“2018 is a time for rejoicing, as there are more new Sherlock Holmes stories from Denis O. Smith. His new collection, “The Further Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes”, (the hardcover edition combining the paperback Volumes I and II) features twelve stories, and joins his previous books in providing some of the best Holmes adventures available.
In Issue 339 of “The District Messenger” (January 30, 2014), the newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, editor Roger Johnson wrote: “The Watson style is deceptively difficult to imitate. Good practitioners include June Thomson, Hugh Ashton and David Marcum, but the best is probably Denis O. Smith.”
While I would add a few other names to this list, such as the late Barrie Roberts, Gerard Kelly, and Tony Reynolds, I have to agree that the best truly is Denis O. Smith. From the first time that I first read Mr. Smith’s initial efforts at editing Watson’s notes, in the pamphlets that he originally self-published back in the early 1980’s, I knew that these were a cut above the others. Now, with this latest collection of Smith’s work, mixing six new stories with six that have been previously published elsewhere, we have even more to enjoy.
The new stories are: “The Five Keys”, “The Tregorran Heir”, “The Victoria Street Mystery”, “The Man in the Green Tweed Suit”, “An Unusual Interview”, and “The Thirteenth Step”.
Those that have previously appeared include some that haven’t been available for years, having initially been published in the long-vanished “Chronicles” volumes published by Calabash Press: “The Green Umbrella”, “The Zodiac Plate”, and “The Yellow Glove” Rounding out the book are three tales that have been in volumes of “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories”: “The Inn on the Marsh”, “The Jet Brooch”, and “The Watcher in the Woods”.
As always, Denis Smith channels Watson’s voice perfectly. The story structure, the details and the description, the mysteries themselves – all combine to be perfect visits with Holmes and Watson. The only thing that matches how much I enjoyed this book is the sadness that I read it too quickly, and that I have to wait for more from Denis Smith’s visits to Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box.”
Reviewed by David Marcum
The Further Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.