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

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part XXXIV

Edited by David Marcum. MX Publishing, $44.95 (468p) ISBN 978-1-80424-105-9

Mind-bending puzzles are the highlight of Marcum’s fully satisfying 34th anthology, which again demonstrates that multiple authors are capable of giving Sherlock Holmes and Watson innovative mysteries to tackle while staying in character. In Will Murray’s “The Mystery of the Spectral Shelter,” the sleuths’ cabdriver asks for help with a bizarre encounter: on visiting a shelter built to give drivers some respite he found a man who seemed frozen in place. When he tried to return on another day, there was no trace of the structure he previously visited. In Marcia Wilson’s “The Monster’s Mop and Pail,” Holmes finds a vital clue in what’s missing: the locked room containing a man murdered by an unknown method has a mop bucket filled with water, but no mop. In Arthur Hall’s “The Adventure of the False Confessions,” Holmes explores why men who could not have committed the crimes they admitted to confessed, using identical language. Marcum’s inventory of canonical pastiches shows no signs of being exhausted any time soon. (Nov.)