The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part VII: Eliminate the Impossible

Edited by David Marcum. MX, $44.95 (488p) ISBN 978-1-78705-201-7
Marcum continues to impress with the quality of his selections, many from little-known authors, in his seventh anthology of traditional pastiches (after The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part VI: 2017 Annual). The 23 entries all contribute to this volume’s goal, as Marcum states in his introduction, of assembling “what seemed to be supernatural tales, but with real-world endings.” Consistent with Conan Doyle’s depiction of his hero as a hard-headed rationalist, these stories pit Holmes against ghosts, vampires, and fairies. Apart from the clever solutions to puzzles involving a seemingly haunted clock (Gayle Lange Puhl’s “The Case of the Cursed Clock”) and spirit photographs (James Moffett’s “The Blank Photograph”), contributors have not hesitated to deepen the depictions of Holmes and Watson. Some entries focus on minor characters and relatively trivial concerns. For example, Mike Hogan is open to the idea that not all of Mrs. Hudson’s cuisine was appealing in “The Tranquility of the Morning.” The standout, Thomas A. Turley’s “A Ghost from Christmas Past,” offers moving insights into Watson’s tragic family life. Sherlockians eager for faithful-to-the-canon plots and characters will be delighted. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 02/05/2018
Release date: 10/01/2017
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