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!Epub ☩ Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes ♋ Introduction I hear of Sherlock everywhere Charles Prepolec The comfort of the Seine Stephen Volk The adventure of Lucifer s footprints Christopher Fowler The deadly sin of Sherlock Holmes Tom English The color that came to Chiswick William Meikle From the tree of time Fred Saberhagen The executioner Lawrence C Connolly A country death Simon Kurt Unsworth Sherlock Holmes and the great game Kevin Cockle Sherlock Holmes and the diving bell Simon Clark The greatest mystery Paul Kane The house of blood Tony Richards The adventure of the six maledictions Kim Newman In the Gaslight series, this third offering appears to be the weakest, despite a few bright spots Its contents, and my personal thoughts concerning them, are Introduction by Charles Prepolec a candid view of the origin of this series of Holmes dealing with supernatural books, and some thoughts.1 The Comfort of the Seine by Stephen Volk a sad piece that suggests why how Sherlock Holmes might have caught the fever addiction of solving mysteries Very gothic, very Poe esque A In the Gaslight series, this third offering appears to be the weakest, despite a few bright spots Its contents, and my personal thoughts concerning them, are Introduction by Charles Prepolec a candid view of the origin of this series of Holmes dealing with supernatural books, and some thoughts.1 The Comfort of the Seine by Stephen Volk a sad piece that suggests why how Sherlock Holmes might have caught the fever addiction of solving mysteries Very gothic, very Poe esque A.2 The Adventure of Lucifer s Footprints by Christopher Fowler good mystery, but not even an ambiguous solution, only a few scattered thoughts B 3 The Deadly Sin of Sherlock Holmes by Tom English a chilling succinctly told tale of Holmes pursuing a deadly grimoire A 4 The Colour that Came to Chiswick by William Meikle an adventure that belongs to the X Files genre unabashedly, and is a fun read A 5 A Country Death by Simon K Unsworth another grim unrelenting story that is well told, but which uses Holmes only for his name, and in connection with bees This issci fi horror than a mystery as such A 6 From the Tree of Time by Fred Saberhagen a short, compact, muted and beautiful piece, from the pen of a master A 7 Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell by Simon Clark a superb mystery squarely fitting the X Files genre As a matter of fact, the publishers should seriously rechristen the series as Holmes meets X Files rather than uncanny tales of Holmes , if these stories are going to be staple in future since even in the previous volume Niel Jackson s Celeste was one of the high points A 8 The Executioner by Lawrence C Connolly a gentle, serious, somewhat philosophical story dealing with what might have happened if Holmes had indeed fallen down at the Reichenbach falls A 9 Sherlock Holmes and the Great Game by Kevin Cockle an incompetent piece of mystic hotchpotch that undermines this volume substantially B 10 The Greatest Mystery by Paul Kane another mystic piece with too many open ends Not good B 11 The House of Blood by Tony Richards a proper gothic horror story that surprisingly manages to blend Sherlock Holmes into present day Vegas rather neatly Good pastiche, good horror A 12 The Adventure of the Six Maledictions by Kim Newman the best piece in the entire collection, without a single mention of Sherlock Holmes, but with lots of arcane stuff thrown around for pure fun adventure If you feel tempted by this piece to readMoriarty Moran adventures, then I would like to recommend ASIN 0857682830 Professor Moriarty The Hound of the DUrbervilles Professor Moriarty Novels A So, if A is 5, A is 4, B is 3 and B is 2, then what is the weighted average score of this book 4.0 out of 5 Recommended, obviously Very impressive collection, all enjoyable and all, to my interpretation anyway, seem to nail the character of Holmes, Watson and Moriarty within a collection of supernatural mysteries Highly recommended indeed. Gaslight Arcanum is actually the third anthology in a series edited by Campbell and Prepolec, its predecessors being Gaslight Grimoire 2008 and Gaslight Grotesque 2010 It is not with one exception a reprint anthology Nothing wrong with those, but in Arcanum, Campbell and Prepolec have brought together a collection of new stories by very talented and respected writers Some stories may be familiar to you, as they have since been reprinted elsewhere, but here they mark their d buts Let s Gaslight Arcanum is actually the third anthology in a series edited by Campbell and Prepolec, its predecessors being Gaslight Grimoire 2008 and Gaslight Grotesque 2010 It is not with one exception a reprint anthology Nothing wrong with those, but in Arcanum, Campbell and Prepolec have brought together a collection of new stories by very talented and