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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Author Interview – David Marcum

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent David Marcum. David is the creator and editor of the MX anthology series.

David lives in eastern Tennessee with his wife and son. He’s a licensed civil engineer, and has been reading, collecting, and chronologicizing traditional Sherlock Holmes pastiches since he was ten years old in 1975. Since then, he’s collected literally thousands of pastiches – and that’s nowhere enough!

David’s irregular blog, “A Seventeen Step Program”, can be found at:

http://17stepprogram.blogspot.com/

His books are available at:

https://www.amazon.com/David-Marcum/e/B00K1IKA92/

How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?

In 1975, when I was ten years old, I received a Holmes books as an “extra” when I was trading with a friend for some Hardy Boys books. I didn’t much want it, but a few weeks later, I saw part of a Holmes movie on television, remembered the book, found it and read it, and have been a Sherlockian ever since.

What was the inspiration for your pastiches in this current collection, “The Regressive Man”, “The Reappearance of Mr. James Phillimore”, and “The Unnerved Estate Agent”?

This time I wrote three pastiches, one for each of the three books in this current set. I usually don’t have a plan when I start writing. Rather, I just let Watson whisper to me. “The Regressive Man” is a straightforward mystery, but as the story was being told, I realized that one of the characters might have something in common with a famous figure from British lore and history – and might even be that person. “The Reappearance of Mr. James Phillimore” begins with a woman relating to Holmes how each night a terrifying intrusion occurs in her house. Holmes recognizes the address as the same one where James Phillimore disappeared several years before. For “The Unnerved Estate Agent”, the client tells Holmes his story about a mysterious house in the middle of nowhere that he recognizes from a recurring dream that he’s had all his life. Coincidentally, it’s the same recurring dream that I’ve had over the years too, although the client’s reasons are much different than mine.

What do you believe readers will most enjoy most about your tales?  

I hope that the readers will enjoy them for being very sincere attempts to relate traditional Canonical Holmes stories – which is the only kind that I write, read, care about, or promote.

Which is your favourite story from The Canon and why?

I really can’t pick. I re-read The Canon a lot, along with hundreds of traditional Holmes pastiches, and to me it’s all part of one gigantic picture, The Great Holmes Tapestry. As such, the pitifully few 60 stories from The Canon all fill important anchor points amongst all the other stories, many of which are as good or better than the originals, and I appreciate each of them for what they show and provide.

What is your favourite Holmes-related place?

I’ve been able to travel to England for three different Holmes Pilgrimages. If it wasn’t about Holmes, I pretty much didn’t do it. Of all the Holmes-related places that I visited, the one I most wanted to see was The Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street. While some things about the museum are incorrect, there is a lot that’s perfect, and being in a correctly laid-out house in Baker Street gives a whole new and unforgettable perspective to reading and writing and editing Holmes stories. I’ve now been to the museum seven times, and I hope to go many more times in the future.

Tell us three things about yourself that few people would guess?

1)      I began playing the piano at age eight, and during my first two years of college (when I was obtaining my first degree), I was a piano performance major with a piano scholarship, before switching majors my junior year to business management and ending up with a music minor. (I still play, but I enjoy my amateur status.)

2)      I actually read and collect a lot of other books besides just stories about Sherlock Holmes – despite how it may seem. I have thousands of Holmes books in my collection, mostly traditional pastiches, but I have even more than that about other heroes, and I’m often reading multiple books at the same time.

3)      Although I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, I was a U.S. Federal Investigator throughout my twenties, before the agency was eliminated, causing me to return to school for a second degree in Civil Engineering. I had a number of pretty interesting cases, and even now I can’t talk about some of them.

Any upcoming projects?

I’m currently editing a number of forthcoming Holmes anthologies for both MX Publishing and Belanger Books. Additionally, work continues on the reissues of the Dr. Thorndyke novels, and I recently completed my 51st pastiche, closing in on the magic number of “60”, the number of Holmes adventures in the original Canon.

Click here for more details on the Kickstarter campaign.

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Publishers Weekly reviews The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XIV

Did Dr. Watson’s published accounts of Holmes’s cases affect future investigations? Has the Ripper returned to slaughter prostitutes in Whitechapel years after his Autumn of Terror ended? Was a stolen manuscript about Sir Lancelot and King Arthur actually a lost Shakespeare play? Those are just three of the striking plot lines in this standout anthology of 21 short stories written in the spirit of Conan Doyle’s originals. Marcum’s own “The Carroun Document,” perhaps the first among equals, supposes that Holmes’s popularity as a result of the publication of his adventures in the Strand Magazine has resulted in unsought-for celebrity, complete with souvenir hunters visiting Baker Street. “The Threadneedle Street Murder” by S. Subramanian not only features a locked-room puzzle but an amusing tweak of Conan Doyle’s penchant for teases about untold cases. For example, Holmes is interrupted before he can recount the details of a mystery involving a husband who smeared his wife’s face with egg yolk every night before singing “God Save the Queen.” More than 300 pastiches later, this MX series shows no sign of running out of steam.” – Publishers Weekly

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories are available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, for free shipping worldwide Book Depository and in ebook formats.

