17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Intriguing 'new' Sherlock Holmes stories, 13 Dec 2010
For all those searching for 'new' Sherlock Holmes stories, this new collection is a real find. Written by John Taylor, a well known writer and radio producer, Dr Watson introduces and recounts four `new' stories that have up till now remained a mere collection of random notes kept in a locked cedarwood, chest -` a box of secrets', which he has recently brought to light. All four stories are tremendously atmospheric and echo the flavour and power of the originals whilst feeling unique in themselves - not just an attempt to merely pastiche. To give the collection an added period feel, two have a railway theme.
All four stories present tantalising puzzles for the willing reader. In ' The Conundrum of Coach 13' Holmes is faced with what appears, on the face of it, to be an impossible robbery of gold bullion from a secured London to Bristol train. Other stories include Holmes experimenting with the science of ballistics, wrestling with a baffling theft from a vicarage and, perhaps my favourite, a particularly a strange murder near the railway, the solution to which is highly ingenious.
The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, as the reader, is a masterstroke as it gives the stories a fresh contemporary feel whilst the quality of his reading itself retains the depth of characterisation so important to these tales.
There are some great characters, from obstructive policeman to a range of dedicated railway officials, and some lovely settings from famous stations to the Kent countryside. The combination of excellent stories, great atmosphere and terrific reading make this selection a cut above the usual. I hope Watson has some more tucked away somewhere.