May. 25, 2019

New stories that keep Holmes alive and benefit Undershaw, home of his intrepid creator!

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part XIII 2019 Annual (1881-1890) Edited by David Marcum

New stories that keep Holmes alive and benefit Undershaw, home of his intrepid creator!

My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my copy of this book…

We are now into the 13th volume in this exciting series. The readers who love this series will note familiar names among the authors along with new ones. David Marcum’s skill in story selection is without peer, and I always look forward to new mysteries as the series continues. May there be many more!

As I move on to the individual stories, I promise to keep all spoilers to a minimum. I will not give away any solutions to the cases. I promise.

  • After the many forwards, the book opens with a poem. Inscrutable is by Jacquelynn Morris.
  • “The Folly of Age” by Derrick Belanger concerns a woman who removes her money from her bank only to have it vanish from her home… It makes a rather nice little puzzle!
  • “The Fashionably Dressed Girl” by Mark Mower deals with a client mentioned in “A Study in Scarlet” returning with a new case. I like this one a lot!
  • In “The Odour of Neroli” by Brenda Seabrook, someone is causing trouble for a forward-thinking Doctor and his equally capable wife. Top notch!
  • “The Coffee House Girl” by David Marcum is about the problems plaguing a young woman who runs Watson’s favorite coffee house. I like the way this one flows start to finish.
  • “The Mystery of the Green Room” by Robert Stapleton has Dr. Watson’s care of a small girl tie in with Holmes’ investigation into a bank robbery. For me, this one is one of the best in the book! Encore!
  • “The Case of the Enthusiastic Amateur” by SF Bennett concerns Watson’s investigations for his friend Thurston. This may be the absolute best in the book! Wow!
  • “The Adventure of the Missing Cousin” by Edwin A Enstrom deals with cousins who inherit a lot of money only to have one of them vanish. A marvelous twist in this one!
  • “The Roses of Highclough House” by MJH Simmonds is the tale of Matthew Newton, who accuses his twin sisters of murdering their father. The problem is that the father’s death is an apparent suicide… It makes a remarkable story!
  • “The Shackled Man” by Andrew Bryant deals with a man found shackled to the wall of a ruined castle. I like it!
  • “The Yellow Star of Cairo” by Tim Gamwell delves into the realm of horror as a man has been killed and the sole witness states the murderer was an ancient mummy! I think it is a wonderful mystery!
  • “The Adventure of the Winterhall Monster” by Tracy J Revels finds a young governess at 221B with a tale of a little girl and a half-glimpsed shape the child calls her monster… This solution might be a bit predictable, but the story is beautifully written…
  • “The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van” by Hugh Ashton is mentioned in passing in NOBL. The Duke of Staffordshire vanishes regularly from a locked study… It’s OK
  • “The Voyage of Albion’s Thistle” by Sean W Wright is a Mycroft Holmes tale. I didn’t really like it…
  • “Bootless in Chippenham” by Marino C Alverez is a strange story with a strange musical instrument. Sorry, I don’t like it…
  • “The Clerkenwell Shadow” by Paul Hiscock deals with a young woman stalked on her way home from work. The “damsel in distress” theme is a recurring one in the Holmes tales, and this one is a fine example.
  • “The Adventure of the Worried Banker” by Arthur Hall concerns a series of violent strangulations and a missing policeman. It’s an excellent story!
  • “The Recovery of the Ashes” by Kevin P Thornton is about cricket, and I’ll be the first to tell you the world of cricket is a closed mystery to me. I will give kudos for including crook and cricketer AJ Raffles…
  • “The Golden Star of India” by Stephen Seitz has a returning client, the Duchess of Morcar {BLUE} Another fabulous jewel vanishes, this time in a singular bank robbery… It’s nice but it seems unfinished at the conclusion…
  • “The Mystery of the Patient Fisherman” by Jim French is a radio play that brings up Holmes’ rule “No ghosts need apply.” I thought the story's solution a tad predictable…
  • “Sherlock Holmes in Bedlam” by David Friend begins with Watson returning to London and discovering Holmes chained to the wall as a mental patient! This is a delight to read!
  • “The Adventure of the Ambulatory Cadaver” by Shane Simmons is narrated by Wiggins, who discovers a dead man in the streets. What is odd is it disappears every time he brings a cop, only to turn up down the road! It is an exceptional story!
  • “The Dutch Imposters” by Peter Coe Verbica deals with Holmes investigating the world of art, and finding push back from an unusual quarter… It is phenomenal!
  • “The Missing Adam Tiller” by Mark Wardecker has Holmes taking a case from a man he knows is a pickpocket! It lets the book end on a high note.

I give the volume as a whole four stars. There were enough stories that I didn’t like to cost the book a star…

Quoth the Raven…

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