Staff recommendations: Days of Steam

Hello to the whole Yonkers cyber-community! My name is Nina, and I’m a reference librarian and unofficial sci-fi geek at Riverfront Library. Now that our hyper-modern 21st century world has been flipped upside-down, I enjoy escaping to simpler (or should that be “similar”?) times: 150 years ago, and the days of steam….

If you’re heading back in time to the London of gaslamps and hansom cabs, there are no better companions than Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson. The ever-popular mysteries of Arthur Conan Doyle are available to YPL cardholders on both the Overdrive and Hoopla platforms, in both ebook and e-audiobook formats. (A short video tutorial about Hoopla is here; elsewhere on this very blog is a guide to Overdrive.) 

For those who want to go beyond the original 4 novels and 56 short stories, Overdrive and Hoopla both offer “The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” a series of radio plays from the 1940s written by mystery master Anthony Boucher; and scores of new novels and stories by authors such as Laurie R. King, Barry Day, Bonnie MacBird, and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (No, I am NOT making that last one up!) You will find many more by going to either platform (via our web links at and entering the search text “Sherlock Holmes.” 

If you like your 19th century with a science-fiction flair, there are many strange journeys for the taking. On Overdrive, you will find the Bookman Histories trilogy by Lavie Tidhar, a wild ride through a Victorian era in which Notre Dame Cathedral glows green at night; secret agent Harry Houdini must penetrate a mystery at the heart of the Chicago World’s Fair; and Queen Victoria herself is a reptile from outer space! (I’m not making that up, either!)

Hoopla offers Mark Hodder’s mind-blowing Adventures of Burton & Swinburne, in which a time-travel experiment gone wrong warps the dawn of the modern world into unimaginable shapes, and the fate of the British Empire depends on the great explorer Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton and his poet sidekick Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Also on Hoopla, dive into the exploits of Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris’ Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, combining action, humor, and romance with a unique vibe that’s half 1860s and half 1960s.

It’s all waiting for you online, at Good hunting!