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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Case-Files

Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Case-Files by Mark Mower. MX Publishing, 2017. 182pp. (pbk) 

Mower’s name should be familiar as a regular contributor to the MX Anthologies of New Sherlock Holmes stories. This handsome book of seven adventures gathers together five of his tales from those volumes with two new stories. Beginning with a case from the pre-Watson years, these stories span Holmes’s career, ending with a mystery that takes place in the wake of the First World War. Mower has an engaging, readable style, carrying the reader along with convincing dialogue whilst combining a good eye for period detail with well-paced plotting. My favourite story has to be “The Manila Envelope”, which showcases Holmes’s methods in a virtuoso display of observation and deduction. Overall, an impressive collection.

Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Case Files is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Available on Kindle and Audio.

9781787051201

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Kirkus review of The Complete Diaries of Young Arthur Conan Doyle

Ever wonder where Arthur Conan Doyle got his Sherlock Holmes ideas? From his thrill-packed diaries, according to these takeoffs on the iconic detective series…

The team of medical historian Raffensperger and writing professor Krevolin (The Mystery of the Scarlet Homes of Sherlock, 2016) tweaks the Holmes tales to focus on forensics, with intriguing demonstrations of period surgical breakthroughs along with much procedural. (“Bell cut around the tumor until the gyri and sulci of the temporal lobe of the brain came into view.”) They adroitly pilfer tropes from their classic sources, reveling in Victorian trash talk—“You dare to lay hands on a nobleman!”—and contrivances: mystery men are reliably killed before they can spill their information, and in one bad spot the heroes rely on crazed monkeys for rescue. The authors rack up the body count with awesome efficiency, but some of the mayhem, like an organ extraction from a conscious, paralyzed patient, conveys a chilling horror. Fans should find Bell a worthy epitome of Holmes, his deductions a higher form of know-it-all-ism—“Graceland Cemetery is well known for its fine stand of Hazelnut trees and there is a Hazelnut leaf stuck to the underside of your muddy left shoe”—and his right to rule serenely unchallengeable. Conan Doyle, a sad sack who misses the clues and loses the girls, bears Bell’s insults—“Laddie, sometimes I wonder if you have the cerebral facility for a future in the medical arts”—with quiet indignity but makes for an engaging observer of the hoopla. While it’s all a bit formulaic, the authors stage the proceedings with aplomb, regaling readers with energetic storytelling and colorful characters.

An entertaining, rollicking addition to the Holmes-verse, combining real-world lore with over-the-top melodrama.

Read the full review here.

The Complete Diaries of Young Arthur Conan Doyle is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

9781787051669

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Queen City Corpse

Queen City Corpse by Dan Andriacco. MX Publishing, 2017. 240pp. (pbk) When QueenCon, a mystery convention named after the great Ellery Queen, comes to Cincinnati (Longfellow’s “Queen City of the West”) Sebastian McCabe BSI, Jeff Cody, and Jeff’s wife Lynda make the short journey from Erin, Ohio. Sebastian is a successful crime writer, magician and amateur sleuth, and Jeff still has hopes of publishing his own detective novels. Lynda wants to meet her favourite author, Rex Carter, before he succumbs to terminal cancer. On the first night Jeff overhears some ominous whispered words: “Where do we hide the body?” though no one’s there to say them. Inevitably (this is a McCabe and Cody story) murder ensues — but why would anyone kill a man who’ll soon be dead anyway? This is the seventh novel in a deliciously literate, witty series, with ingenious plots and engaging characters. Highly recommended!

Queen City Corpse (McCabe and Cody Book 7) is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

9781787051416

 

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Review of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part VI—2017 Annual

The traditional pastiche is alive and well, as shown by the 35 Sherlock Holmes stories in Marcum’s excellent sixth all-original anthology (after 2016’s The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part V—Christmas Adventures). This volume showcases talented, lesser-known authors who offer a wide variety of mysteries for Holmes to solve, including a classic locked-room murder (David Friend’s “The Adventure of the Apologetic Assassin”) and a genuine rarity, a whydunit in which the killer’s identity is never in question but his motive is (Jennifer Copping’s “The Adventure of the Vanishing Apprentice”). David Timson’s “The Adventure of the Wonderful Toy” makes especially creative use of Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph, which is used as a tool for extortion. Many entries manage to craft baffling mysteries that don’t involve crimes of violence, and others offer ingenious extrapolations from Watson’s cryptic references to untold cases, such as Hugh Ashton’s “The Adventure of the Returned Captain,” a take on “the loss of the British barque Sophy Anderson.” This is a must-have for all Sherlockians.”

