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Review of The Stone of Destiny

Sherlock Holmes has been to Ireland before – but never for stakes as high as this.

Over the course of his professional career, Sherlock Holmes has visited Ireland on numerous occasions. Although none of these sojourns were chronicled by the first Literary Agent, who only wrote a paltry 60 stories, other “editors” of Watson’s notes have provided quite a few details about some of Holmes and Watson’s other trips to The Emerald Isle.

A few of these cases – but not all – include: “The Matter of the Sudden Death of Cardinal Tosca” in “My Dear Watson” and “The Abergavenny Murder” in “The Vital Essence”, both by Sherlockian scholar David Hammer; “The Irish Professor” in “Sherlock Holmes: The Tandridge Hall Murder”  by Eddie Maguire; and “The Case of the Mysterious Painting”, an excellent Fan-Fiction by Don Conlan. But perhaps none of his visits across the Irish Sea have such great consequences as in “The Stone of Destiny” by Richard T. Ryan.

The book opens with the death of Queen Victoria in February 1901. Irish nationalists see this an opportunity and steal the Stone of Scone, whose long history includes its traditional use in the coronation of new kings and queens of England.

The Stone has been stolen before, of course. In late 1950, it was taken by a group of Scottish students. And before that, it was stolen in late 1930, and subsequently recovered by Solar Pons, “The Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street”, as related in the Pons tale, “The Adventure of the Stone of Scone”. It’s good to know that Holmes was able to help when it was stolen even earlier. (One has to wonder if Solar Pons, when investigating the later theft, knew of Holmes’s involvement nearly three decades earlier.)

After the Stone is taken, Holmes and Watson travel to Ireland, wherein Holmes gains great practice on something of a trial run for the years 1912-1914, when he will again be undercover, then taking on the identity of the Irish-American Altamont in an affair covered in the Canonical story, “His Last Bow”. No doubt, his experiences in this narrative gave him great insight as to how to portray an Irishman a decade later.

It’s fun in this story to see Holmes and Watson revisit sites where they have traveled in previous adventures. For instance, in this tale Watson visits Blarney Castle, the same place where he and Holmes had already solved a case in March 1896, as related in the radio episode, “The Adventure of the Blarney Stone” (“The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, March 18, 1946, by Denis Green and Anthony Boucher), and also in the text version of the same adventure, included in “The Lost Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Don Greenwald.

Like in his previous book, “The Vatican Cameos”, Ryan alternates between Watson’s part of the story, and an equal amount of time given over to a third-person narrative chronicling the actions of the criminals. In “The Vatican Cameos”, the alternating non-Watson chapters were set hundreds of years before Holmes and Watson’s part of the story, and could have been removed and never missed, as they only served to provide some background details. In this case, the alternating chapters are concurrent with Holmes’s investigation.

There were a few errors in the book, as in chapter titles with dates that don’t quite match up with the chronology of what’s happening in the text, and some London-related issues, such as when the third-person narrative indicates that Edgware Road is a short distance from Liverpool Street Station, and that one catches a train for Liverpool from Liverpool Street Station. (To get to Liverpool, one departs from Euston Station.) However, these issues, while a bit jarring, don’t take away from the overall quality of the story.

The Holmes that I admire most is the capable figure who has all the threads in hand, and is one step ahead of his opponents – or if he doesn’t have all the threads quite yet, he can at least make the other side think that he does. I really enjoyed that aspect of this book, and when you read it, you’ll understand what I mean and agree with me.

Reviewed by David Marcum

The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure is available for 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.

Stone of Destiny FC mockup (2)

 

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Review of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part V: Christmas Adventures

Volume V of this amazing series contains thirty-one short works of Holmes fiction. Giving a line or two to each would take up more lines of review than the average reader would be willing to peruse. Overall, the book is awesome! The major reason I am now in possession of Volume VI is a statement to the quality of the stories in this series!…Given the incredible amount of talent shining in this MX series, how could I give the volume anything except FIVE STARS PLUS!

Reviewed by Raven’s Reviews

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

9781780929958

 

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Released today – The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VI: 2017 Annual

2017 is the 130th anniversary of the publication of A Study in Scarlet, the first recorded adventure of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson. What an amazing journey it’s been! In addition to the pitifully few sixty tales originally presented in The Canon, published between 1887 and 1927, there have been literally thousands of additional Holmes adventures in the form of books, short stories, radio and television episodes, movies, manuscripts, comics, and fan fiction. And yet, for those who are true friends and admirers of the Master Detective of Baker Street, where it is always 1895 (or a few decades on either side of that!) these stories are not enough. Give us more!

In 2015, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories burst upon the scene, featuring stories set within the correct time period, and written by many of today’s leading Sherlockian authors from around the world. Those first three volumes were overwhelmingly received, and there were soon calls for additional collections. Since then, the popularity has only continued to grow. Two more volumes were released in 2016, and this the first of two planned for 2017 – with no end in sight! The thirty-five stories in this volume – now bringing the total number of narratives and participating authors in this series to well over one-hundred! – represent some of the finest new Holmesian storytelling to be found, and honor the man described by Watson as “the best and wisest … whom I have ever known.” All royalties from this collection are being donated by the writers for the benefit of the preservation of Undershaw, one of the former homes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Part VI: 2017 Annual features contributions by: Bob Byrne, Julie McKuras, Derrick Belanger, Robert Perret, Deanna Baran, G.C. Rosenquist, Hugh Ashton, David Timson, Shane Simmons, Stephen Wade, Mark Mower, David Friend, Nick Cardillo, Roger Riccard, S. Subramanian, Carl L. Heifetz, Geri Schear, S.F. Bennett, Jennifer Copping, Jim French, Carla Coupe, Narrelle Harris, Arthur Hall, Craig Janacek, Marcia Wilson, Tracy Revels, Molly Carr, Keith Hann, David Ruffle, David Marcum, Thomas A. Turley, Jan Edwards, C. Edward Davis, Tim Symonds, and Daniel D. Victor, with a poem by Bonnie MacBird, and forewords by David Marcum, Nicholas Utechin, Roger Johnson, Steve Emecz, and Melissa Farnham.

