An Explanation of the Ratings System

It’s occurred to me that it would probably be useful if I told you the reasoning behind my starring system….

5 stars: This is a wonderful book that gets it right.

4 stars: Highly enjoyable. Worth your time and money.

3 stars: Flawed, but still worthwhile.

2 stars: Hit or miss, mostly miss. Only for the “completist.”

1 star: Don’t say I didn’t warn you….

  • Every once in awhile, I may give a book “6 stars.” My husband says it is mathematically incorrect to award 6 stars out of 5, but I was never good at math! The “6 star” review is reserved for a book that I can only describe as a “gut punch”– the kind of book that blasts through your mind and leaves you unable to think of anything else for days. Offhand, I can think of two that, for me, deserve this rating.
  • Although, probably like most of you, I love the “Watson voice,” and admire someone who can truly capture it, I will not reserve the 5-star rating solely for those who use it.
  • One further note: Unless a book is self-published (and I can generally tell), I will not spend time commenting on proofreading errors. I worked in academic editing for three years, so I’m well aware that you can proof something until your eyes bleed, and errors will still get past you. If, however, you choose to publish a book on your own and send through a product rife with errors, you need to be reminded to take more care with your work, even if it requires you to shell out money for a professional edit.

Thanks for reading!  Now, back to the reviews!


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2 responses to “An Explanation of the Ratings System

  1. Barbara Roden

    Just found your site via Sherlockology, and as a longtime Sherlockian who’s been through the pastiche jungle more times than she can count, I’d like to say ‘Huzzah!’ to you for tackling the sometimes thorny subject of Holmes pastiche.

    I’d also like to ask how one can go about getting a book to you for review. I have to admit to a vested interest here, as I have a book of Holmes pastiche – “The Thames Horror and Other Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” – available in electronic format. It’s available through Amazon, and you can check out the book, as well as the three 5-star reviews, here:

    If it sounds like something you’d care to review, please let me know, and I can send you an electronic file (either Kindle or ePub).

    Best wishes,
    Barbara Roden BSI

    • Hi, Barbara! I have just e-mailed you privately about your book. Honestly, I never imagined anyone would ask me for a review! I’ll need to create a post about that. Thanks so much!