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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XIX

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (580p) ISBN 978-1-78705-561-2

Inventive plots and intriguing explorations of aspects of Dr. Watson’s life and beliefs lift the 24 pastiches in Marcum’s impressive 19th Sherlock Holmes anthology. In Chris Chan’s “The Man in the Maroon Suit,” someone vandalizes an artist’s paintings on display in a gallery by adding a small image of a man in a maroon suit to each canvas. Holmes comes up with a brilliant solution to the bizarre crime. Another highlight is Will Murray’s “The Indigo Impossibility,” in which Holmes and Watson consider whether a dinosaur might be responsible for a man’s death after reports surface of a creature in the area that has a deep indigo color and “walks upon two legs, leaving foot tracks like great horned talons.” Matthew White demonstrates how a gripping and moving mystery not centered on violence can be crafted in “A Case of Paternity.” Other tales examine Watson’s relationship to religion, his opinion of the British Empire, and his experiences during the Afghan War. Marcum continues to burnish his reputation as a superior selector of quality new Holmes stories. (May)