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Posted March 31, 2013
Mystery writer Gary Lovisi has done a fine job of selecting a dozen short stories about Sherlock Holmes by a diverse group of authors from several different countries. The main thing that Sherlockians need to know is that all of the stories are respectful of the legacy left by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In fact, the anthology is an affectionate tribute to the most famous detective in the world, the British gentleman who was "the best and wisest man whom we have ever known." Each of the stories in the collection is a treat and a reminder that, for mystery lovers, the game is still afoot.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2013
This book is an anthology of an even dozen short stories and novellas by a variety of authors. “The Mystery of Ogham Manor” is a novella by Stan Trybulski in which Holmes unmasks a serial killer with an international reputation. Magda Jozsa’s short story, “The Dentist,” tells of a murder brotherhood uncovered by Dr. Watson and brought to justice by Holmes. In “The Fury,” a short story by Lyn McConchie, we revisit King’s Pyland Stables and Colonel Ross, owner of Silver Blaze. A gypsy stable hand who tends a difficult horse has gone missing and is urgently needed to calm the horse before a race. In “Death and No Consequences,” a short story by Richard K. Tobin, Holmes and Watson are asked by the Royal Family to investigate a gruesome murder.
John L. French’s short story, “Murder at the Diogenes Club,” is an onion. In it, layers of truth and falsehood are stripped away, one after another, to reveal the true events behind a “smash and grab” set of murders. Ralph E. Vaughan’s short story, “The Adventure of the Night Hunter,” tells of Sherlock and (his cousin?) Professor Challenger joining forces to track a new hunter who has declared a territory in the world’s largest city. “The Adventure of the Devil’s Father,” a short story by Morris Hershman, tells the tale of “Colonel Warburton’s madness” as cited in “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb.” Inspector Lestrade introduces Holmes and Watson to “…the card scandal at the Nonpareil Club,” as cited in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in Marvin Kaye’s short story “A Memo from Inspector Lestrade.”
“The Button Box,” a short story by Lyn McConchie, Brings Hilton Soames, from “The Adventure of the Three Students” back into Holmes and Watson’s lives. His grandmother’s button box had been stolen from her in broad daylight near a friend’s house. “Sherlock Holmes – Stymied” is a short story by Gary Lovisi in which Dr. Watson introduces Holmes to golf and to some of its odder rules. “Bad Habits” by Magda Jozsa is a novella that involves Holmes and Watson in a complex plot through a letter from a nun. “Irene and the Old Detective” is a short story by Richard L. Kellogg that tells of Holmes in retirement giving advice to a schoolgirl on studying.
These tales allowed me to revisit some old favorites and to meet several writers new to me. All were well-written and imaginative and several presented new slants on Untold Tales cited in the Canon. Surprisingly, only one writer seemed to have trouble with the contrasts between British and American English usage. I recall that World War II meetings were plagued by the opposite meanings of “tabling” an item of discussion used by the US and the UK staff. One of the authors here cites Holmes as using this term in the American sense fifty years before that difference became a problem. The Acknowledgement segment of the book gives the publishing history of the tales, telling where three were published previously. I happen to be familiar with some of the others, through personal communications and it was good to see them finally in print.
Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, January 2013