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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XXI

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (484p) ISBN 978-1-78705-569-8

Puzzling mysteries that originate in pedestrian problems that don’t seem worth Holmes’s attention, and cases featuring resurfacing minor canonical figures, are the standouts in Marcum’s 21st superbly curated anthology of 20 pastiches. In Bob Byrne’s “The Case of the Rewrapped Presents,” the sleuth looks into the seemingly impossible disappearance and reappearance of Christmas gifts from a locked room. Watson’s the one initially consulted in Arthur Hall’s “The Adventure of the Incessant Workers,” in which a woman, who complains of insomnia and exhaustion, describes having the same dream as two men who previously contacted Holmes. One of Conan Doyle’s most tragic creations, the eponymous “Veiled Lodger,” gets a believable and intriguing after-story in Mark Mower’s “The Unveiled Lodger”; Eugenia Ronder, the original veiled lodger, has rebuilt her life, but is troubled by a coded message she found on her property. In a clever twist, Michael Mallory makes Watson’s decision to reveal in print the location of his sensitive cache of untold tales essential to the plot of “The Adventure of the Doctor’s Hand.” This is another must-have for Sherlockians. (May)