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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XIII

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (472p) ISBN 978-1-78705-442-4

This outstanding anthology focuses on the early years of the Baker Street duo’s partnership. Sherlockians with a soft spot for Nigel Bruce’s buffoonish portrayal of Dr. Watson will appreciate S.F. Bennett’s homage to the Basil Rathbone movie series, “The Case of the Enthusiastic Amateur,” one of the volume’s many high points. In Bennett’s tale, an old acquaintance asks Watson for help when he suspects that an investment failed because of fraud; the doctor decides to undertake the inquiry himself, with hilarious consequences. The author successfully emulates the playful byplay between Watson and Holmes in the service of a clever mystery plot. Almost as good is Tracy Revels’s “The Adventure of the Winterhall Monster,” a variation on the legend of the Monster of Glamis, in which a nurse who once worked with Watson is alarmed by the bizarre circumstances of her new job caring for an infirm child. Amazingly, Marcum has found 22 superb pastiches, almost all from unknown authors. This is more catnip for fans of stories faithful to Conan Doyle’s originals. (July)