This volume, the second collection of Holmes short stories by G.C. Rosenquist, brings us ten stories about Our Heroes of Baker Street, three of which have previously appeared in “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories”. Like his earlier volume, “The Pearl of Death”, Rosenquist writes of the True Sherlock Holmes, set in the correct time period. My personal favorite in this current collection is “The Adventure of a Thousand Stings”, in which Holmes and Watson uncover a most unusual method of murder – only to find it turned upon them as well.
Having produced two sizeable volumes of Holmes adventures, one can only hope that Mr. Rosenquist continues to pull new ones from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box. I’ll be looking forward to them.
Die hard fans and new readers will find this collection of reprint and original short stories as satisfying as a Saturday night buffet.
I used to tell would-be fiction writers, there are only about 13 stories. Every tale is a mix and match of basic scenarios that drop yin-and-yang knowledge about the Seven Deadly Sins – pride, greed, anger, lust, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Or, the Catholic Virtues – prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope, and love.
That is what makes C.G. Rosenquist’s Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Jeweled Falcon and Other Stories a work for readers new to MX publications' vast Sherlock line, or a fan that reads anything tied to the “world’s first consulting detective” or the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle legacy. They will find this collection of reprint and original short stories as rich and fulfilling as a Saturday night buffet. That said, mystery mavens who prefer Holmes served hot, with a puzzle of almost unfathomable flavor, will want more.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The ten-story volume offers a number of clever twists. The collection is imaginative.
Consider, “The Mystery of the Last Martian,” a real surprise. The Sci-fi/Mystery mashup pits the brain power of Doyle’s Baker Street heroes against the tentacled Martians in H. G. Well’s War of the Worlds. Yes! Originally published in Adventures in the Realm of HG Wells, Volume I, the result will intrigue readers, but is way outside the canon. Outside is not always a bad spot.
“The Adventure of the Portable Exo-Lung”, describes an incredible late 19th century contraption that turns Professor Moriarty into a late-day Darth Vader. When Londoners are plagued by arson, burglary, kidnap, and extortion the sinister level is high. The mayhem turns out to be bait for Holmes and the genius nemesis’ vengeance for Reichenbach Falls. Originally published in Sherlock Holmes: Adventures in the Realm of Steam Punk, the dark tale churns with intrigue expected in a Holmes and Watson foray.
“The Adventure of the Jeweled Falcon,” is also vaguely reminiscent for those into Dashiell Hammett or Humphrey Bogart. It was first printed in The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XIV; 2019 Annual, 1891-1897. As much as I wanted to dislike the Holmes version, its plot is “the stuff that dreams are made of.”
The volume even conjures the inevitable Holmes fan nightmare. “The Adventure of the Last Case,” is as it says. He retires to weed and write in Sussex. That is no spoiler, nor is it the end.
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