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Category Archives: Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle

With many books on Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, PG Wodehouse and Bertram Fletcher Robinson our Victorian Literature range is growing fast.

Peter E. Blau reviews A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Revised 2018 Edition

“Brian W. Pugh continues to revise his A CHRONOLOGY OF THE LIFE OF SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE (Mar 14 #7); the fourth edition (London: MX Publishing, 2018; 444 pp.) is a grand resource for information about the life and work of Conan Doyle. The chronology starts in 1755 (the birth of James Doyle) and ends in 1998 (the memorial service for Dame Jean), and one of the truly useful aspects of the chronology is the citation of sources, so that one can sort through conflicts (and learn that in some cases, Conan Doyle himself was not the most reliable source). There’s also information about aspects of his life and works, and maps and photographs, and a careful and useful index compiled by Geraldine Beare. Recommended.”

A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Revised 2018 Edition is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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Cassie Parkes reviews the first 3 Lego Sherlock Holmes books by P James Macaluso

“If there’s one thing I love besides Sherlock Holmes, it’s Lego. I have a shelf full of Lego figures (I have lots of character ones-Marvel, Lord of the Rings etc) and I loved The Lego Movie beyond comprehension. So when I saw that P James Macaluso Jr  had created illustrated versions of Conan Doyle’s work using Lego figures, I was giddy beyond belief!

I looked at three of Macaluso’s Holmes books: A Case of Identity, The Red-Headed League and A Scandal in Bohemia. The books use Conan Doyle’s original text, but are illustrated with charming Lego images (like the one above) which are Lego reproductions of Paget’s work in the original stories. Each illustration is both adorable and clever as, when compared to Paget’s originals, they are actually remarkably similar!

The books themselves are fairly thin and glossy, they are easy to read and I was eager to turn the page and see each new illustration recreated in Lego! One thing I did think about was how they would be fairly accessible to children in this format, though the vocabulary of Conan Doyle’s work might be a little tricky for some younger children.

Overall, these books are a fun, lighthearted take on Conan Doyle’s work, and I for one am very jealous both of the fact that I didn’t think of it first, and of Macaluso’s extensive Lego collection. I would definitely recommend these to both Holmesians and Lego fans alike, they’re the kind of thing which I know will make me smile over and over again.”

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Re-Imagined series is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kobo and Nook.

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Out this week: A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Revised 2018 Edition

A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was first published in 2009; this was fully revised, expanded in 2012 and 2014, an Addenda & Corrigenda was published in 2016.  This 2018 edition has been completely updated and revised and supersedes all previous editions, it includes all of the revisions and corrections that were made previously plus the information and maps included in the Addenda & Corrigenda.  Also included is information located during research since 2016.  New photographs have been added to those already published and The Times is now listed in the sources with the date of publication.  The index has been compiled professionally by Geraldine Beare.

The first section contains a family tree and a detailed chronology of the major and minor events in the life of Sir Arthur and his family from 1755 to 1930.  This is followed by sections on events from 1930 to 1998, An Arctic Voyage in 1880, maps of Conan Doyle’s travels, the residences of Conan Doyle and his family, where are they buried, locations of plaques and statues, Arthur Conan Doyle and cricket, Arthur Conan Doyle and Portsmouth Football Club, Innes Doyle and cricket, a list of biographies and semi-biographical works, a list of Facsimile manuscripts that have been published, a bibliography, a selective list of miscellaneous writings, works consulted and about the chronologist.  Finally, there are a number of well-reproduced photographs of ACD his family at various times of his life; some have not appeared in print before. This publication proves that there is more to Arthur Conan Doyle than just Sherlock Holmes.

If you only want one book about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this is the one. What Brian Pugh has done here is incredible. No other author has had a book like this written about his life and that is a fact! A must own book!” –  Doyle Society Copenhagen

A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Revised 2018 Edition is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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Out today in hardcover: The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure

On the morning of the vernal equinox in 1899, Holmes is roused from his bed by Lestrade. The inspector has received a report of a girl brutally murdered at Stonehenge.

Upon arriving at the famed site, Holmes discovers the body of a young woman. On her forehead, painted in blood, is a druidic symbol. On her side, also in blood, is a message written in a strange language that neither Holmes nor Lestrade can decipher. The girl was also eviscerated and her organs placed around her body. As a final touch, branches from yew trees had been artistically arranged around the corpse.

