Review: Dracula's Heir by Sam Stall

by Dan Stout

Dracula's Heir: An Interactive MysteryDracula's Heir: An Interactive Mystery by Sam Stall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dracula's Heir is an "Interactive Mystery", which means that every few pages there is a pull-out handwritten note or fold-out newspaper which the reader can examine for clues and/or hidden messages. Gimmicky? Sure, a damn fun gimmick.

As a kid I had a similar book-- that one based on A Study in Scarlet. I loved it then, and the appeal of physical interaction with clues is just as strong now. Though the book feels slight in the hand, the nature of the enclosed objects is such that readers will spend more time with it than the page count would indicate.

Dracula's Heir is geared for ages 10+; that's my guess-- there's no age recommendation on the book, but there are a couple sections which might be frightening for younger readers, especially as things pick up towards the end.

The book's mystery is nicely structured, with clues hidden along the way. Even better, the answer is revealed slowly, allowing readers of different ages/aptitudes to solve more or less of the puzzle as their their skills of detection allow.

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by Dan Stout