Jan. 31, 2018

At last I can read "The Adventure of the Devil's Claw!"

The Recollections of Solar Pons #6 by Basil Cooper edited by Stephen Jones

A new release of classic Pons tales!

Solar Pons of 7B Praed Street, London was created by August Derleth. He was often called “The Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street. There was a connection between Holmes and Pons, with the latter calling the former “The Master.”

Basil Cooper continued the stories after Derleth’s death. The stories in this edition are entirely written by Cooper. There are three extended short stories in this book and the reprint of “The Adventure of the Devil’s Claw” a novel.

Opening the book is the story “The Adventure of the Cursed Curator.” The curator in question is Horatio Biggs of the Egyptian Museum in London. The museum has artifacts on loan from the Cairo Museum in Egypt. Problems began with the breaking of minor pottery, for which the Curator was required to pay. A porter was murdered. And now the Curator swears he has seen a walking mummy!

The next story is “The Adventure of the Hound of Hell.” A young woman asks help for her fiancé. He has been accused of murder and theft. A piece of art depicting a hellhound is a family heirloom. It is found in the unfortunate young man’s rooms…

The third story is “The Adventure of the Mad Millionaire.” The story is introduced to Pons by Dr. Parker’s friend Colonel Mortimer. The Colonel has a very wealthy friend that has apparently gone stark raving mad!

The final tale is the novel, “The Adventure of the Devil’s Claw.” I was very much gratified to find the novel included in this book because I missed it when it first came out. The original novel has now grown beyond my ability to purchase.

Pons and Parker are investigating a case for Hugh Mulvane of Chalcroft Manor. His uncle has been murdered and strange tracks were found at the scene. The tracks are mentioned in a singular legend of The Devil’s Claw.

Fortunately, this time Pons is working with an inspector who freely gives Pons his full cooperation. The case is very tangled and the shadow of death hovers over the household. Pons must untangle the whole mess before someone else joins the ranks of the dead…

Pons has always been a favorite of mine. The latest volumes edited by Stephen Jones will give a new reader the introduction they need; the diehard fans will not be disappointed! Stephen Jones chose well the stories in each volume! My hat is off to you, Stephen Jones! Encore!

I give this book five stars plus for allowing me the pleasure of at last reading “The Adventure of the Devil’s Claw!”

Quoth the Raven…

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