A huge thanks to Caroline Vincent of Bits About Books for organising this tour and to MX Publishing for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
64 new, traditional Sherlock Holmes Stories making up the latest three volumes in the world’s largest collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories – XIX, XX and XXI.
In 2015, the first three volumes of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories arrived, containing over 60 stories in the true traditional Canonical manner, revisiting Holmes and Watson in those days where it is “always 1895” . . . or a few decades on either side of that. That was the largest collection of new Holmes stories ever assembled, and originally planned to be a one-time event. But readers wanted more, and the contributors had more stories from Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box, so the fun continued.
Now, with the release of Parts XIX, XX, and XXI, the series has grown to over 450 new Holmes adventures by nearly 200 contributors from around the world. Since the beginning, all contributor royalties go to the Stepping Stones School for special needs children at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes, and to date the project has raised nearly $60,000 for the school.
As has become the tradition, this new collection of 64 adventures features Holmes and Watson carrying out their masterful investigations from the early days of their friendship in Baker Street to the post-War years during Holmes’s retirement. Along the way they are involved in some fascinating mysteries – some relating Untold Cases, others sequels to Canonical adventures, and a number progressing along completely unexpected lines.
Join us as we return to Baker Street and discover more authentic adventures of Sherlock Holmes, described by the estimable Dr. Watson as “the best and wisest . . . whom I have ever known.”
Featuring – Roger Riccard, Matthew White, Kevin P. Thornton, Chris Chan, Nick Cardillo, MJH Simmonds, Craig Stephen Copland, Will Murray, Ian Ableson, Thomas A. Turley, David Marcum, Dick Gillman, David Friend, Arthur Hall, Brenda Seabrooke, James Moffett, Robert Stapleton, Andrew Bryant, Will Murray, Andrew Bryant, Peter Coe Verbica, Sean M. Wright, and Tim Gambrell, with a poem by Christopher James, and forewords by John Lescroart, Roger Johnson, Lizzy Butler, Steve Emecz, and David Marcum
As part of this blog tour I have samples a few stories from each book as a taster to review. I was curious and a little hesitant about these books as I am not experienced with Sherlock Holmes and have only dabbled a little (apart from TV). Once I had settled into the writing style and storytelling I was pleasantly surprised to find I loved them.
I can only really review about my enjoyment of them rather than how they compare to Conan-Doyle’s work or other authors who have written additional Sherlock stories but I feel this is a positive thing in some ways as this gives me fresh eyes and a chance to read the stories as they stand – not as a comparison piece or pitted against anything else.
A Case of Paternity
Blood and Gunpowder
The Adventure of the Chocolate Pot
Although each of the stories retains much of what is commonly known about Sherlock and Watson, the different writer’s voices can be heard across the different short stories. These subtle differences (to me) make the stories enjoyable and allow a little insight to the interpretation of each author.
The stories themselves are short and easy to read making them the perfect companion for travelling or a quick read before bed. Although short, there is a lot packed into them. All the ‘space’ is used for wonderful storytelling and I love the way the plot moved swiftly but slow enough to sustain some tension. I found myself unable to stop in the middle of one. For me, they conclusions are often unpredictable as they are fairly unique and I enjoyed trying my best to guess what the outcome would be – only to be completely barking up the wrong tree.
I enjoyed reading from the perspective of Watson and how in tune he is with Holmes. His fondness for his friend shows through the narrative and this is a perspective not as prominent on TV where I find Watson is more frustrated by Holmes and his ways.
It also needs mentioning that the proceeds from these books are used to raise money for Stepping Stones – a school for children with learning disabilities – the type of cause which I heavily support.
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the stories in the collection and to trying out some Conan-Doyle too.