Philip K Jones (aka The Ill Dressed Vagabond ) is one of the leading Holmes reviewers in the USA. Here is his recent review of ‘The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes’ by Tony Reynolds.
This is the first Sherlockian writing I have found by this author. It is a collection of eight short novellas, each set up similarly to the Canonical tales. Other than the language, which seems a bit modern, these tales read a lot like their originals.
`The Giant Rat of Sumatra” takes place in London and migrates from a tale of murder to a story of a curiosity and then to a true tragedy. The explanation offered is plausible and the events are reasonable. “The Adventure of the Gypsy Girl” reads very well. Holmes always seems a step ahead of the reader and gives his client what she asks for. It is quite well executed and seems to unfold naturally.
“The Adventure of the Amazon Explorer” recalls a couple of the Canonical tales and includes several excellent deductions by Holmes. Again, Holmes satisfies his client’s needs, if not those of the Metropolitan Police. “The Adventure of the Medium” starts out as if it is another fraud debunking as in the earlier “Gypsy Girl” tale. It ends up as a tale of Holmes’ compassion and understanding.
“The Adventure of the Russian Anarchist” has Holmes requested by a high Government Official to help prevent the assassination of a visiting diplomat. Holmes manages to do so, despite the advice and help provided by his client and by Inspector Lestrade. “The Adventure of the Eminent Collector” involves Holmes in an inexplicable robbery. The stolen object and the pains taken simply do not match, so Holmes finds the explanation.
“The Adventure of the Pawnbroker’s Wife leads Holmes and Watson into an increasingly dark and involved situation. Their client’s suspicions seem to be confirmed and then magnified as the case progresses. “The Mystery of the Missing Rubies” introduces us to a family of Holmes relatives. Sherlock and Watson travel to Yorkshire to spend the Christmas holidays with some Holmes cousins and Mycroft joins the party. This is not a Mycroft I recognize, but the crime is explained so a good holiday can be had by all.
The individual stories are all reasonably framed and well-written. I found only a handful of errors and disliked only the characterization of Mycroft in the final tale. All were enjoyable, moderately complex and believable. Perhaps they are not Canonical, but they make a very nice substitute.
The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes are available from all good bookstores worldwide, on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books and iBooks (iPad/iPhone).