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Sherlock Holmes and A Quantity of Debt

Nothing that is secret can remain secret forever. But is it possible that some crimes are better left undiscovered? Join Holmes and Watson as they travel from London to storm-wracked Bedfordshire, where the Great Detective finds himself uncovering the grisly truth concerning a half-century old murder.

David Marcum has again managed to write a brilliant Holmes pastiche!” –Raven’s Reviews

A Quantity of Debt fully satisfies as a detective story, but it is the strange fate of Martin Briley that lifts this pastiche above the common run. While David Marcum’s editing of MX Publishing’s ongoing anthology remains a boon to all Sherlockians, his novel’s pending re-release reminds us that he is also an exceptionally fine writer.” –  Thomas A. Turley

Sherlock Holmes and A Quantity of Debt  is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon KindleKoboNook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone). Available on Audio.

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Publishers Weekly reviews The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part XIII 2019 Annual (1881-1890)

This outstanding anthology focuses on the early years of the Baker Street duo’s partnership. Sherlockians with a soft spot for Nigel Bruce’s buffoonish portrayal of Dr. Watson will appreciate S.F. Bennett’s homage to the Basil Rathbone movie series, “The Case of the Enthusiastic Amateur,” one of the volume’s many high points. In Bennett’s tale, an old acquaintance asks Watson for help when he suspects that an investment failed because of fraud; the doctor decides to undertake the inquiry himself, with hilarious consequences. The author successfully emulates the playful byplay between Watson and Holmes in the service of a clever mystery plot. Almost as good is Tracy Revels’s “The Adventure of the Winterhall Monster,” a variation on the legend of the Monster of Glamis, in which a nurse who once worked with Watson is alarmed by the bizarre circumstances of her new job caring for an infirm child. Amazingly, Marcum has found 22 superb pastiches, almost all from unknown authors. This is more catnip for fans of stories faithful to Conan Doyle’s originals.” – Publishers Weekly

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories are available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, for free shipping worldwide Book Depository and in ebook formats.

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Out on Kindle

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part XV

In 2015, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories burst upon the scene, featuring stories set within the canon’s correct time period, written by the very best of today’s Sherlockian authors from around the world. That first anthology, spread over three huge volumes, contained sixty-three stories and was the largest collection of its kind assembled at the time. Response was immediately and overwhelmingly positive, and soon there were calls from fans for additional collections.
Over 150 contributors so far have joined together from around the world to produce well over three hundred new adventures to honour Sherlock Holmes, the man described by Watson as “the best and wisest whom I have ever known.”
We now proudly present Parts XIII, XIV, and XV, three volumes which break the record of the initial triple offering, with an incredible sixty-six new adventures featuring the eternal duo Watson and Holmes.

Part XV in the popular MX series of new Sherlock Holmes stories features contributions from Mark Mower, Thomas Fortenberry, Robert Perret, Tracy J. Revels, Robert Stapleton, Peter Coe Verbica, Maurice Barkley, Edwin A. Enstrom, William Todd, Roger Riccard, Kelvin I. Jones, Arthur Hall, Jack Grochot, David Marcum, Dick Gillman, Will Murray, Tim Symonds, Mike Hogan, Leslie Charteris, Denis Green, Ian Dickerson, Nick Cardillo, Darryl Webber, with forewords from David Marcum, Will Thomas, Roger Johnson, Steve Emecz and Melissa Grigsby, and two poems from Christopher James.

298 Sherlock Holmes Books on Pinterest Amazon USA Kindle Board

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories are 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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Review of Baker Street Beat – an Eclectic Collection of Sherlockian Scribblings

Before he created the McCabe and Cody series – [Or is it Cody and McCabe? It depends on whom you ask, and it’s an interesting point to ponder … .] Dan Andriacco had written a variety of Sherlockian items – essays, plays, and even a pastiche. Fortunately, instead of being forced to seek each of these out in their various original points of publication, they have all been collected in “Baker Street Beat”.

There’s something here for every Sherlockian. There are a couple of radio plays – one of “The Speckled Band”, and one with a more contemporary feel. For those that like Sherlockian Scholarship, the book includes several essays, including one which is of particular interest to me, “Writing the Holmes Pastiche”. Another of equal importance is “You Know My Methods, Watson”, examining the connections between Holmes and Dr. Thorndyke, another of my heroes. And then there’s “Reichenbach Pilgrimage”, which means a lot to me since I haven’t been able to get there yet – and in the meantime this essay helps to provide valuable information until I do.

As a devotee of Holmes Adventures, what I want most is MORE adventures. And this book has a real winner, Dan Andriacco’s own version of “The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden”. As much as I enjoy his McCabe and Cody [Cody and McCabe?] books, I want him to write more Holmes pastiches! Are you listening, Mr. Andriacco?

This book has been around since 2011, but it certainly hasn’t gone out of date. Add it to your Holmes collection today!

Reviewed by David Marcum

Baker Street Beat is available through all good bookstores including in the USA  Amazon USABarnes and Noble, in the UK Amazon and Waterstones, and for all other countries Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In electronic formats Amazon KindleKoboNook, and iTunes for the iPad. Available on Audio.

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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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