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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil

Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil by Tim Symonds. MX Publishing. 2016. 364pp. (pbk) The frontispiece tells us that a sigil is an inscribed or painted symbol or occult sign considered to have magical power. It’s an intriguing opener for an entirely captivating story transporting us back, effortlessly, to the Forbidden City of China in 1906. There is great attention to detail, demonstrating the author’s clear love of both the Canon and world history. The tale revolves around an assassination plot and the welldrawn characters of Emperor Ch’ing and his aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi. The pace is fast throughout, but Symonds is skilful at painting in lots of period features and fascinating facts which add great texture and encourage us to pause and reflect ont he strange world that our heroes are thrust into. There is also a helpful glossary at the end. This is clever pastiche with a strong narrative and well-judged humour. A thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish.

Sherlock Holmes and The Nine-Dragon Sigil 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).

9781787050358

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Sherlock Holmes: The Scottish Question

“Sherlock Holmes: The Scottish Question, or Sons of the Thistle by Mike Hogan  seems singularly appropriate to the year of the Scottish referendum, as it starts with the reported theft of the Coronation Stone from Westminster Abbey (but is it the real Stone of Destiny?), leading Holmes to uncover a plot by Scottish nationalists to destroy the Union. In the shadows, behind the plot, is a foreign power, whose aim goes beyond the dismantling of the United Kingdom. Terrorism, espionage, danger and hair’s-breadth escapes make The Scottish Question apolitical thriller rather than a detective story – and why not? There’s also wit, and a pinch of satire in the mix. Mr Hogan writes well too.”

Sherlock Holmes and The Scottish Question is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook it is in Kindle.

9781780927015

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews A Scandal in Bohemia – A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel

“Due on 12 September is A Scandal in Bohemia, adapted as a graphic novel by the brilliant Czech illustrator Petr Kopl and translated (back) into English by Paul & Jana Simpson. Actually there are two adventures here, the other being ‘The Speckled Band’, and both serve to show Holmes that women can be just as courageous and intelligent as men – much to Watson’s satisfaction. The result is a feast for the eye and the imagination. The vivid, exciting text is enhanced by artwork that’s by turns deeply atmospheric and devastatingly funny – and often beautiful. This is a thoroughly classy production (MX Publishing;www.mxpublishing.co.uk). The original won the 2013 Fabula Rasa Czech Award for the best script, best artwork and best comic book. It’s easy to see why. Mr Kopl has a website at www.petrkopl.cz.

A Scandal In Bohemia – A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel is available for pre order from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository .

a scandal in bohemia graphic

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews A Study in Terror Volume 1

“Volume 1 of A Study in Terror: Sir Arthur Conan  Doyle’s Revolutionary Stories of Fear and the  Supernatural, edited by Derrick Belanger. The  influence of Poe on Conan Doyle wasn’t limited to his  stories of detection: the tales of mystery and imagination  left their mark as well. ACD didn’t write very much in  that vein, but the best of it can be classed with the best of  Poe. Here are eight stories – ‘The Terror of Blue John  Gap’, ‘The Horror of the Heights’, ‘The Captain of the  Pole Star’, ‘J Habakuk Jephson’s Statement’, ‘The  Leather Funnel’, ‘The Silver Mirror’, ‘Through the Veil’  and ‘The Parasite’ – of which at least the first three and  ‘The Leather Funnel’ are absolutely in the top rank.  They come with three good essays, the most interesting  to me being Derrick Belanger’s ‘Revisions of History:  Arthur Conan Doyle and the Mary Celeste Mystery’,  which tells how ‘J Habakuk Jephson’s Statement’,  though not his best, became perhaps Conan Doyle’s  most influential short story. A second volume is due on 19 November. ”

A Study in Terror:  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Revolutionary Stories of Fear and the Supernatural Volume 1 is available for pre order from all good bookstores including  Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository .

a study in terror volume 1

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Two, To One, Be

“Project Two, to One, Be: Sherlock Holmes and a House of Light, Shadows and Views edited by Carrie Carlson & Lynn Gale. John Gibson has written the introduction, and the foreword is by Laurie R King. There follow nearly 140 pages of essays, long and short, enhanced by photographs and original artwork, some of it, like Riley  Stark’s cover design, outstanding. Ms Carlson notes:  ‘Not all of our contributors are professionals in their chosen medium, and many of the writers are non-native English Speakers, and yet they all speak from the heart.” All the royalties from the book go to the Undershaw campaign. Believe me, it’s worth while.”

Two, To One, Be is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository .

two to one be

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper

“Due on 22 May from MX Publishing is a handsome hardback novel by Diane Gilbert Madsen. The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper (MX Publishing; www.mxpublishing.co.uk) is the third DD McGil Literati Mystery, the first two being published by Midnight Ink.

Some of the characters bear canonical names, but this is set in present-day America. A apparently routine fraud case for insurance investigator DD McGil interweaves with a more curious matter, a murderous assault on a friend of hers and the theft of an old diary that hints at a momentous discovery – Arthur Conan Doyle’s own notes on the Whitechapel murders and the identity of Jack the Ripper. And DD herself is being stalked… Holmesians have long speculated on the fact that the Ripper murders aren’t mentioned in the canon, though the obvious reason is undoubtedly the correct one: even if Conan Doyle had suspected the killer’s identity he’d never have considered mentioning it in the context of a fictional entertainment. Ms Madsen’s novel equates his silence with that of the dog in the night-time, assuming that Conan Doyle did know who the Ripper was but chose not to say – which, of course, implies that good old stand-by, the government cover-up. It seems unlikely to me that the Ripper was anyone famous or distinguished, but fiction is not fact, and The Conan Doyle Notes is a gripping tale, with an intelligent, courageous and very likable protagonist in DD McGil.”

The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper hardback edition is available for pre order from all good bookstores including  Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

the conan doyle notes

 

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Out today – The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes

“The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes by Phil Growick (MX; 14 May;), sequel to The Secret Journal of Dr Watson, is like a rich plum-pudding, full of diplomacy, intrigue and deception. The earlier book told how Holmes, Watson and Sidney Reilly rescued Tsar Nicholas II and his family from the Bolsheviks. Now we learn what became of them all.”

The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository .

the revenge of sherlock holmes

 

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