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on 8 March 2012
This is one of the most satisfying collection of pastiches where Holmes encounters supernatural. It happens because of several reasons: -

1) Ron Weighell IS a superb writer. He has proved it with his Jamesian a other traditionally supernatural tales time & again, and he does it superbly in these 5 stories.

2) In these stories Holmes & Watson behave in their characteristic fashion, without being much perturbed by the fact that many of the incidents happening around them and the other protagonists (in one story, Dr. M.R. James himself, in another Arthur Machen!) fairly demolish the basic Holmesian principle established in "Adventure of The Sussex Vampire", namely: "No ghosts need apply...". It happens because of the application of another Holmesian axiom: "Once you have eliminated the impossible, ...", and in the process the characters become more believable, except in the last story where Mycroft Holmes is shown to be acting in a totally unbelievable way. In fact, it has been one of the reasons for me shedding off one star from my rating!

3) The plots are tight, and the narrative never slackens.

A reader might have his own pick from amongst the stories presented here, but one story that somehow disappointed me was "Shadow Of The Wolf". Let me qualify this statement: it is one of the all time greatest & creepiest Holmesian pastiches involving supernatural, in my opinion, but I had loved the earlier version of the story published in "The Northern Musgraves" and used for inclusion in The Werewolf Pack (Wordsworth Mystery & Supernatural) (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) that had used the werewolf-concept as a trick, to deceive the reader at the last moment into the much more shocking & profound truth. Somehow, in its more "super-naturalized" avatar, the story has lost much of its punch, and thus has become another reason to deprive the book of a star. Otherwise, top-notch work, and highly recommended!
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