Most of those are also books I wish I could forget so writing about them is clearly the best option.
Lana Swallows: Fifty Shades of Sherlock Holmes
Yes. This is a book that exists. And yes the author is Lana Swallows. And yes it is pretty much what you’d expect. Holmes and Watson get caught up in a case that involves a BDSM-sex cult. It is as bad as it sounds.
Michael Wilson: Without a Trace
It’s a novella about Jack the Ripper and I really should have run the moment I read the part of the introduction where the author thanked Jack the Ripper for inspiring so many authors. Then it read exactly like you’d expect a book by an author who glorifies a killer and doesn’t care about his victims to read.
Carrie Sessarego: Jurassic Jane Eyre – The Dinosaur turned me lesbian
No, you didn’t misread the title. This is a literary mashup meets dinosaur erotica. And it is supposed to be a parody. And to be honest: it really is funny and hangs lots of lampshades about the ridiculousness of dinosaur erotica. (Who would have believed I would ever write a sentence like that?)
Claudia Kern: Sissi Die Vampirjägerin
The English speaking world had Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and we got…Empress Elisabeth of Austria hunting vampires. The Vampires are all the Habsburg. And the inspiration for the book was clearly more the popular Romy Schneider movies than the true Elisabeth. It is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds but also somehow entertaining. I totally would have read the second part if there’d been one.
Lissa Trevor: Menage á Musketeer
Perhaps this is wrong in this category. Because I can totally believe I’ve read this. After all I have also watched the Asylum The Three Musketeers movie as well as the movie where Milady is a demon (and d’Artagnan has a magical falcon) and the series where Milady has her own bat-signal. I also hunted down every bit of the Czech musical where Richelieu sings a song in what looks like a sex-dungeon on youtube. So I can’t exactly claim it’s surprising that I make questionable decisions where Musketeers are concerned. But this book wasn’t even entertainingly magical falcon-bad. It was just boring sex-scenes bad and this book has consent issues-bad and it’s hilarious that everybody is bisexual except Aramis who is straight-bad.
Alexandra Fröhlich: Meine Russische Schwiegermutter und andere Katastrophen (My Russian Mother-in-law and other catastrophes)
I had bought this expecting one of those culture-clash books which I always enjoy. It turned out to be a ‘chick-lit that gives the genre a bad name’-books. I guess I should have run away the moment I realized that while this book is fiction the author was really married to a Russian man but divorced him.
Berndt Riegler: Voodoo Holmes – Botschafter Der Nacht (Ambassador of the Night)
This was one of the bad decisions I made when I got my Kindle and saw how many free books there were. And this one had Holmes on it!
It stars Holmes younger brother Voodoo (really) who now inexplicably lives at 221B and fights crime. Only he is also very stupid and the book could have really used an editor who pointed out illogical descriptions. But then perhaps the rooms were meant to look like an Escher hellscape.
John Simpson: Irish Winter
This was one of my first m/m romance reads that surprisingly didn’t put me off the genre completely. I should have listened to the review that complained that in a book set in 1919 Ireland the protagonists cycle from Cork to Dublin on a Sunday and purchase an Oscar Wilde book.
Full disclosure: I seem to have ended up with a revised edition that cut that bit out but that didn’t make the rest of it better.
Kaitlyn Davies: The Golden Cage
This is really a placeholder for the whole Dance of Dragons Series. This is the first novella and I already found it horrible and racist. So I can’t believe I read the whole thing (three more novellas and three novels). Oh right…I had a review-copy of the whole box-set and I thought it would be unfair to judge it after the first book.
Reader, it would not have been unfair to do so for the whole series was a racist fuckfest.
Oliver Schütte: Die Rote Burg (The Red Castle)
That’s more ‘I can’t believe books like this really exist’. Because I had always heard jokes about books about mediocre middle-aged men, who had young, hot women falling at their feet who all think this guy is the best thing since sliced bread even though he acts like an asshole. I had never read such a book. Until Die Rote Burg. And if you have told me about this book before I would have refused to believe that something could actually be that bad.