Available in Hardback and Paperback.

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.

MX Vol VI

 

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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is the largest collection of new, traditional Sherlock Holmes stories ever compiled. Already with six volumes (volumes VII, VIII and IX are underway) and now over 100 of the world’s leading authors taking part the collection is going from strength to strength. All the authors are donating their royalties to Stepping Stones School at Undershaw.

Here’s author David Marcum whose stories appear in Volumes I, IV, V and VI. David is the creator and editor of the series.

David is also the author of Sherlock Holmes – Tangled Skeins – Stories from the Notebooks of Dr. John H. Watson.

We’re putting together a Pinterest Board of all the authors in the collection –  MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Authors

David Marcum with MX Anthologies Parts I-VI

 

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Book Giveaway For The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VI: 2017 Annual

Book Giveaway For The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VI: 2017 Annual

2017 is the 130th anniversary of the publication of A Study in Scarlet, the first recorded adventure of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson. What an amazing journey it’s been! In addition to the pitifully few sixty tales originally presented in The Canon, published between 1887 and 1927, there have been literally thousands of additional Holmes adventures in the form of books, short stories, radio and television episodes, movies, manuscripts, comics, and fan fiction. And yet, for those who are true friends and admirers of the Master Detective of Baker Street, where it is always 1895 (or a few decades on either side of that!) these stories are not enough. Give us more! In 2015, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories burst upon the scene, featuring stories set within the correct time period, and written by many of today’s leading Sherlockian authors from around the world. Those first three volumes were overwhelmingly received, and there were soon calls for additional collections. Since then, the popularity has only continued to grow. Two more volumes were released in 2016, and this the first of two planned for 2017 – with no end in sight! The thirty-five stories in this volume – now bringing the total number of narratives and participating authors in this series to well over one-hundred! – represent some of the finest new Holmesian storytelling to be found, and honor the man described by Watson as “the best and wisest … whom I have ever known.”

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VI: 2017 Annual is available for pre order 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.

9781787050877

 

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Review of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part V

Despite their common Christmas season setting, the 30 stories in this latest collection of traditional pastiches are not lacking in variety. For connoisseurs of pure deduction, tales by Mike Chinn, Jan Edwards, Arthur Hall, Roger Riccard, and S. Subramanian show Holmes at his most brilliant. (A future MX volume will feature more “untold” cases from the Canon like Mr. Subramanian’s.) Several pairs of stories revolve around a single theme. Jealousy motivates the crimes recorded by Bob Byrne and Denis O. Smith; Queen Victoria figures in offerings from Derrick Belanger and Julie McKuras; S.F. Bennett and Marcia Wilson tell similarly gruesome Christmas stories, the former redeemed by an unexpected heroine. In selections by James Lovegrove and Vincent Wright, Holmes and Watson concoct Christmas entertainments for each other, with rather mixed results. Most enjoyable of all, perhaps, are tales that cast new light on the personalities and relationship of our two heroes. C.H. Dye paints a delightful portrait of their second Christmas as young bachelors, while David Marcum illuminates Holmes’ religious beliefs in an even earlier story. Two fine concluding works by Hugh Ashton and Mark Mower, set in and after World War I, show that the long friendship between our detective and his Boswell has only deepened through the years. As Marcum notes in his introduction, Conan Doyle’s London was only a generation removed from Charles Dickens’. The Dickensian spirit of Christmas shines through many of these tales, notably John Hall’s, Tracy Revels’, and Amy Thomas’s. Ms. Revels’ moving story, in particular, proves that those who consider Holmes as much a misogynist as Scrooge are very much in error. Happily, the quality of this ongoing MX anthology remains as high as ever, with four new volumes set to appear within the next two years. Surely that news, for Sherlockians, is the nicest Christmas gift of all.

Reviewed by Thomas A. Turley

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

9781780929958

 

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Review of Sherlock Holmes and A Hole in The Devil’s Tail

Another tale about the True Holmes!

I believe that this is Mr. Messick’s first Holmes adventure, and it starts in the right direction by telling us more about the true Holmes, and just keeps going. Set in the 1890’s, Holmes is faced by two mysteries, a locked room puzzle related to the mysterious murder of a solicitor, and a series of connected murders linked by their ferocity, along with Tarot cards found on the victim’s bodies.

This convoluted tale moves back and forth between the two cases, and Holmes finds himself threatened by the Tarot killer, who promises that, if Holmes does not cease his investigations, retribution will be swift – not on the detective, but rather those that he cares about.

One of the things that I enjoyed most was the investigation of the locked room puzzle, and how it relates to the Hole in the Devil’s Tail, as mentioned in the book’s title. It isn’t what you would expect. And I always enjoy when something is thrown in that teaches me something at no extra charge – in this case, how cracks were repaired in marble statues in ancient times. The way that this bit of information is relevant is a treat, as is the way that Holmes reveals it.

I’ll be looking forward to Mr. Messick’s next offering from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box.”

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and A Hole In The Devil’s Tail is available 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, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone). Also available on Audible.

9781787050181

 

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