Greetings from The Raven!

Nov. 18, 2018

Sherlock Holmes: Adventures beyond the Cannon Volume I edited by David Marcum

My thanks go out to Derrick Belanger for my copy of this book.

I am going to assume that readers of this volume will be already familiar with the Holmes canon. I am using the Holmes story abbreviations from this site.

Readers of Sherlock Holmes might often ask what happened after Holmes solved the case, or where Holmes might have crossed paths with a villain before the current case. That is the premise of this volume. Occasionally in the canon, the story seems incomplete.

This could be because there is obviously so much more to the story. The tales offer a glimpse behind the scenes. Sometimes a tale is explained, sometimes a crook is traced further, and sometimes it is a “how they met” story.

David Marcum returns with another exciting volume of great Sherlock Holmes stories. Readers of the MX series of New Sherlock Holmes adventures will find that many of the authors are familiar.

In accordance with the SPOILER WARNING on page 21, I will be more careful than usual with my detailed review. I will give little beyond what the reader will encounter on the first page of each adventure. And now, on to the stories!

  • “Gentleman’s Disagreement” by Narrelle M Harris

This is a further look into BLUE. The reader will recall that Holmes let Ryder escape at the end of the case…

  • “The Incident of the Frantic Countess” by Arthur Hall

Lord St. Simon of NOBL fame, advises his cousin to allow Holmes to solve her own case…

  • “The Ten Orange Pips” by Jayantika Ganguly

As the title suggests, this story continues FIVE. Readers will recall that the case ended rather mysteriously…

  • “The Adventure of the Spectral Menace” by Benjamin Langley

Holmes and Watson return to Stoke Moran, site of SPEC. The new owner has problems of his own…

  • “The Greek Murder” by Katie Magnusson

This is an explanation of the ending of GREE, tracing the further adventures of Sophy…  I absolutely love this story from concept to the last word! This will get “Best in Book!” honors from me!

  • “The Adventure in Nancy” by Stephen Hereczeg

Firstly, “Nancy” is Nancy, France! Victor Hatherley of ENGR fame returns for more adventure…

  • “The Shadow of Malice” by Brenda Seabrooke

This is based on BOSC. Alice Turner, now married to James McCarthy, asks for Holmes to return to Boscombe Valley…

  • “The Adventure of the Upright Man” by Nick Dunn-Meynell

This story is a further look into CROO. It is the longest story in the book. I found it to be— interesting… Frankly, I liked it the least.

  • “A for Argentina” by Mike Hogan

Continuing immediately from REDH; the arrest of John Clay sets off more problems. I would like to see in the future someone tell the story of Holmes’ previous encounters with Clay…

These stories should delight any fan of the Holmes canon! And since this is only volume one of three, more stories are to follow. According to the publisher, this may very well only be the beginning…

I give the book four stars…

Quoth the Raven…

BuyItHere>

Nov. 18, 2018

The Anatomy of Sherlock Holmes: Pursuit of a Serial Killer by Don Henwood

 My thanks go out to the author for my copy of this book.

 POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT

 Moriarty is gone. Holmes is not himself. He has been for some time in an asylum, his memory in shambles. To the outside world, Holmes died at Reichenbach Falls.

 Doctor Reggie Collinsworth is the man in charge of this institution. Contrary to many asylums of the day, the Wellington Institute is clean and bright. The patients well treated. Collinsworth wants to restore Holmes’ memory so that he can return to his life.

 Another patient, Anthony Colton, recognizes Holmes. It becomes obvious that the two have clashed before. Colton is a nephew to the Queen. The Royal Family’s bequest allows Wellington Institute to care for their charges so well.

 During his recovery, Holmes encounters a young nurse, Fiona Wilcox. Miss Wilcox flirts with Holmes. He finds himself somewhat attracted to her, to his surprise.

 Anthony Colton seizes upon that attraction as a means to exact his revenge…

 The story isn’t all that bad. It explores circumstances others have used to explain the nature of the Holmes/Moriarty feud. The Seven Percent Solution by Nicholas Myer does so, for example.