Holmes senses a malevolent force at work, but without data, he is powerless. As the weeks pass, he slowly gathers information about the ancient druids and Celtic mythology and begins to assemble a small army of experts to assist him.

Expecting the killer to strike again on the summer solstice, Holmes and Watson travel to the Nine Ladies in Derbyshire, the site of another stone circle that harkens to druidic times. While they are holding their vigil, Lestrade and his men are off keeping watch over the stone circles at Avebury and several other locations.

The Great Detective’s worst fears are realized when on the morning of the summer solstice, he learns that the body of a young man has been discovered in the eye of the White Horse of Uffington. Like the first victim, he too has been marked with a druidic symbol and his body bears a message. Aside from the symbol and the message, the only other difference appears to be that his body and organs have been surrounded by willow branches.

Realizing full well that a maniac reminiscent of the Ripper is on the loose, Holmes and Watson find themselves in a race against time as they try to locate the cult, identify the killer and prevent another tragedy.

As usual, Ryan is spot-on with narrator Watson’s tone and perspective – the deliberate musings, arcane details and captivating storytelling of Holmes’ sidekick are classic Watson. You could be reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself and have trouble distinguishing between the styles of each. And that, my dear Sherlockians, is the aura of authenticity that permeates Ryan’s imaginative series.” – Fran Wood, retired op-ed columnist and former books editor for The Star-Ledger, blogs at nj.com.

The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Available in Kindle and in Audio formats.

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Review of The Further Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes

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 MagazineAmazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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On Kickstarter – The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes XI and XII

On Kickstarter – The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes XI and XII

“The MX New Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories” collection has over 100 of the world’s leading Sherlock Holmes authors participating. The anthology includes only traditional stories set in the original Sherlock Holmes period. Between them, these authors have sold millions of books, and they come together for a common cause – Undershaw.

This is Volumes XI and XII bringing 34 new stories spread across the two volumes.

Full list of participating authors is below.

Part XI: 1880-1891 Jayantika Ganguly, Will Murray , Tracy Revels, Hugh Ashton, Matthew Simmonds, David Ruffle, Paul W. Nash, Mike Hogan, Craig Stephen Copland, Gayle Lange Puhl, Deanna Baran, Leslie Charteris and Denis Green, Roger Riccard, Robert Perret, Kevin P. Thornton, Stephen Herczeg, and M.A. Wilson and Richard Dean Starr, and a poem by Arlene Mantin Levy and Mark Levy

Part XII: 1894-1902 C.H. Dye, David Marcum, Thomas Fortenberry, Daniel D. Victor, Nik Morton, Craig Janacek, S. Subramanian, Jim French, Robert Stapleton, Nick Cardillo, Paul D. Gilbert, Mike Hogan, Derrick Belanger, John Linwood Grant, Mark Mower, Jane Rubino, and Arthur Hall, and a poem by “Anon.”

Forewords in both volumes by Lyndsay Faye, Roger Johnson (SHSL), Melissa Grigsby (Stepping Stones School), David Marcum (Editor) and Steve Emecz (Publisher).

The authors are donating the royalties to projects at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home, Undershaw.

Rewards

The books are available in three formats – PDF, paperbacks and dust cover hardcovers and the books will be shipped pre-publication at significant discounts to the RRPs.

For more information click here.

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Publishers Weekly reviews The Further Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes: Vol. 1

“Smith’s facility at crafting original plots remains undiminished in this collection of six Sherlock Holmes pastiches. Some hook the reader with a tantalizing opening, such as “The Jet Broach,” in which the Baker Street detective receives an anonymous package containing a brooch and a scrawled note for help. Even those with a less dramatic start take unexpected and intriguing turns, such as “The Five Keys,” which begins with a request for help so banal that Watson is surprised his friend accepts the case—a couple want the detective to attend the reading of a will, to keep his eyes and ears open for anything underhanded. Holmes gets drawn into a mystery worthy of his skills that ends with an eminently fair solution. “The Inn on the Marsh” features an odder entreaty from another man and wife, who are perplexed as to why the guest register at the inn they stayed at during their honeymoon no longer contains their names. Sherlockians will rejoice that Smith continues to create new mysteries faithful to Conan Doyle.”

The Further Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes: Vol. 1 is available for pre order from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

The Further Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes – Volumes 1 and 2, hardcover edition is available from The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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