cover image The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part X

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part X

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (436p) ISBN 978-1-78705-285-7

All 19 stories in Marcum’s 10th pastiche anthology (after Part IX) manage both to remain faithful to Conan Doyle and to display the creative plotting gifts of their authors. A prime example is Daniel D. Victor’s “Capitol Murder,” in which Holmes is consulted by a Pinkerton agent investigating the assassination of Kentucky’s governor, and a plausible, if disturbing, speculation about the fate of a minor canonical character is presented. An unpleasant reality of the Victorian era—that before an 1891 legislative change, husbands could beat their wives with impunity—is organically integrated into the otherwise traditional story line of Dick Gillman’s “A Brush with Death.” Arthur Hall’s “The Adventure of Canal Reach” offers a clever variation on the canonical theme of a client bewildered by a stranger’s odd generosity. The designation of first among equals, however, goes to Kelvin Jones, whose “The Horned God,” involving a murder connected with the excavation of the mask of a pagan deity, invokes the creepy atmospherics of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Marcum continues to find new Sherlock Holmes adventures of consistently high quality. (July)