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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XXII

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (532p) ISBN 978-1-78705-656-5

Marcum’s superlative 22nd Sherlock Holmes pastiche anthology features 21 short stories that successfully emulate the spirit of Conan Doyle’s originals while expanding on the canon’s tantalizing references to mysteries Dr. Watson never got around to chronicling. Denis O. Smith’s brilliant “The Broken Glass” takes as its starting point the mention of “the Amateur Mendicant Society, who held a luxurious club in the lower vault of a furniture warehouse.” From that fragmentary tease, he crafts a clever fair-play whodunit after a member of a club of gentlemen who dress up as beggars during the day is poisoned. Kevin P. Thornton’s “The Dundas Separation Case,” another standout, constructs a satisfying plot around a cryptic comment by Holmes about a husband who got “into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife.” One untold case, the Darlington substitution scandal, which Holmes solved through a trick he employed in “A Scandal in Bohemia,” is handled differently by multiple contributors, again demonstrating the creativity of the writers Marcum has recruited. This will whet the appetite of many Sherlockians. (Nov.)