Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Martin Rosenstock (Editor), Stuart Douglas, James Lovegrove,
David Stuart Davies, Derrick Belanger,
9 July 2019/ ISBN 9781785659034
by Rachel Hyde
and Watson solve seven different cases in this compendium
of new novellas. The murder of a mudlark has the intrepid
pair splashing through London’s sewers, they attend
a séance, visit Florida to investigate a cult, solve
the murders of several peers who have gone mad, an Egyptologist’s
butler and a tobacco dealer and help out Lestrade in a personal
matter. All in just over 500 pages!
original cases featured mostly in short stories so are well
suited to shorter fiction. Most readers of this book will
be familiar with foggy Victorian London and know about the
characters so little explanation is required, meaning the
writer can concentrate on the story. But as the introduction
says why not combine the pace and momentum of a short story
with the complexities of a novel and try for something in
between? The novella length is an ideal one and all seven
writers have come up with a good yarn. Six tell their tales
in the usual way with Watson narrating; the seventh and last
story has Lestrade as narrator through the words of his diary.
For me this works less well and the result is rather long
winded with little excitement and a Holmes who is rather different
to the one Watson describes. This is an interesting idea as
we all know that one person’s description of somebody
can vary greatly from another’s and from the reality.
If I have to pick a favorite it would be Andrew Lane’s
exciting and colorful story about peers going mad, a dark
carnival and a strange menu. This would make a wonderful film!
Contemporary themes feature in several stories too, from a
certain American cult’s similarities to a real one from
recent times, to the role of women in society from battered
wife to a cult where the sexes are equal. Other characters
from the canon make appearances too: Lestrade, Langdale Pike,
the Baker Street Irregulars and Stanley Hopkins. I look forward
to reading more from all these authors and recommend this
compilation to all Holmes fans.