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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XVII

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (472p) ISBN 978-1-78705-506-3

Dr. Watson proves more than capable of holding his own without his friend’s help in some of the many superb short stories in Marcum’s 17th pastiche anthology, which focuses on mysteries with an apparent supernatural element. In “The Spectre of Scarborough Castle,” by Charles Veley and Anna Elliott, Scarborough police commissioner George Marcus visits Baker Street after a reporter who wrote about a ghost is found dead of a skull fracture; with Holmes occupied on the Continent, Watson fills in ably en route to a logical if surprising resolution. In “The Case for Which the World Is Not Yet Prepared,” Steven Philip Jones plausibly imagines the doctor joining forces with Inspector Lestrade after Holmes’s supposed death to investigate a crime connected with the remnants of Professor Moriarty’s organization. Watson himself becomes the client when he’s convinced he’s seen his dead wife, in Arthur Hall’s “The Adventure of the Returning Spirit.” Chris Chan provides one of the series’ most captivating hooks in “The Diogenes Club Poltergeist,” in which Mycroft Holmes instructs his brother to burn letters Sherlock is about to receive unread. This is yet another impressive array of new but traditional Holmes stories. (Dec.)