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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XIV

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (496p) ISBN 978-1-78705-446-2

Did Dr. Watson’s published accounts of Holmes’s cases affect future investigations? Has the Ripper returned to slaughter prostitutes in Whitechapel years after his Autumn of Terror ended? Was a stolen manuscript about Sir Lancelot and King Arthur actually a lost Shakespeare play? Those are just three of the striking plot lines in this standout anthology of 21 short stories written in the spirit of Conan Doyle’s originals. Marcum’s own “The Carroun Document,” perhaps the first among equals, supposes that Holmes’s popularity as a result of the publication of his adventures in the Strand Magazine has resulted in unsought-for celebrity, complete with souvenir hunters visiting Baker Street. “The Threadneedle Street Murder” by S. Subramanian not only features a locked-room puzzle but an amusing tweak of Conan Doyle’s penchant for teases about untold cases. For example, Holmes is interrupted before he can recount the details of a mystery involving a husband who smeared his wife’s face with egg yolk every night before singing “God Save the Queen.” More than 300 pastiches later, this MX series shows no sign of running out of steam. (July)