respected writers Some stories may be familiar to you, as they have since been reprinted elsewhere, but here they mark their d buts Let s venture down this dark, dusty hallway and meet them, shall we The editors start out on a high note with Stephen Volk s The Comfort of the Seine, a Sherlock Holmes origins story which is juuuusssst plausible enough that some readers may make it a part of their personal head canons It begins with the if you re reading this I must be dead trope, but then immediately leaps into muchoriginal territory Here the reader sees Sherlock Holmes as an intense twenty year old student with scientific leanings, accompanying a group of classmates to Paris to explore that city s art scene Despite his relationship to Vernet, the young Sherlock is not all that interested in art, but who doesn t want to leave his books for Paris Besides, his friends need him or rather, his fluency in French While his classmates roam the galleries, he roams the city, becoming infatuated with a young flower seller When she turns up missing and then dead he is completely shattered It takes C Auguste Dupin to show him the way out of his overwhelming grief And if you re currently thinking, well, that sounds predictable, you would be wrong I truly cannot say enough good things about this story the dark opulence of the author s style, its characterizations, its evocation of mid 19th century France, and most particularly Volk s Dupin, a man who cross crosses the edges of genius and madness so adroitly that you ll change your mind about himthan once before the story is over Comfort is not precisely a horror story in the way that its companions are, but it is both suspenseful and sad and of all of these, I think, the most likely to haunt you when Arcanum goes back to your bookshelf.Christopher Fowler s The Adventure of Lucifer s Footprints is atraditional tale It s in Watson s voice and recounts a strange case the detective and his Boswell investigated in Devon in February of 1888 They re there at the urgent behest of Lucy Woodham, who with her father, Crimean war hero General Sir Henry Woodham, has recently moved to the family s run down ancestral home, Belstowe Grange Belstowe Downs is an isolated spot, and its villagers swear that Satan himself sends a pack of lost souls to carry off area wrong doers sinners such as Woodham s groom, attacked and killed during a storm, his body found surrounded by hoofprints which seem to have appeared out of nowhere The solution at least as Watson sees it puts a rift between himself and his skeptical friend which he fears will never completely heal Footprints is a very competent tale which uses several favorite Conan Doyle tropes It s a little clipped, style wise, and Holmes and Watson don t engage in their usual banter Its main difficulty, however, most likely lies in the fact that it immediately follows Volk s tour de force Readers should still find it entertaining.I will confess to at first being a bit put out with The Deadly Sin of Sherlock Holmes Despite my desire to be less dogmatic about AU stories, there are a very few Canon facts about which I find it difficult to be flexible, and when I saw this adventure is set in May of 1891, well, I was just not having it It turns out, however, that author Tom English has a very good reason for placing his story so close to the fatal event at Reichenbach which, of course, I cannot reveal Deadly Sin is a creepy tale about a Codex which inspires its readers to murder, and is shot through with witty exchanges between Holmes, Watson, and their clients a group of monks who ve travelled to London from Rome The Canon references fly fast and furious, and in the end, even the Hiatus is accounted for after a fashion.William Meikle is the well known author of hundreds Really Hundreds of stories in the supernatural and science fiction genres and he s a great fan of what is typically known as pulp In The Color that Came to Chiswick, he sets Holmes and Watson up against a lethal green substance found in a brewery vat It s so hard so saywithout spoiling the whole thing, but this particular adventure would probably be Holmes own favorite as it involves science and caustic chemicals.As I stated above, all but one of the stories in this anthology are original contributions That exception is From the Tree of Time, by Fred Saberhagen, who passed away in 2007 Mr Saberhagen was a well known science fiction and fantasy author, and many Sherlockians are well acquainted with his fondness for teaming the Great Detective with Count Dracula This is a lively, tightly written story, in which the Count remembers a time in which he served as Holmes own consultant in a blackmail case gone wrong Like Lady Hilda in The Adventure of the Second Stain, the client whom Dracula chivalrously refuses to name was a bit sprightly before her marriage, and now wishes to hide the evidence Or maybe the body If she could find it, that