection to someone who suffers from such close affections." Ben Walton, College Professor

"I really like the romance that goes on between Holmes and Violet; All in all, I enjoyed it very much.... This version of Holmes' childhood is the most believable I've read so far." Stephanie Nowicke, student

"One of the real strengths of the book is the obvious research into Victorian country aristocratic life. The details here make the book intriguing and help involve the reader. I get a strong sense of how an upbringing in this society would have contributed to the attitudes of Doyle's Holmes." Laura E. Goodin, Writer & Editor from Australia

"On the whole, I greatly enjoyed the story and the plot. Sherlock comes across as a typical man of his generation and class, with all the worries and concerns of being a third son. You have done an excellent job answering the ... question of 'I wonder how Sherlock got to be that way?'" Cathy Steffen, member of the Dallas Diogenes Club

"It is clever and fun and the best pre-detective pastiche since Mona Morstein's The Childhood of Sherlock Holmes: The Butler's Tale." Richard Sveum, MD, BSI, Medical Professor and member of 7 Sherlock Holmes scion societies

Publishers Pocket Tax Guide

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Writers Pocket Tax Guide

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