Sherlock Holmes Anthologies
By Various and MX Publishing
– David Marcum
I am pleased to be on the blog tour for 3 Sherlock Homes Anthologies of short stories and wonderfully written forewards as to why this has been done. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, these would sit very well in your collection. Later in the year I will also be reviewing some other newly written Sherlock Holmes books, so watch out for those. For now, here is a bit about the anthologies and my review on a few rather good pieces and buying links are below too. I thank Caroline for the blog tour invite and Steve
About the New Sherlock Holmes Anothologies
The books of new sherlock holmes stories ~ 2020
book XiX, XX, and XXI
Mx publishing ~ David marcum
64 new, traditional Sherlock Holmes Stories making up the latest three volumes in the world’s largest collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories – XIX, XX and XXI.
In 2015, the first three volumes of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories arrived, containing over 60 stories in the true traditional Canonical manner, revisiting Holmes and Watson in those days where it is “always 1895” . . . or a few decades on either side of that. That was the largest collection of new Holmes stories ever assembled, and originally planned to be a one-time event. But readers wanted more, and the contributors had more stories from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box, so the fun continued.
Now, with the release of Parts XIX, XX, and XXI, the series has grown to over 450 new Holmes adventures by nearly 200 contributors from around the world. Since the beginning, all contributor royalties go to the Stepping Stones School for special needs children at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes, and to date the project has raised nearly $60,000 for the school.
As has become the tradition, this new collection of 64 adventures features Holmes and Watson carrying out their masterful investigations from the early days of their friendship in Baker Street to the post-War years during Holmes’s retirement. Along the way they are involved in some fascinating mysteries – some relating Untold Cases, others sequels to Canonical adventures, and a number progressing along completely unexpected lines.
Join us as we return to Baker Street and discover more authentic adventures of Sherlock Holmes, described by the estimable Dr. Watson as “the best and wisest . . . whom I have ever known.”
Featuring – Roger Riccard, Matthew White, Kevin P. Thornton, Chris Chan, Nick Cardillo, MJH Simmonds, Craig Stephen Copland, Will Murray, Ian Ableson, Thomas A. Turley, David Marcum, Dick Gillman, David Friend, Arthur Hall, Brenda Seabrooke, James Moffett, Robert Stapleton, Andrew Bryant, Will Murray, Andrew Bryant, Peter Coe Verbica, Sean M. Wright, and Tim Gambrell, with a poem by Christopher James, and forewords by John Lescroart, Roger Johnson, Lizzy Butler, Steve Emecz, and David Marcum
There is much to be read within these anthologies that would satisfy any Sherlock Holmes fans. I have selected a small amount to review. This isn’t to do with any quality or not with the writing of those I have not, it is merely a time constraint on my part and also the publisher and blog tour organiser saying a few will be enough. After all, you’ve got to discover something for yourselves right?
The title The Raspberry Tart, written by Roger Riccard; grabbed my attention first, It all takes a rather theatrical turn. The author has Sherlock down to a “T”. I simply love, even though it is creepy and you seriously wouldn’t want it done to you, when Sherlock analyses a person and quickly goes through everything to explain how he knows your profession and who you are. He does this with his client, Mr Ellington, who has fallen in love with an actress at a theatre, called Judith Morrow and it takes a twist here and there. It is a good piece of observational writing and very astute.
Now, here is a title of a story that has a recipe in it, whether it works or not and what it tastes like, I honestly couldn’t tell you. It is for De Burres Orange Fool and you will find it at the end of this particular short story. It features in The Nauch Night Case by Brenda Seabrooke. It’s the middle of the night when Mrs Hudson and the rest of the household are woken up by Scotland Yard, desperately needing Dr. Watson to act as Coroner as their usual one is up in Scotland. Holmes then goes to DeBurres Club, near Boodles, where he once hada bit of a to-do with the chef over a pudding. Things aren’t as you can imagine, quite as pleasant as they first seem on the face of it. There’s been a death and Lestrad is onto it, along with Holmes and Watson of course. There’s some mild amusement in this well-told tale that has enough to hold the attention of its readers. It also flows particularly well and has a very good storyline.
How about a Game of Skittles anyone? A Game of Skittles is written by Thomas A. Turley. It begins with the political situation between Gladstone and Chamberlain as Mycroft keeps himself busy with foreign affairs. Skittles is in this case of course, not a game, but rather a person who was rather youthful in demeanour and attitude in her younger days. There are hints of blackmail in this case. The notes immediately after this short story are also well written out and actually interesting.
Within the second volume there are stories like Blood and Gunpowder by Thomas A. Burns, Jr. Dr. Watson is alone in the world in France, until Sherlock Holmes turns up. Persano is the victim before a duel could happen. It is an intriguing read.
Mrs Hudson is with Dr. Watson in The Atelier of Death by Harry Di Maio. The mystery takes place around a south London art gallery and there is a dastardly case afoot involving poison, a student programme and a twist at the end, which all in all is very well conceived and enjoyable.
It is certainly an intriguing start to The Adventure of the Beauty Trap by Tracy J. Revels when you want to know just what Holmes and Watson are looking at as Sherlock rebukes Watson. Enter Arabian baths, meet the retired Major Winston and Miss Louvois and her ladies and a strange, sinister atmosphere, conveyed, skillfully in the writing for how characters behave and react in certain situations. There is more than meets the eye to the business and it isn’t as pretty as the customers would believe before they enter.
In volume 3 – The Case of The Missing Rhyme by Jospeph W. Svec 111 is in actual fact all cleverly put together in a rhyming poem, which is all rather fun about what a scandal it if it cannot be found.
The Adventure of the Grand Vizier by Arthur Hall takes place in the British Museum amongst the egyptian artifacts before heading to Cheam Passage, near Berkley Square area to pay Sir Oswald a visit to question him on the disappearance of the Sceptre of Nubis. It all ends rather nicely and there’s a sweet thought for Mrs Hudson in this well written and good story.
There are so many stories each of the 3 anthologies that Sherlock Holmes and anthology fans will enjoy and can feast their eyes on. There will, no doubt be some you like more over others, but they seem of a pretty good standard and are well thoughtout and feel somewhat respectful to Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation and original works, which in my opinion is a good thing too. I have, in my selection attempted to give a wide as possible view of the different sorts of mysteries you can expect.