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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XVIII

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (436p) ISBN 978-1-78705-510-0

The 16 pastiches in Marcum’s splendid 18th Sherlock Holmes anthology prove that creative authors can recapture the essence of Conan Doyle’s characters with an impossible crime or seemingly supernatural angle without relying on vampires or werewolves. Craig Janacek combines the puzzle mystery and the paranormal brilliantly in “The Adventure of the Fair Lad.” While Holmes is on vacation in Ireland, a nobleman asks for his help following the disappearance of his son, Liam, believed to be a changeling by the locals. The boy reported seeing a little green man shortly before he vanished in a secluded patch of forest, where his footprints abruptly stopped. In Paul Hiscock’s baffling “The Cassandra of Providence Place,” Holmes is consulted by a girl who looks to be six or seven, whose vision that her father was to be murdered was realized, as were other of her predictions. And in Thomas A. Turley’s winning “The Solitary Violinist,” composer Gustav Mahler consults Holmes because he’s haunted by “the playing of a distant violin.” Sherlockians will again be grateful to Marcum and MX for high-quality new Holmes tales. (Dec.)