Top critical review
Interesting collection but serious flaws
on September 30, 2014
Just what the title says, new Sherlock Holmes stories by different modern authors. Most if not all are based on cases mentioned in the Doyle canon. Contains: The Bothersome Business of the Dutch Nativity, The Affray at the Kildare Street Club, The Case of the Incumbent Invalid, The Adventure of Vittoria the Circus Belle, The Darlington Substitution Scandal, The Adventure of the Suspect Servant, The Adventure of the Amateur Mendicant Society, The Adventure of the Silver Buckle, The Case of the Sporting Squire, The Vanishing of the Atkinsons, The Adventure of the Fallen Star, The Adventure of the Dorset Street Lodger, The Mystery of the Addleton Curse, The Adventure of the Parisian Gentleman, The Adventure of the Inertial Adjustor, The Adventure of the Touch of God, The Adventure of the Persecuted Painter, The Adventure of the Suffering Ruler, The Repulsive Story of the Red Leech, The Adventure of the Grace Chalice, The Adventure of the Faithful Retainer, The Case of the Suicidal Lawyer, The Legacy of Rachel Howells, The Adventure of the Bulgarian Diplomat, The Enigma of the Warwickshire Vortex, The Case of the Last Battle.
There were several problems with this anthology. First, I don't know why authors feel compelled to claim they "found" a Watson manuscript or notes, or they are Holmes scholars. He didn't exist, for Pete's sake! They are writing fiction and these obviously phony claims just make them look like they think the reader is an idiot. As usual, some of them have Holmes performing totally uncharacteristic actions: telling Watson to "come on, play the game" or "I would describe you as my sole friend." Also, whoever proofed it should be fired; there are multiple spelling/grammar/usage errors (countrary, persuing, food venders, "more exercised by their loss," "rarely sees fit to avail me of the incidents," "whom is ten years of age," "has long since being interested," "being less previous to the rays than flesh," several instead of severed, it's instead of its, principal instead of principle, waiting instead of wailing), unusual in an Ashley anthology. The stories themselves are mostly not bad, although the explanation was very easy to guess in most of them, and I didn't like the repeated pulling-in of real people (H.G. Wells, Pierre Curie) to fiction. At least one story (The Legacy of Rachel Howells) offers NO resolution, ending in mid-story. There are many minor but irritating errors, such as Scott misquoted as "Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practise to deceive." There is a working Table of Contents. The title is descriptive if unimaginative.