Review: These Scattered Houses

Geri Schear

When I was a child, I had a habit of making a fort out of books. I’d stack them up to make walls, and then climb inside and build a roof from whatever storybooks were left over. Living in London during the 1950s could be scary, and my book-fort was the place I felt safest.

Fast-forward to the 2020s and the entire world seems to be on the cusp of annihilation. Though I no longer live in London or in the US, as an adult I realise the impact those two places have on the rest of the globe, and, right now, I find their current climates terrifying. I feel deep anxiety and concern for my friends around the world, and for all people of good will who march for their rights and for justice. I grew up in the age of Kennedy and King, Selma and Birmingham, Vietnam and…

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Posted by on June 3, 2020 in Uncategorized


The Books of New Sherlock Holmes Stories (1882 — 1890) ~ Volumes XIX, XX, and XXI

Geri Schear

Usually, I open a review of a new MX collection by waxing lyrical about the stories and the calibre of the authors. This new collection of three volumes — XIX, XX, and XX — certainly contain jewels, but before I tell you about my favourites, I want to beg and plead that before you delve into these, you first take the time to read the foreword by editor David Marcum.

Not Just “Always 1895” — a Hero for Now, is a masterclass in all things Sherlock Holmes. If you’re new to the Great Detective, or even if you can recite The Hound of theBaskervilles almost by heart, ahem, you will find that Mr Marcum’s precise examination of the Holmes and Watson legend puts the character and stories into a context that can only enhance your enjoyment of reading the stories that follow, as well as the original Conan…

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Posted by on May 27, 2020 in Uncategorized


The Priory School

Sherlockian Musings

Thorneycroft Huxtable, BA, MA, etc., arriving at Baker Street.
Illustration by Sidney Paget.

The Priory School

Musings of Dr. Sheldon Goldfarb, BA, MA, MAS, PhD, etc.

Priory? First of all, what is a Priory School? I’ve looked up “priory,” and it means monastery or convent, but that can’t be what we have here in Victorian England. Perhaps it means there used to be a monastery on the spot? And it is a boys’ school, so a bit monastic perhaps: and with lurid goings-on as in an old Gothic, like for instance The Monk. But still.

And who is the Priory Schoolmaster? A question of moment to me since I have assumed the title for the Stormy Petrels in our monthly discussions of things Sherlockian. In the story both Thorneycroft Huxtable, that pompous fool, and the German master who gets murdered have the title of schoolmaster applied to them. Not…

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Posted by on May 25, 2020 in Uncategorized


Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Beer Barons

“This is the third Sherlock Holmes novel by Christopher James, and in it he shows both his own unique style and approach to The World of Holmes, and also he provides a very interesting and informative travelogue to the area around Burton upon Trent, England.

In addition to being a Sherlockian novelist, James is also an award winning poet. (He’s combined the two on several occasions, providing some truly amazing introductory poems to various volumes of “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories”.) Perhaps it’s because of his poet’s perspective that each of his three Holmes novels have had a slightly dreamlike feel to them.  While the narrative does move in a linear fashion, there’s a calmness about it – even when Holmes and Watson are being pursued by killers. Like his previous books, “The Ruby Elephants” and “The Jeweller of Florence”, this volume’s episodes become something of a pointillist painting – getting too close makes the details a little blurry, but stepping back allows one to see the big picture, bringing it all into focus.

During the course of their investigation – attempting to determine who is poisoning barrels of beer – Holmes and Watson meet a variety of interesting characters, including three unique brothers (the sons of a beer dynasty) who each have their own interests and agendas, a disinterested police inspector, and most important, a lady detective who is also working on the case. She is a very defined character, and one might suspect that James has brought her to life so well so that she might appear in a book or two of her own in the near future.

Of particular interest to me, as a nearly life-long Holmes fan who has also made three (so far) extensive Holmes trips to England, were the descriptions of Burton upon Trent, an area that I’d never really considered visiting before, but now find myself wishing to explore. Of course, when I finally get there, I’ll re-read this book to make sure that I follow in Holmes and Watson’s footsteps.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book, and I look forward to the next Watsonian volume that Mr. James discovers in Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box.”

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Beer Barons is available for pre order from all good bookstores including Amazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Pre-publication copies available from The Strand Magazine and directly from MX Publishing.



