This year, MX Publishing’s annual anthologies brought us three jewels: part XIX, XX, and XXI in their MX BOOKS OF NEW SHERLOCK HOLMES STORIES. The books are a delight to read with stories, created by various authors, assembled and compiled by David Marcum. A must-have for any Sherlock Holmes fan.
Today, I am very pleased to welcome a guest reviewer, author Wendy Heyman-Marsaw, on my blog with a fabulous review for the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part XXI-2020 Annual (1898-1923).
Wendy is not only an avid reader, she is the author of Memoirs from Mrs Hudson’s Kitchen, in which she puts herself in Mrs Hudson’s shoes, up and down the 17 steps, and recounts not only the time and era but the food, dining and eating habits of Victorian England. You can find out more about Wendy on her website.
Now, without further ado, I present you… Wendy Heyman-Marsaw’s review of the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Part XXI-2020 Annual (1898-1923).
Written by Wendy Heyman-Marsaw
David Marcum has once again applied his editorial expertise and compiled a collection of twenty more outstanding traditional adventures in this superb series of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories.
D.J. Tyrer’s The Mummy’s Curse is set in the height of the Egyptomania phenomenon. Excavation of King Tutankhamen’s tomb was funded by Lord Carnarvon, whose death in 1923 sparked increased rumours of mummy curses. Holmes is invited to a house party celebrating his retrieval of Lady Montalban’s diamonds where a mummy discovered by her late brother – another assumed victim of a mummy’s curse – is to be unveiled. Holmes debunks the notion of curses and unmasks an unlikely murderer. The story is compelling from beginning to end.
The Secret Admirer by Jayantika Ganguly begins with Dr Watson musing about the myriad of skills of Sherlock Holmes including ballroom dancing! Humour quickly gives way to the tumult, however, when Lord Ellsbury bursts into the sitting room, soon followed by Lady Stella Aster, his fiancé. She has received 5 coded messages. Sherlock Holmes easily deciphers them and a sixth most alarming missive arrives at 221b. Holmes and Watson embark on a visit to Lady Stella’s home. There they discover objections to the marriage, several disparate mysteries to be solved, and tragedies to be averted. The story is both complex and satisfying in true Conan Doyle fashion.
Arthur Hall contributes The Adventure of the Incessant Workers. Mrs Hudson announces a visitor, Mrs Durrell, who is seeking a consultation with Dr Watson rather than Sherlock Holmes. It seems she wakes every morning increasingly more exhausted than the previous one. Holmes joins the conversation because he has had two clients with the same strange symptom. Mrs Durrell’s visit sheds some light on this most perplexing case. Mr Hall goes on to relate a story which grows even more suspenseful and disquieting when Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard is brought into the case by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.
The three diverse examples cited here highlight the range of approaches to be found in the largest collection of very traditional Sherlock Holmes pastiches. Mr Marcum is to be commended for the consistent quality of stories he selects and edits to be included in the twenty-one volumes of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories.
About the Books
64 new, traditional Sherlock Holmes Stories making up the latest three volumes in the world’s largest collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories – XIX, XX and XXI.
In 2015, the first three volumes of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories arrived, containing over 60 stories in the true traditional Canonical manner, revisiting Holmes and Watson in those days where it is “always 1895” . . . or a few decades on either side of that. That was the largest collection of new Holmes stories ever assembled, and originally planned to be a one-time event. But readers wanted more, and the contributors had more stories from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box, so the fun continued.
Now, with the release of Parts XIX, XX, and XXI, the series has grown to over 450 new Holmes adventures by nearly 200 contributors from around the world. Since the beginning, all contributor royalties go to the Stepping Stones School for special needs children at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes, and to date the project has raised nearly $60,000 for the school.
As has become the tradition, this new collection of 64 adventures features Holmes and Watson carrying out their masterful investigations from the early days of their friendship in Baker Street to the post-War years during Holmes’s retirement. Along the way they are involved in some fascinating mysteries – some relating Untold Cases, others sequels to Canonical adventures, and a number progressing along completely unexpected lines.
Join us as we return to Baker Street and discover more authentic adventures of Sherlock Holmes, described by the estimable Dr. Watson as “the best and wisest . . . whom I have ever known.”
Featuring – Roger Riccard, Matthew White, Kevin P. Thornton, Chris Chan, Nick Cardillo, MJH Simmonds, Craig Stephen Copland, Will Murray, Ian Ableson, Thomas A. Turley, David Marcum, Dick Gillman, David Friend, Arthur Hall, Brenda Seabrooke, James Moffett, Robert Stapleton, Andrew Bryant, Will Murray, Andrew Bryant, Peter Coe Verbica, Sean M. Wright, and Tim Gambrell, with a poem by Christopher James, and forewords by John Lescroart, Roger Johnson, Lizzy Butler, Steve Emecz, and David Marcum