 It isn’t clear who Colton is. They have met before and he is in the institute as a result. Unless Don Henwood writes the details of that encounter, we may never know anything past the notes here. That’s a hint, Mr. Henwood!

 The story ends on a note that suggests a sequel. If the premise follows through, it could be very interesting…

The book is a trifle hard to read. In the first few pages, there is a disconnect in person. The passages start in the third person. In a bizarre manner, it jumps to first person recounting and back again.

 Then there is the matter of Holmes’ name. I appreciate that Mr. Henwood is trying to avoid repeated lines. But Holmes should always be Holmes, not Sherlock. Indeed Holmes tells people this in the story, yet Holmes and Sherlock jump back and forth, even on the same page.

 I did find the story interesting. I give the book four stars…

 Quoth the Raven…

  BuyItHere>

Nov. 18, 2018

The X-Files Classics Volume Four by John Rozum, Dwight Jon Zimmerman, and Alex Savink


X-Files stories that ring true to the series!

This volume continues the Tops Comics X-Files series. I love it when an X-Files tales ends on a cliffhanger! That indicates that there is more to the story, not yet revealed. The basis of X-Files is deception and misdirection. I wonder if we could ever consider any X-File solved.

 The book opens on a new case…

A serial killer is stripping the flesh from his victims at a militant compound in Oregon…

 A man believes himself haunted by little green “frogmen” only he can see…

A woman from India finds herself haunted by her husband after refusing to burn herself on his funeral pyre…

Flocks of Ravens are killing people in Alaska…

A man discovers himself haunted by glowing phantoms that disintegrate human beings. He believes he just had a near death experience...

 Mulder and Scully investigate sightings of a goatman in Maryland…

Dolphins once weaponized by the Government start killing people…

Flesh-eating algae are discovered in Florida…

A ghost ship sails Devil’s Bay in North Dakota…

The stories are solid X-File cases! Monster of the week, hidden secrets, and UFOs always marked the TV series. I believe these could have easily been TV plots! I give this graphic novel five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

BuyItHere>

 

Nov. 18, 2018

The X-Files Classics: Volume Three by Stefan Petrucha, John Rozum, Gordon Purcell, and Charles Adlard

This volume continues the Tops Comics X-Files series. I love it when an X-Files tales ends on a cliffhanger! That indicates that there is more to the story, yet to be revealed. The basis of X-Files is deception and misdirection. I wonder if we could ever consider any X-File solved.

 The book opens on a new case…

 An old camera hides a sinister secret…

 A supernatural strangler haunts Hawaii…

 An organ donor returns for his donated body parts…

 A man deformed in an automobile accident is somehow draining life force from other people…

 A scout troop finds themselves menaced by a wendigo—or are they?

A secret airbase holds a UFO, and people are being remotely controlled…

 The stories are solid X-File cases! Monster of the week, hidden secrets, and UFOs always marked the TV series. I believe these could have easily been TV plots! I give this graphic novel five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

 BuyItHere>

 

Nov. 18, 2018

The X-Files Classics: Volume Two by Stefan Petrucha, John Rozum, and Charles Adlard

This volume continues the Tops Comics X-Files series. I love it when an X-Files tales ends on a cliffhanger! That indicates that there is more to the story, yet to be revealed. The basis of X-Files is deception and misdirection. I wonder if we could ever consider any X-File solved.

 Our stories continue from where Volume One left off, with the guru cannibal…

 There is an ancient artifact something like a helmet. When someone wears it, it connects a person with an expanded reality…

The suspect in a murder case is a comatose man...

A gaming programmer goes postal on his co-workers…

Radiation that may be from a UFO, turns a young boy into a murderer…

A white supremacist group finds themselves stalked by shadow people… 

A pilot lost in the Bermuda Triangle returns…

Strange ball lightning is killing people near the location of The Brown Mountain lights in North Carolina...

The stories are solid X-File cases! Monster of the week, hidden secrets, and UFOs always marked the TV series. I believe these could have easily been TV plots! I give this graphic novel five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

BuyItHere>