is The two men in her study are the only ones in the world who can tell her if she stands to lose her marriage or her freedom The denouement is both surprising and satisfying, making Tree my second favorite in the collection.Classic nineteenth century horror makes another appearance in the next story In The Adventure of the Empty House, Holmes tells Watson, about that chasm I had no serious difficulty in getting out of it, for the very simple reason that I never was in it But what if that weren t exactly true What if he had fallen into the Aare River and Watson wasn t the first one on the scene In The Executioner, Lawrence C Connolly reveals what really happened at that fatal encounter, and why Holmes need three years to sort himself out afterward It s a fascinating story which takes an abrupt, dark turn at the end and as someone who likes abrupt, dark turns, I enjoyed it greatly That being said, I didn t really share Holmes doubts in the final paragraphs, but you, as better,sensitive people, may find yourselves in agreement.If I were to give a prize for the most horrific story in this collection, Simon Kurt Unsworth s A Country Death would win the blue ribbon, hands down Again, it s difficult to review a short story without giving the whole thing away, and Unsworth works so hard to hide the main facts from you that it feels wrong to provide even the slightest hint Let s just say that it is extremely well written and so disturbing that if you wish to enjoy sweet dreams it should not be the last thing you read before you go to bed.Many pasticheurs like to explore what cases Sherlock Holmes may have taken on for his brother, The British Governmentfamiliarly known, of course, as Mycroft In Kenneth Cockle s Sherlock Holmes and the Great Game, the detective and his Boswell find themselves in Canada, investigating what appears to be a particularly dangerous Russian move in her proxy war with Britain It s soon revealed as a maneuver in an actual war between the true source of Holmes powers and another enemy, just as ancient and just as powerful I actually found the first explanation very clever, but I am still a little conflicted about the origins of the proffered nemesis Holmes is right Watson does have his work cut out for him when he goes to lay this one before the public Perhaps Russians would be aplausible explanation, after all.From the Canadian north, Holmes and Watson next travel to the darkest depths of the ocean In Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell, by Simon Clark, Holmes summons his erstwhile flatmate with one of his cryptic telegrams Watson Come at once That which cannot be Is Or is it Between the horrific account of a salvage ship disaster, the weird twin sisters, and our heroes claustrophobic trip down to a five year old tomb, Clark serves up an atmospheric tale with subtle Canon overtones in which Holmes deductive ability ultimately proves a double edged sword.In The Greatest Mystery, Paul Kane commits one of the most common of the venial Sherlockian sins well, I hope it s common, as I ve done it plenty of times myself At the the story s conclusion, Watson recalls fuzzily, it must be said that, while unraveling the case of the Six Napoleons, his friend mused I am just contemplating the one mystery I cannot solve Death itself As happens so many times to me, at least , Watson has inserted a Granada moment into the Canon I have to suspect that it was done purposefully, as it is a superb quote and fits the story perfectly While most Holmes confronts the supernatural adventures depict the detective either finding a rational explanation for the spooky doings, or being shaken in his logical boots, not many show him using the spirit realm to his advantage Here he does just that, as he and Watson seek the mastermind behind a series of seemingly motiveless murder suicides.Tony Kane s The House of Blood is unique in this collection, because it features a 21st century Sherlock Holmes No, not either of those this Holmes was still born circa 1854, but as we know he s immortal, and he s trying to avoid the sometimes oppressive memories of London by traveling the world and solving crimes In this episode er, story, he s found himself in Las Vegas, helping the police investigate a series of murders in which recent casino winners have been found dead and drained of their blood Vampires Or something else The solution is quite creative, but the best part of this entertaining offering is watching Holmes navigate modern day Vegas with his usual competence, and a wry sense of humor.The final story, Kim Newman s The Adventure of the Six Maledictions, I d already read, as part of Newman s own later collection, Moriarty Hound of the D Urbervilles A complex riff on an actual poem, J Milton Hayes The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God, it s told in Colonel Sebastian Moran s irresistible if irreverent voice If Volk begins Arcanum with