cover image Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes

Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes

Barbara Roden, Barbara Hambly, Christopher Sequeira, . . Edge, $16.95 (317pp) ISBN 978-1-894063-17-3

In his foreword, David Stuart Davies asserts that the authors of these 11 stories pitting Holmes against the supernatural “are very well-versed in the world of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.” Unfortunately, this authority fails to come through. The eloquence of the one standout, Barbara Roden's “The Things That Shall Come Upon Them,” only emphasizes what the others lack. Roden effortlessly involves Holmes in a mystery derived from M.R. James's classic tale of terror, “Casting the Runes,” featuring psychic sleuth Flaxman Low. By contrast, Martin Powell's “Sherlock Holmes in the Lost World” sees Holmes battling ape-men and dinosaurs without any display of his remarkable intellect, and M.J. Elliott's “The Finishing Stroke” pays so much homage as to neglect originality. As a whole, this mixed bag fails to differentiate itself from other similar anthologies. (Nov.)