The thirteen tales that make up the Outstanding Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes all have something in common above all else.....a fast pace and sense of rhythm. It's great to come across stories in which the author, in spite of his meticulous research, has no need to padd out, the adventures and the camaraderie of Holmes and Watson speak for themselves.
The dialogue rings true and all the characters act as you would expect them to and the cast of characters include the usual cast of Mrs Hudson, Lestrade and Mycroft Holmes. I have seen criticism of many a pastiche writer who may have populated their tales with these familiar figures as though it told in some way of a lack of imagination from the writer. I do not see it that way. These almost peripheral characters are every bit a part of the Holmes universe in the way that London fogs and hansom cabs are. I am always glad to see them in the mix. The stories themselves are well-constructed, atmospheric and effective. My personal favourite is 'The Chamber of Sorrow Mystery'; I never object to tales of Holmes tinged with the supernatural and this is a very sweet offering and quite moving. I wished I had written it myself. The only minor quibble I have is a somewhat over reliance on stock phrases such as 'old fellow' 'By Jove' 'Eureka' but then I habve been guilty of that myself with far too many 'my dear friends' creeeping into my first pastiche 'Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror', I have attempted to rein myself in for the next pastiche!
All in all, then a worthy addition to the realms of Holmes pastiches. Thoroughly entertaining.