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VI: 2017 Annual is available from all good bookstores including in the USA The Strand Magazine, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, in the UK Amazon, Waterstones, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

MX Vol VI

 

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Peter E. Blau reviews Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen

Wendy Heyman-Marsaw’s MEMOIRS FROM MRS. HUDSON’S KITCHEN (2017; 119 pp.) offers a collection of columns from Canadian Holmes, expanded and edited by JoAnn and Mark Alberstat; it’s a nice cookbook, with commentary on life in Victorian times in London and the English countryside.

Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen is available for pre order from all good bookstores including   Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Available now in Audio format.

9781787051805

 

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East Wind Coming : A Sherlockian Study Book

East meets West as one of the most talented British Sherlockian scholars, John Hall and a Japanese member of the Baker Street Irregulars, Hirayama Yuichi argue important Sherlockian questions. One offers the other three questions, and the other answers them with all their Sherlockian knowledge. They are serious Sherlockian battles between an English Knight and Japanese samurai! This volume also includes Hirayama’s Sherlockian papers published in The Musgraves, The Baker Street Journal, The Canadian Holmes and The Shoso-in Bulletin.

“ Excellent book of Sherlockian studies written by a Japanese Holmesian / Sherlockian Hirayma Yuichi, a member of the famous American society The Baker Street Irregulars called “A Japanese Vase” among them, Japanese Sherlock Holmes Club, Sherlock Holmes Society of London and several other societies of the same specialization. Mr Hirayma met with Sherlock Holmes when he was eight, ie. several decades ago. Then he found thick volumes of Japanese children’s adaptations of the stories of the famous detective. And since that time lasts his devotion. I appreciate Mr Hirayma’s broad culture knowledge and fondness for classic detective stories applied on Japanese milieu. As well as his patriotism that I like, too. As a non-native English-speaker (which I am too) he indicates our common problems – we like Sherlock Holmes, Victorian England, English language and way of life, but must inevitably cross the language barrier during our reading and writing studies.
I have learned a lot from this book – on Sherlock Holmes, as well as on Japan – and broaden my horizons.” –
Ales Kolodrubec – Czech Society of Sherlock Holmes

East Wind Coming is available from all good bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon and Barnes and Noble, in the UK AmazonWaterstones . Fans outside the US and UK can get free delivery from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon KindleKoboNook and Apple iBooks(iPad/iPhone).

east wind

 

 

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Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Ley Line Murders

Over the last year or so, I’ve favorably reviewed all three of Allan Mitchell’s previous Sherlock Holmes books, The Menacing Moors, The Menacing Metropolis, and The Menacing Melbournian. Each of those presented a story about Our Heroes in the form of Epic Verse, and in each review I hoped that Mr. Mitchell would turn his attention to providing a prose adventure. Happily, with Sherlock Holmes and the Ley Line Murders, he’s heard my request, reaching into Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box for something really recherche.

For those that don’t know, Ley Lines run as straight paths between the old places of Britain, often with ancient religious significance. They can be manmade or naturally occurring sites, of buildings on top of places that supposedly contain ancient power. Whether the sites connected by the lines are places of ancient magic, or the remnants of Camelot, wherever they’re found is always of interest, especially to modern explorers looking for New Age connections, or attempting to recreate the treasure hunt-feel of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

The very idea of these ancient lines has always held a fascination, and when murders start occurring, with bodies left at the intersection of the lines, it’s up to Holmes and Watson to find a solution. But as the narrative progresses, and ancient powers are discussed, the very rational Holmes finds that things are much more complicated and dangerous than he initially believed.

Once again, Mr. Mitchell has brought us a traditional Holmes tale, set in the correct era, with no modern devices or other irritating and frankly non-Holmesian actions. I’m very much looking forward to what he’ll reveal to us next.”

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and the Ley Line Murders is available for pre order from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nookand Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

9781787051300

 

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