In the "Gaslight...." series, this third offering appears to be the weakest, despite a few bright spots. Its contents, and my personal thoughts concerning them, are:
(*) Introduction by Charles Prepolec: a candid view of the origin of this series of Holmes-dealing with-supernatural books, and some thoughts.
1) The Comfort of the Seine by Stephen Volk: a sad piece that suggests why & how Sherlock Holmes might have caught the fever (addiction?) of solving mysteries. Very gothic, very Poe-esque. "A".
2) The Adventure of Lucifer's Footprints by Christopher Fowler: good mystery, but not even an ambiguous solution, only a few scattered thoughts. "B"
3) The Deadly Sin of Sherlock Holmes by Tom English: a chilling & succinctly told tale of Holmes pursuing a deadly grimoire. "A"
4) The Colour that Came to Chiswick by William Meikle: an adventure that belongs to the "X-Files" genre unabashedly, and is a 'fun' read. "A"
5) A Country Death by Simon K. Unsworth: another grim & unrelenting story that is well told, but which uses Holmes only for his name, and in connection with bees. This is more sci-fi horror than a mystery as such. "A"
6) From the Tree of Time by Fred Saberhagen: a short, compact, muted and beautiful piece, from the pen of a master. "A+"
7) Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell by Simon Clark: a superb mystery squarely fitting the "X-Files" genre. As a matter of fact, the publishers should seriously rechristen the series as "Holmes-meets-X Files" rather than "uncanny tales of Holmes", if these stories are going to be staple in future (since even in the previous volume Niel Jackson's "Celeste" was one of the high-points). "A+"
8) The Executioner by Lawrence C. Connolly: a gentle, serious, somewhat philosophical story dealing with "what might have happened if Holmes had indeed fallen down at the Reichenbach falls". "A"
9) Sherlock Holmes and the Great Game by Kevin Cockle: an incompetent piece of mystic hotchpotch that undermines this volume substantially. "B-"
10) The Greatest Mystery by Paul Kane: another mystic piece with too many open ends. Not good. "B"
11) The House of Blood by Tony Richards: a proper gothic horror story that surprisingly manages to blend Sherlock Holmes into present-day Vegas rather neatly. Good pastiche, good horror. "A+"
12) The Adventure of the Six Maledictions by Kim Newman: the best piece in the entire collection, without a single mention of Sherlock Holmes, but with lots of 'arcane' stuff thrown around for pure fun & adventure. If you feel tempted by this piece to read more Moriarty & Moran adventures, then I would like to recommend Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the DUrbervilles (Professor Moriarty Novels)
So, if "A+" is 5, "A" is 4, "B" is 3 and "B-" is 2, then what is the weighted average score of this book? 4.0 out of 5! Recommended, obviously.