Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Searching for new Holmes
on 25 March 2013
"Brand-New Tales of the Great Detective" have been gracing the literary landscape almost as soon as the stream of canonical stories dried out. These tales, or pastiches, cover the entire spectrum: from the excruciatingly authentic to blasphemously entertaining. The anthology under discussion mostly stands up to the challenge of churning out a bunch of entertainers while treading the same path that has been muddied by thousands before, and hence it is definitely worth a read. The contents are:
X Introduction by George Mann (editor)
1. "The Loss of Chapter Twenty-One" by Mark Hodder: I was expecting a proper Burton & Swinburne story, with a cameo played by Holmes, but was disheartened to find a rather mediocre mystery involving Burton's translation of an unpublished part of The Perfumed Garden.
2. "Sherlock Holmes and the Indelicate Widow" by Mags L Haliday: A solid story about the necropolis railway and shenanigans going on there, but nothing comparable to the gothic gem "Necropolis" from Basil Copper.
3. "The Demon Slasher of Seven Sisters" by Cavan Scott: BEST story of the book, and I would most definitely be looking forward towards reading more stories penned by this author.
4. "The Post-Modern Prometheus" by Nick Kyme: a fantastical and rather grim story that mixes Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde) with Baron Frankenstein and straight-away veers into the realm of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Van Helsing territories. Not so good.
5. "Mrs. Hudson at the Christmas Hotel" by Paul Magrs: an entertaining story involving demons, jewels, Mrs. Hudson and Holmes.
6. "The Case of the Night Crawler" by George Mann: again my hopes of reading a dashing story of Newbury & Hobbes were, ...er, dashed. It was a lame and entirely predictable story from the editor, and holds no re-read value.
7. "The Adventure of the Locked Carriage" by Stuart Douglas: an enjoyable mystery, and definitely better than the stories from more famous authors.
8. "The Tragic Affair of the Martian Ambassador" by Eric Brown: same thing happened again as my expectations regarding a full-throttle steampunk story were shattered, and I was forced to read a pale mimicry of Neil Gaiman¡¦s astonishing "A Study In Emerald".
9. "The Adventure of the Swaddled Railwayman" by Richard Dinnick: decidedly better mystery, dealing with serious issues in a logical manner.
10. "The Pennyroyal Society" by Kelly Hale: not much of a mystery, but a hard look at some of the most troubling issues concerning womanhood in turn-of-the-century Britain, and a feel-good ending provided through Holmes.
11. "The Persian Slipper" by Steve Lockley: not much of a mystery again, but readable stuff.
12. "The Property of a Thief" by Mark Wright: an enjoyable encounter between Raffles and Holmes, which was, unfortunately, devoid of any mystery.
13. "Woman's Work" by David Barnett: very good story told from Mrs. Hudson¡¦s surprisingly active point-of-view, which might have been (gasp!) the nebulous beginning for the adventure involving the blue carbuncle.
14. "The Fallen Financier" by James Lovegrove: good story, without much of a mystery.
Thus, the anthology is recommended, esp. if you are looking for Holmes operating in time & place rather different from the hallowed fog-enshrouded London of 1895.