Tag Archives: david marcum

Review of Imagination Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes

Peter E. Blau reviews Imagination Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes: A Collection of Scripts From The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

IMAGINATION THEATRE’S SHERLOCK HOLMES, edited by David Marcum (London: MX Publishing, 2017; 388 pp.), is a collection of 15 scripts from “The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (the long-running radio series produced by the late Jim French from 1998 to 2017).  The scripts for the pastiches were written by Jim French and other authors, and provide a welcome opportunity for those who enjoy radio drama to see what goes into creating entertaining programs. The MX web-sites are at <> and <>.

Imagination Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Available on Kindle.



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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).



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Out on 31st October – The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VII and VIII – Eliminate The Impossible

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part VII and VIII – Eliminate The Impossible

Volumes VII and VIII bringing forty-eight more stories to the world’s largest collection of new Sherlock Holmes Stories – specially written for Halloween.

In 2015, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories burst upon the scene, featuring adventures 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, their popularity has only continued to grow, with six volumes already released, and now two more, Eliminate the Impossible, featuring tales of Holmes’s encounters with seemingly impossible events – ghosts and hauntings, curses and mythical beasts, and more.

In each of the stories presented in this massive two-volume collection, Holmes approaches the varied problems with one of his favorite maxims firmly in place: “… . when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth … .” But what, exactly, is the truth?

The forty-eight stories in these two companion volumes 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.

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Eliminate The Impossible is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

9781787052024   9781787052062


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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).



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Review of Sherlock Holmes on The Roof of The World (Holmes Behind The Veil Book 1)

Glad to finally have this as a real book … .
I’ve been collecting Sherlock Holmes pastiches for over four decades. When I started, as a boy in the mid-1970’s, they were hard to find. Since then, I’ve managed to collect, read, and chronologicize literally thousands of them. I accelerated my collecting dramatically in the 1990’s, when I went back to school for a second degree in civil engineering and gained much better access to the internet, a capacity for unlimited printing at the university, and rights to use (and abuse) the school’s interlibrary loan program. I was able to track down many pastiches that I’d never even heard of before. I purchased a lot of them, but a lot more were harder to find, and I could only borrow them from various libraries around the country and then make Xerox copies, which I’ve kept in binders ever since. One of the first that I tracked down, and one that I’d never managed to replace as a real book, was Thomas Kent Miller’s “Sherlock Holmes on the Roof of the World”. Now, finally, MX has brought this rare book to the masses.

This is a tale of The Great Hiatus, when Holmes, traveling incognito, roamed the world between 1891 and 1894, letting everyone but his brother Mycroft believe that he had been killed at the Reichenbach Falls by Professor Moriarty. There have been numerous stories about what Holmes did during those three years, as he ranged from Tibet and the Far East, the Middle East, and even the United States and part of Europe. (His short summary of where he went during this time, as provided to Watson in “The Empty House”, was just a tiny fraction of all the he was able to accomplish during this period.) 

Of course, this volume isn’t narrated by Watson, who remained behind in England, believing that Holmes had died. Rather, the narrator of this tale is the engaging Leo Vincey, who encounters “Sigerson” in Tibet, and of course becomes involved in a plot of far-reaching implications. The discovery that they make has been explored in other books as well, but to my mind, having the subject matter revealed by Holmes takes it to a whole new – and much better – level. 

Mr. Miller’s other works, “The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life” and “The Sussex Beekeeper at the Dawn of Time” have also been re-released with this volume by MX as part of a handsome matching set. As with this volume, there is a heavy association in each of the stories with matters relating to Allan Quatermain. (I haven’t personally read any of those narratives, but it isn’t necessary to appreciate Mr. Miller’s works.) 

I highly recommend this book, and I’m glad to have it as a real book now, after having re-read it for so long in the binder where the old Xerox copy resides. Thanks, Mr. Miller and MX!

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes on The Roof of The World 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.



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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).



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