Sherlock Book Reviews - No Ghosts Need Apply

Posted by Steve Emecz on

Sherlock Holmes Society of London

A couple of years ago I hailed Too Many Clues as the tenth in the consistently delightful “McCabe and Cody” series by Dan Andriacco. Yet the cover of No Ghosts Need Apply declares it to be “Book Ten”. What’s going on? Well, the new book is actually the tenth novel. Sebastian McCabe, BSI and his brother-in-law Jeff Cody have investigated a surprising number of homicides in the small university town of Erin, Ohio, but the problem of an impossible murder in Erin’s haunted gastropub, a former speakeasy, during filming for a popular TV show, Dining (Way) Out, is compounded by the restrictions necessitated by Covid-19. Besides the novels, there have been two volumes of shorter cases: Rogues Gallery and, late last year, Murderers’ Row.

Long or short, the plots are ingenious, the characters engaging, and the narratives both compelling and witty. As I said, consistently delightful!


Bonnie MacBird (actor, writer)

Sherlockian Dan Andriacco pleases his readers once more with No Ghosts Need Apply, the latest of his Sebastian McCabe—Jeff Cody light-hearted mysteries set in the fictional university town of Erin, Ohio, present day. Narrated by folksy but wry Cody (the Watson, or as he prefers, the Boswell of the duo), the story concerns a TV crew interested in the haunting of a lively gastropub—the scene of a mob murder one hundred years ago when the place was a speakeasy.  

When the erstwhile star is gunned down in the identical spot of the original death, McCabe coolly takes all in hand while the place swarms with police, crackpots, and theories ranging from the rational and spiritual to the frankly cuckoo. Adding to the chaos is the pandemic which threads through the story.  

Andriacco’s signature style provides an underlay of modern Christianity, but applied lightly and with humour, never pedantic.  The wit and sly observations in the narrative voice are thoroughly enjoyable, and the mystery is deftly handled with the author’s signature expertise in plotting.  


The McCabe and Cody Series is available through this site with a share going to our good causes and also available from all good bookstores, including:

Amazon USA    Barnes and Noble


A Ghost Story Becomes a Matter of Murder!

“The world is big enough for us,” Sherlock Holmes once told Dr. Watson. “No ghosts need apply.”

But amateur sleuth Sebastian McCabe and his chronicler Jeff Cody don’t have a choice when a popular TV reality show comes to Erin, Ohio, to record a Halloween special about the entity disturbing a local gastropub known as The Speakeasy.

Jackie O’Brien was a bootlegger and speakeasy owner gunned down in 1920. Ever since, his unquiet spirit has been said to haunt the building where it happened – one which, after many transformations over the years, is once again a speakeasy of sorts.

There may be skeptics, but Erin’s exorcist is not among them. Nor is Sebastian McCabe, who has been up close and personal with the ghost. Both are among those interviewed by Stuart Diamond, specialist in the strange, who has come to town along with Chef Stephen Lipinski and his producer wife to record the episode of the show Dining (Way) Out.

What was expected to be some fun publicity for the gastropub turns into a nightmare after someone is shot to death one night in the same place and in the same way as Jackie O’Brien almost exactly 100 years earlier.

Police Chief Oscar Hummel recognizes this as Mac’s kind of case, but Mac and Jeff are forced to become virtual sleuths most of the time when the restaurant and many other businesses are shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before he solves the murder–and a second homicide–Mac makes an embarrassing blunder in one lesser case and scores a great triumph in another.


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