Author Archives: mxpublishing
The Man with the Twisted Lip
Like birds to a lighthouse: Well, that’s nice. People in grief flock to see Watson’s wife. But I began to think about this simile. Do birds flock to lighthouses? Indeed, they do, attracted by the light, and they hit the buildings and die. Hmm. Is there something dangerous about Watson’s wife? Or at least boring? The story opens with Watson yawning in her presence. It’s a tender domestic scene in the Watsons’ sitting room, Watson in his armchair, his wife at her needlework, and yet where is the exciting repartee we get when Watson is with Holmes, or for that matter when Hugh Boone is plying his trade as a beggar?
Hugh Boone is good at being a beggar: There’s the witty repartee and the professionally done make-up, making him quite a character on…
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Excellent episode from I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere with Sheldon Goldfarb
Mark Sohn’s The Absentee Detective: Tales of Conspiracy, Connivance, and Intrigue is a 2018 collection of four short stories. These are The Detective Who Wasn’t, The Detective Who Wasn’t There, The Unlikely Detective, and The Tinseltown Detective. All the stories are of a sufficient length to develop their complex plots and provide a very satisfying read.
The first story, The Detective Who Wasn’t, features, not Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, but Mortimer Knight and Baxter Belmont, two actors who play those respective parts on stage. The story begins when ‘Holmes’ is approached by a young boy who believes the two men are the real Holmes and Watson. He wants them to investigate why his beloved collie suddenly bit him and his mother. Thus begins a serpentine tale that stretches over British countryside and history, with nods to Charles II and Nazi spies.
I realise this story…
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What a magical mystery tour of a novel. A lot of the time I found myself as bemused as poor Dr Watson as what exactly was going on and who all these mad characters were, between maharajahs, femmes fatales, midget monocle manufacturers, doppelgangers, an aesthete who makes soup brewed from a mammoth’s femur… the list goes on and on.
Oh, and a couple of real people have walk-on parts, including Frederick William Burton, Irish-born artist and director of the National Gallery (dubbed William Frederick in the book – a mistake or part of the overall hall of mirrors effect?). Irish people will know him as the painter of the ineffable ‘Meeting on the Turret Stairs’, held in the National Gallery of Ireland and in 2012 voted Ireland’s favourite painting [see below]. Even Queen Victoria turns up in the book and is revealed as a good chum of our…
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If you have to be sick, as I was last week, you should at least be comforted by lashings of hot tea, a snuggly blanket, and a book that transports you from the bleaugh of your circumstances to somewhere far more engaging. 221B Baker Street, for instance. Enter The Last Confessions of Sherlock Holmes by Kieran Lyne.
I love Holmes pastiches that are faithful to the canon. I’m not a fan of Holmes the Basset Hound, or Holmes the Spaceman, so I was delighted to receive a review copy of this terrific book from MX Publishing. I should specify that the novel involves a retelling of some original Conan Doyle tales, but does take some liberties that purists may tut at.
Here’s the tale in a nutshell:
In the dawn of 1891 Sherlock Holmes is locked in a deadly game of wits with the sinister Professor James Moriarty, but events…
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1. Sherlock Holmes and the Hunt for Jack the Ripper – Gerard Kelly and Kevin Theis
2. Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Case Files – Mark Mower and Steve White
2. The Demon of the Dusk: The Rediscovered Cases of Sherlock Holmes Book 1 – Arthur Hall and Nick Crosby
4. Sherlock Holmes and a Hole in the Devil’s Tail – Viktor Messick and Kevin Theis
5. The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure – Richard T Ryan and Nigel Peever
More audio books on the Sherlock Holmes Audio Books Pinterest Board.
The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
Wait, didn’t we just do this story? There’s the bearded man pursuing the young damsel. He’s forgotten his bicycle this time, and she’s maybe not so young, but … And he turns out to be a good guy, not the villain – except some commentators ask, What kind of good guy is this? More like a stalker. And Holmes and Watson leave him alone with the chloroformed damsel – stop.
So is this a rewrite of The Solitary Cyclist? In some ways. There’s the “savage” bearded guy who isn’t really a villain (just a stalker, ha ha). And then the really threatening guy, Dr. Shlessinger, this story’s version of Roaring Jack Woodley. Except Roaring Jack was, well, roaring, and Dr. Shlessinger is studying the Biblical Midianites. (Descendants of Abraham, by the way…
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Sherlock Holmes and the Menacing Metropolis is a 2015 book by Allan Mitchell. I hesitate to call it a novel, though it is certainly book length, and it tells a story. The reason for my hesitation is the entire tale is told in verse. Rhyming couplets, no less. For instance:
With their frivilous banter put deftly aside,
Holmes and Watson, together, then had to decide
On a firm plan of action based only on fact
With no spurious rumours allowed to distract.
This story is a traditional Sherlock Holmes tale, told in an unusual way. The characters are all recognisable and well-described. The mystery, too, is worthy of Conan Doyle. Once you adjust to the rhymes, it’s a fine read.
A tale told in verse may some people appall, but as someone once said, you can’t please ’em all…
Sorry. Don’t know what I was thinking. It’s catching, this…
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