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Review: The Last Confession of Sherlock Holmes

Geri Schear

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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Posted by on April 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The top five Sherlock Holmes Audio Books this month so far

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.

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Lady Frances Carfax

Sherlockian Musings

Watson being assaulted while looking for Lady Frances.
Illustration by Alec Ball.

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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Posted by on April 16, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Menacing Metropolis

Geri Schear

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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Posted by on April 8, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Review: 56 Sherlock Holmes Stories in 56 Days

Geri Schear

To celebrate the release of her novel Barefoot on Baker Street, Charlotte Anne Walters undertook to read and review a different Sherlock Holmes every day until she had read all 56. She posted her witty and insightful comments on her blog each day, and assigned every story points out of ten.

All of her essays have been collected and produced in book format by MX Publishing. All royalties have been donated by Ms Walters to the Undershaw Preservation Trust, which oversees Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home.

I received a copy of the 56 Stories collection from MX (link in the book title below) and have been happily reading Charlotte Walters’ comments — not every day, alas, I lack that sort of patience — but in great big handfuls, like a greedy child getting stuck in to the Cadbury’s Roses.

Sherlock Holmes fans are a mixed bunch. We all…

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Posted by on April 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Dead Ringers

Susan Knight

Dead Ringers, the latest collection by Robert Perret, consists of eleven stories which previously appeared separately in other anthologies or reviews, including some of the earlier MX books of New Sherlock Holmes stories.

The plots are pleasingly preposterous and often quite lurid, some revisiting familiar tales from the canon, such as A Study in Scarlet or The Copper Beeches. Others tread new ground. The Bogus Laundry Affair takes the reader into the sinister underworld of London, while The Adventure of the Pharaoh’s Tablet, toys with the occult. The longest story and the final one in the book, For King and Country, starts in the First World War, with Watson at the Somme discovering a mysterious roomful of corpses neatly seated round a table. With more plot twists than a corkscrew, and a side trip to Turkey, the story ends in post-war France and a well-deserved retirement…

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Posted by on March 27, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Helmets

Geri Schear

When I first picked up Teresa Wimmer’s Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Helmets I assumed it was a traditional Holmes novel in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Discovering the story was set in 2012 and is not about Holmes and Watson so much as Sherlock and John gave me pause. Though not for long.

I love the ‘Sherlock’ series that was created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, but I have never read a novel based on the series. Once I got over my initial shock, I found the story a lot of fun.

The premise is this: John and his girlfriend Lisa decide to go on a skiing holiday. However, because he’s BORED (said in the best Benedict Cumberbatch voice), Sherlock decides to go with them. Once they arrive at their skiing school they discover that there has been a series of serious ‘accidents’ over the previous…

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Posted by on March 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Blanched Soldier

Sherlockian Musings

Portrait of Sherlock Holmes by Sidney Paget (1904)

The Blanched Soldier

Our Man Godfrey: Godfrey, Godfrey, haven’t we had a Godfrey before? No, not the one who married Irene Adler … (by the way, in the Hollywood movie My Man Godfrey, Godfrey marries an Irene too; I wonder if the screenwriter read “A Scandal in Bohemia,” but that’s another story).

Another Godfrey: The one I was thinking of was the one in “The Missing Three-Quarter.” In fact, he is the missing three-quarter. So a missing Godfrey there and another one here. If you want a missing man, he has to be a Godfrey, I suppose (though originally it was going to be a different name, I learn from Klinger).

But why? I don’t mean why does the name have to be Godfrey, but why do each of these Godfreys go missing? I note a similarity in the two stories:…

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Posted by on March 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The top five Sherlock Holmes Audio Books this month so far

1. Sherlock Holmes and the Hunt for Jack the Ripper – Gerard Kelly and  Kevin Theis

2. Sherlock Holmes and a Hole in the Devil’s Tail – Viktor Messick and Kevin Theis

3. Merchant of Menace – Richard T Ryan and Nigel Peever

4. The Adventure of The Pigtail Twist – Matthew Simmonds and Joff Manning

5. The Vatican Cameos – Richard T Ryan and Nigel Peever

More audio books on the Sherlock Holmes Audio Books Pinterest Board.

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The Illustrious Client

Sherlockian Musings

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock

The Illustrious Client

“In the mud with my foot on his cursed face”: That’s how Kitty Winter would like to see Baron Gruner. And I thought, Wait a minute, we’ve seen something like that before: Lady X grinding her heel into the face of Charles Augustus Milverton after shooting him. Grisly stuff, female revenge on the male. Is Conan Doyle just repeating himself?

Not entirely: For instance, in the earlier story a lady does the shooting and the heel grinding. In this one Kitty Winter is no lady; she’s what? A force of nature? A whirlwind, a flame, a she-devil, a leprous female Shinwell Johnson found in the “garbage” of the underworld? She lives in “Hell, London,” but wishes Gruner in a deeper one. And she doesn’t in the end go in for shooting and heel grinding, but for tossing acid in a man’s face…

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Posted by on March 7, 2020 in Uncategorized

 
 
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