Sherlock Holmes Society of London
David Marcum’s latest volumes add sixty-two new stories to his impressive series of New Sherlock Holmes Stories. My single difficulty in reviewing them is coming up with something new to say. The foreword, “We Can But Try”, summed up better than I could why I am such a fan of these books: Marcum is rightly proud of the quantity of “True Holmes” stories his now thirty-three volumes have given the Holmesian community. What he is too humble to mention is the quality. He has compiled a huge number of authentic-feeling short pastiches which all deserve your attention. There is some variable quality in the stories, but none fall below an acceptable standard. As ever, there is something here for everyone.
Stories range from 1875 to 1919 and include the truth about the Grosvenor Furniture Van, ornithophobic dreams, a naïve homage to the rough plot of “The Six Napoleons”, Holmes’s unusual birthday treat, and a gothic-horror Park Lane murder. By far my favourite was Mark Wardecker’s telling of the truth regarding the Politician, the Lighthouse and the Trained Cormorant, which was incredibly canonical in feel and plot. As I have said before, it is clear that the thing which makes David Marcum’s series stand out from its contemporaries is his enthusiastic diligence. I recommend them all to the attention of those who continue to crave enjoyable short Holmesian pastiches.
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