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Kirkus review of The Complete Diaries of Young Arthur Conan Doyle

Ever wonder where Arthur Conan Doyle got his Sherlock Holmes ideas? From his thrill-packed diaries, according to these takeoffs on the iconic detective series…

The team of medical historian Raffensperger and writing professor Krevolin (The Mystery of the Scarlet Homes of Sherlock, 2016) tweaks the Holmes tales to focus on forensics, with intriguing demonstrations of period surgical breakthroughs along with much procedural. (“Bell cut around the tumor until the gyri and sulci of the temporal lobe of the brain came into view.”) They adroitly pilfer tropes from their classic sources, reveling in Victorian trash talk—“You dare to lay hands on a nobleman!”—and contrivances: mystery men are reliably killed before they can spill their information, and in one bad spot the heroes rely on crazed monkeys for rescue. The authors rack up the body count with awesome efficiency, but some of the mayhem, like an organ extraction from a conscious, paralyzed patient, conveys a chilling horror. Fans should find Bell a worthy epitome of Holmes, his deductions a higher form of know-it-all-ism—“Graceland Cemetery is well known for its fine stand of Hazelnut trees and there is a Hazelnut leaf stuck to the underside of your muddy left shoe”—and his right to rule serenely unchallengeable. Conan Doyle, a sad sack who misses the clues and loses the girls, bears Bell’s insults—“Laddie, sometimes I wonder if you have the cerebral facility for a future in the medical arts”—with quiet indignity but makes for an engaging observer of the hoopla. While it’s all a bit formulaic, the authors stage the proceedings with aplomb, regaling readers with energetic storytelling and colorful characters.

An entertaining, rollicking addition to the Holmes-verse, combining real-world lore with over-the-top melodrama.

Read the full review here.

The Complete Diaries of Young Arthur Conan Doyle is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

9781787051669

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Queen City Corpse

Queen City Corpse by Dan Andriacco. MX Publishing, 2017. 240pp. (pbk) When QueenCon, a mystery convention named after the great Ellery Queen, comes to Cincinnati (Longfellow’s “Queen City of the West”) Sebastian McCabe BSI, Jeff Cody, and Jeff’s wife Lynda make the short journey from Erin, Ohio. Sebastian is a successful crime writer, magician and amateur sleuth, and Jeff still has hopes of publishing his own detective novels. Lynda wants to meet her favourite author, Rex Carter, before he succumbs to terminal cancer. On the first night Jeff overhears some ominous whispered words: “Where do we hide the body?” though no one’s there to say them. Inevitably (this is a McCabe and Cody story) murder ensues — but why would anyone kill a man who’ll soon be dead anyway? This is the seventh novel in a deliciously literate, witty series, with ingenious plots and engaging characters. Highly recommended!

Queen City Corpse (McCabe and Cody Book 7) is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

9781787051416

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Memoirs from Mrs Hudson’s Kitchen

Memoirs from Mrs Hudson’s Kitchen by Wendy Heyman-Marsaw. MX Publishing, 2017. 130pp ‘From Mrs Hudson’s Kitchen’ has been a popular feature in Canadian Holmes, the journal of the Bootmakers of Toronto, since 2011. The chapters in this attractive, nicely illustrated book are expanded and rearranged from those columns. Mrs H’s narrative, friendly and level-headed, gives a good picture of what life must have been like for an intelligent lower-middle class landlady catering for an eccentric genius in late Victorian London. She tells us what food and drink she served her lodgers, and what would have been available to them on railway journeys and at hotels or inns. And there are nearly sixty recipes, all authentic and practical. It’s a very nice new volume for the Holmesian cook’s bookshelf — though perhaps we should avoid the tobacco cookies.

Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine,  Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Available in Audio and Kindle formats.

9781787051805

 

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Review of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part VI—2017 Annual

The traditional pastiche is alive and well, as shown by the 35 Sherlock Holmes stories in Marcum’s excellent sixth all-original anthology (after 2016’s The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part V—Christmas Adventures). This volume showcases talented, lesser-known authors who offer a wide variety of mysteries for Holmes to solve, including a classic locked-room murder (David Friend’s “The Adventure of the Apologetic Assassin”) and a genuine rarity, a whydunit in which the killer’s identity is never in question but his motive is (Jennifer Copping’s “The Adventure of the Vanishing Apprentice”). David Timson’s “The Adventure of the Wonderful Toy” makes especially creative use of Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph, which is used as a tool for extortion. Many entries manage to craft baffling mysteries that don’t involve crimes of violence, and others offer ingenious extrapolations from Watson’s cryptic references to untold cases, such as Hugh Ashton’s “The Adventure of the Returned Captain,” a take on “the loss of the British barque Sophy Anderson.” This is a must-have for all Sherlockians.”

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VI: 2017 Annual is available from all good bookstores including in the USA The Strand Magazine, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, in the UK Amazon, Waterstones, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

MX Vol VI

 

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Out on 31st October – The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VII and VIII – Eliminate The Impossible

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VII and VIII – Eliminate The Impossible

Volumes VII and VIII bringing forty-eight more stories to the world’s largest collection of new Sherlock Holmes Stories – specially written for Halloween.

