cover image The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part XXXI

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part XXXI

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (572p) ISBN 978-1-80424-005-2

Might one of the major tragic accidents of Victorian England actually have been a crime? Why has the owner of a small furniture van disappeared? Those are just two of the puzzles Sherlock Holmes tackles in yet another stellar anthology of 21 short pastiches that effectively mimic the originals. Terry Golledge (1920–1996), whose stories were unpublished during his lifetime, stands out with two entries, “The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van” and “The Case of the Woman at Margate,” both based on Dr. Watson’s references to unpublished investigations. The latter is an exemplar of cleverly building on the slimmest of narrative reeds—a single sentence about the absence of powder on a woman’s face. John Lawrence’s “The Princess Alice Tragedy” delves into a real-life 1878 collision on the Thames, which caused the sinking of a paddle steamboat. Hundreds of its mostly lower-class passengers, out for a day’s excursion, perished; a man whose wife and five daughters drowned asks a young Holmes to look into what happened. As the recent discovery of Golledge’s work shows, Marcum’s diligent searches for high-quality stories has again paid off for Sherlockians. (May)