Oct. 30, 2018

Now they can be told!!

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part XI edited by David Marcum

My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my copy of this book. Keep the stories coming!

This is the 11th book in this on-going series. The stories in this book are all based on cases Watson mentions in the canon, but never appeared in print. There are a surprising number of these cases throughout Doyle’s written cases. Many readers will be familiar with the cases these stories recount. Most of these stories are very good indeed!

I must say I have enjoyed this entire series! I will give a short word on each story as usual. I really do try to avoid major spoilers, but be warned anyway. I use the four-letter abbreviations as listed here.

  • “The Most Repellant Man” by Jayanitka Ganguly

This story is referenced by Watson in SIGN. This seems a lot like a lead-in to an adventure that never actually gets there…

  • “The Singular Adventure of the Extinguished Wicks” by Will Murray

First of all, I must give kudos to Will for that imaginative title! This is the tale of “Merridew of abominable memory” referenced in EMPT. Another winner, Will!

  • “Mrs. Forester’s Complications” by Robert Riccard

The case this is based on Mary Morstan’s comments in SIGN when she brought her troubles to Holmes. Told by Holmes to Watson, Mary, Mrs. Hudson, and Mrs. Forester, it is a mystery concerning Mr. Forester…

  • “The Adventure of Vittoria the Circus Belle” by Tracy Revels

The story is mentioned in SUSS. I found this a delightful take on this strange adventure!

  • “The Adventure of the Silver Skull” by Hugh Ashton

Many readers will recognize Hugh as the author of many tales based on the unrecorded cases Watson mentions in passing. This is based on the Tankerville Club scandal referenced in FIVE. Kudos for the major villain!

  • “The Pimlico Poisoner” by Matthew Simmonds

The case is touched upon in VALL. Inspector MacDonald goes toe to toe with a curious crime ring…

  • “The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van” by David Ruffle

This was a bit of a letdown, as it reveals little more than the mention in NOBL. I’m sorry, but this is not up to Ruffle’s usual level…

  • “The Adventure of the Paradol Chamber” by Paul W Nash

This adventure is noted in FIVE. A crime fiction writer is being threatened. I found it a bit bland…

  • “the Bishopgate Jewel Case” by Mike Hogan

This case is mentioned in SIGN. This was Holmes’ introduction to Altheney Jones. The case concerns a man accused of theft. I liked the interplay between Holmes and the Inspector!

  • “The Singular Tragedy of the Atkinson Brothers at Trincomalee” by Craig Stephen Copeland

The case was mentioned in SCAN. I must admit that this is a most imaginative story. It might be a tad predictable, but I loved it anyway!

  • “Colonel Warburton’s Madness” by Gale Lange Puhl

This one gets my vote for best in the book! An entertaining account of a story mentioned in ENGR, this one scores for solving the mystery of Watson’s Wayward Wound!

  • “The Adventure at Bellingbeck Park” by Deanna Baran

The story is referenced in GREE. It was a nice story to be based on so little data!

  • “The Giant Rat of Sumatra” by Leslie Chartiers and Denis Green

This is a radio play based on a note in SUSS. I have a little problem with stories based on this case. They need to have the giant rat, and most do a good job there. But there is a second stipulation. Holmes uses the words “a story for which the world is not yet prepared.” That would indicate that it is perhaps too weird or too damaging to people of nobility. There is neither in this case. I like it the least…

  • “The Vatican Cameos” by Kevin P Thornton

This one is based on a reference from HOUN. The story is about certain beliefs and the Catholic Church. I have a friend whose entire Holmes trilogy is based around these beliefs. Check here.

  • “The Case of the Gila Monster” by Stephen Herczeg

Mentioned in SUSS, the Gila monster is a venomous lizard of the American southwest. Kudos go out to the author for researching the Gila monster’s venom. A lot of people get that part of the story wrong…

  • “The Bogus Laundry Affair” by Robert Perret

This case has a note in CARD. The laundry in the story is most unusual...

  • “Inspector Lestrade and the Molesey Mystery” by IA Watson and Richard Dean Starr

This is a case starring Inspector Lestrade, mentioned by Holmes in EMPT. Not a Holmes story per se, but welcome as this was a case Holmes complimented Lestrade on in a sort of awkward fashion…

I was a bit surprised by the number of stories in this volume that just didn’t speak to me. In my defense, I have several books with versions of the cases. With some of these stories, I would have liked them better had I read them first. The volume still rates four stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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