In 2015, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories burst upon the scene, featuring adventures set within the correct time period, and written by many of today’s leading Sherlockian authors from around the world. Those first three volumes were overwhelmingly received, and there were soon calls for additional collections. Since then, their popularity has only continued to grow, with six volumes already released, and now two more, Eliminate the Impossible, featuring tales of Holmes’s encounters with seemingly impossible events – ghosts and hauntings, curses and mythical beasts, and more.

In each of the stories presented in this massive two-volume collection, Holmes approaches the varied problems with one of his favorite maxims firmly in place: “… . when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth … .” But what, exactly, is the truth?

The forty-eight stories in these two companion volumes represent some of the finest new Holmesian storytelling to be found, and honor the man described by Watson as “the best and wisest … whom I have ever known.”

All royalties from this collection are being donated by the writers for the benefit of the preservation of Undershaw, one of the former homes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Eliminate The Impossible is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

9781787052024   9781787052062

 

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Peter E. Blau reviews Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen

Wendy Heyman-Marsaw’s MEMOIRS FROM MRS. HUDSON’S KITCHEN (2017; 119 pp.) offers a collection of columns from Canadian Holmes, expanded and edited by JoAnn and Mark Alberstat; it’s a nice cookbook, with commentary on life in Victorian times in London and the English countryside.

Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen is available for pre order from all good bookstores including   Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Available now in Audio format.

9781787051805

 

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Orlando Pearson and The Redacted Sherlock Holmes – Author interview

Orlando Pearson has published fifteen new Sherlock Holmes stories in the first three books of his series, The Redacted Sherlock Holmes.

Volume IV, with five more stories, is being published in October. His stories have been described as marvellously entertainingclever, thought provoking, terrific fun by the Church Times and they have started to appear in German and Italian.We caught up with him at his home in South West London.

Mr Pearson, why is your series called The Redacted Sherlock Holmes?

The stories cover cases that were too scandalous to publish in Holmes’s life-time and had to be held back or redacted– so they cover political events, Holmes’s espionage work in both World Wars including his involvement with the code breakers at Bletchley Park, and human activities which Watson was unable to set before the conservative public of his lifetime.

We are fortunate that the embargo on their publication can now be lifted

What can you tell us about the latest book in the series?

As with Volumes I to III, there is a mixture of inspirations.

There is the true story of a 1930’s tennis player imprisoned by the Nazis and also featuring Hermann Göring, price comparison websites, Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Brexit, and a sequel to The Hound of the Baskervilles set twenty years after the original story.

Brexit? Price comparison websites? Arent they a bit anachronistic?

I think Sherlock Holmes is a bit like the Bible and Shakespeare – relevant at all times and in all places.

That applies in particular to the Brexit story where, after a vote to leave the Entente Cordiale in 1904, Holmes tries to negotiate the union of the United States and the United Kingdom which he proposed in The Noble Batchelor first published in 1892.

Maybe involving Holmes in events with a modern-day parallel is to invite criticism, althoughThe Alcock Report, a story about an investigation into a war in the Middle East, was hugely popular in Volume II.

Personally, I welcome controversy as that means that people have read my work! I am amused that the two reviews on Amazon of A Study in Red, White and Blue express diametrically opposed opinions of it.

And price comparison websites?

For the price comparison websites story, the great economist, John Maynard Keynes, plays a starring role in Holmes’s investigation of what price comparing publications were up to in the first decade of the 20th century.

The practices described in On Constant Luck are entertaining but obviously have no relevance to the better ordered second decade of the 21st century in which we are lucky enough to live.

And the Hound is back?

My sequel is set in 1909 – so twenty years after the events in the original story.

I think my approach to Sherlock Holmes in this story is much more iconoclastic than that in the two stories with modern inspirations, as The Hounding of Peers Baskerville calls into question Holmes’s handling of the original Baskerville case.

And there is a music story?

I am a big Classical music fan and so each of the books published by MX has a music story – one on Bach and Vivaldi, one on Mozart, and in Volume IV one on Holmes’s role in the composition of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Holmes was a superb violinist and wrote a monograph on the motets of the 16th century Dutch composer, Orlando de Lassus, said by experts to be the last word on the subject.

He is thus well suited to conduct a musical case.

What are you doing to launch your book?

There will be a launch party at 6.30 pm for a 7.00 pm start on 28 November at Truckles in London WC1A 2JR and launch events at The Haselmere Bookshop – only a few miles from Undershaw – on 2 December and at Barton’s Bookshop of Leatherhead on 9 December.

There is also a prize of a free copy of Volume IV for the first person who can identify all the faces on the cover above. Write to me at OrlandoDLPearson@gmail.com.

What else have you been doing?

All the stories from Volumes I to III are now available as audio books in about thirty different voices read by the brilliant Steve White. It has been fantastic working with him and we are busy on Volume IV.

I am also writing stories for what I hope will be a Volume V next year.

The Redacted Sherlock Holmes (Volume IV) is available for pre order from all good bookstores including  Amazon USA, Amazon UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

redacted sherlock holmes

 

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