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Top 7 Sherlock Holmes Audio books so far in May

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

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

3. The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure – Richard T Ryan and  Nigel Peever

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

5.  Demon of The Dusk – Arthur Hall and Nick Crosby

6.  Sherlock Holmes and The Baker Street Legacy – Mark Mower and Steve White

7.  Scarlet Thread of Murder – Luke Kuhns and Joff Manning

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





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Review of Mrs. Hudson Takes the Stage

“ … a delightful entertainment with more than a dash of comedy … deftly juggles historical fact with fictional whodunnit … Mrs. Hudson Takes the Stage holds up in the … world of Sherlock Holmes … and deserves a wider audience.”-Wilmington StarNews

The game is afoot, but with a twist

By Ben Steelman For The StarNews

“Since retiring to Carolina Beach after a career as a psychologist and counselor, Barry S. Brown has devoted his life to setting things straight about Sherlock Holmes.

Brown’s thesis, as you might recall, is that Mrs. Hudson, the indefatigable housekeeper at 221-B Baker St., London, was the real brains of the operation.

She learned criminology and detection from the late Mr. Hudson, a career London police constable, as well as from reading the papers. But of course, no one would take a little old lady seriously in Victorian times, especially if she has a thick Cockney accent. So, she hired Holmes and Dr. Watson as the front men. They do the leg work on the cases, but she solves them.

Brown’s previous novels have taken the Baker Street team to New York and even to the first Olympic Games, in 1896. In “Mrs. Hudson Takes the Stage,” the sixth installment, they go behind the curtains of the London stage.

It’s 1901, and Mrs. Hudson and the crew are off to see a play – a new import from the colonies called “Sherlock Holmes,” starring the American matinee idol William Gillette.

(In fact, Gillette did tour London and the major British cities in 1902 in “Sherlock Holmes,” in which he starred and which he wrote with Sherlock’s creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. Rather like a Marvel superhero movie, the critics hated it, but the crowds went wild.) Gillette, by the way, is credited with creating the trademark Holmes profile with deerstalker hat and curved pipe – although some sources credit Sidney Paget, the artist who drew the illustrations for the Holmes stories in The Strand magazine.

Anyway, something goes wrong on opening night. Somebody stabs the wardrobe mistress to death backstage – a pretty, quiet woman who kept to herself. Holmes and Watson are called in by Gillette, who supposedly has been getting threatening letters.

Since Mrs. Hudson can sew, meanwhile, she steps into the breach – which gives her an excellent backstage view of what’s going on.

The murdered woman, of course, is not whom she appears to be, and the investigation leads off into the shadowy world of London anarchists – just about the time, Brown reminds us, that President McKinley was fatally shot across the Atlantic by anarchist Leon Czolgosz.

The result is delightful entertainment with more than a dash of comedy. Brown’s novels have grown steadily better as he goes along. He deftly juggles historical fact with fictional whodunnit.

The new book gives a vivid picture of the old-time theater scene. (A cheeky 12-year-old newcomer named Charles Chaplin wanders through in the background.) Brown’s Holmes is a natural ham with all his makeup, wigs, fake noses and phony accents, and he takes to the case like a duck to water.

Old favorites from the Holmes canon wander through, notably Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard. (Lestrade gets along much better with Mrs. Hudson than with Holmes, largely because he has a sweet tooth for her fresh-baked scones.) Even Conan Doyle pops in, identified only as a doctor and the author of such well-liked historical novels as “The White Company.” (He helps out with the detecting, and the other characters conclude he’s pretty good at it.) “Mrs. Hudson Takes the Stage” holds up in the rather picky world of Sherlock Holmes fanatics, and it deserves a wider audience.”

Mrs. Hudson Takes the Stage is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USA, Barnes and Noble USAAmazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle.



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via Sherlock Holmes and the Murder at Lodore Falls – Charlotte Smith – Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Murder at Lodore Falls – Charlotte Smith – Review

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Posted by on May 9, 2020 in Uncategorized


via A Professor Reflects on Sherlock Holmes – Marino C. Alvarez – Review

A Professor Reflects on Sherlock Holmes – Marino C. Alvarez – Review

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Posted by on May 9, 2020 in Uncategorized


The Man with the Twisted Lip

Sherlockian Musings

Holmes musing on an Eastern divan.
Illustration by Sidney Paget.

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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Posted by on May 3, 2020 in Uncategorized


I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere: Episode 191: Sherlockian Musings

Excellent episode from I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere with Sheldon Goldfarb

Source: I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere: Episode 191: Sherlockian Musings

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Posted by on May 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

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