melancholy and possibly madness, Newman brings it to a breathtaking end with humor and Moriarty s own special brand of psychopathology Even if you ve read it before, don t skip it with an author like Kim Newman, there s always something new to discover Besides, it s funny, and once you finish, you won t have to leave the lights on and waste electricity The editors are thoughtful like that.A good many Sherlockians are not in favor of pitting Holmes against the supernatural Not even Conan Doyle, who loved a good creeper would go that far Others have no problem watching him face the uncanny in all of its many forms If that s you or if you think you re ready to take the plunge, I can t recommend Gaslight Arcanum highly enough Each story is well written, respectful of the Canon, and there is enough variety in subject matter and style that you are bound to find several stories you ll particularly enjoy Our agency may rest flat footed upon the ground, but it s ok to stand on your tiptoes every once in awhile This is a better collection than Gaslight Grimoire but I can t givethan 3 stars to a multi author work as the quality is invariably uneven and the weaker offerings drag the others down As you can tell, I don t like short story collections on the whole but I m always up for a Holmes pastiche One criticism I have that applies to several of the stories concerns the abrupt or inadequate conclusions The end should be the place where the story naturally stops rather than where the author seem This is a better collection than Gaslight Grimoire but I can t givethan 3 stars to a multi author work as the quality is invariably uneven and the weaker offerings drag the others down As you can tell, I don t like short story collections on the whole but I m always up for a Holmes pastiche One criticism I have that applies to several of the stories concerns the abrupt or inadequate conclusions The end should be the place where the story naturally stops rather than where the author seems to have run out of ideas about how to finish This has nothing to do with the nature of the short story and everything to do with the skill of the author A quick overview 1 Stephen Volk, The Comfort of the Seine Nicely done and the kind of story I can t resist even if I have trouble with Holmes implausible taste in women.2 Christopher Fowler, The Adventure of Lucifer s Footprints Weak.3 Tom English, The Deadly Sin of Sherlock Holmes A good idea but it s hard to read and wince at the same time The story should have been Britpicked for Americanisms Having said that, it needs to be a novel.4 William Meikle, The Colour That Came to Chiswick Too much deliquescence Oh lord, how I do hate deliquescence Rather good otherwise but see above comment about endings.5 Fred Saberhagen, From the Tree of Time Light and meant to be so but I ve enjoyed Dracula s various outings by this author.6 Lawrence C Connelly, The Executioner Very good and likely to be enjoyed by readers who enjoyed Volk s story as it pushes the same button.7 Simon Kurt Unsworth, A Country Death I admit that I hated this one Predictable all the way through, boring, not really a Holmes pastiche, oh boy did I ever see that end coming YMMV.8 Kevin Cockle, Sherlock Holmes and the Great Game There was a good idea in here somewhere but the author didn t find it Pulp pulp pulp.9 Simon Clark, Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell Atmospheric and finely done until the last moment when a bit of sentiment from Holmes came out of left field and utterly deflated the end.10 Paul Kane, The Greatest Mystery Good.11 Tony Richards, The House of Blood By this point in the volume I appreciated the wit and the setting.12 Kim Newman, The Adventure of the Six Maledictions This is where I say that I m a big Newman fan so if you like him, you ll like this If you don t, you won t Gaslight Grimoire would have been unmemorable without his contribution That wasn t the case with this book but it s all the better for his presence.And that wasthan I needed to say or anyone needs to read This collection is the fifth by this pair of editors and it is, perhaps, their best yet The first two collections consisted mostly ofconventional writings that told some of the Untold Tales The three later collections lean strongly toward the eerie and outr A few of the tales in this book can be explained by modern science and rational circumstances, but even that is not always comforting All are interesting, some are exceptional and a few are unpleasant The Comfort of the Seine is This collection is the fifth by this pair of editors and it is, perhaps, their best yet The first two collections consisted mostly ofconventional writings that told some of the Untold Tales The three later collections lean strongly toward the eerie and outr A few of the tales in this book can be explained by modern science and rational circumstances, but even that is not always comforting All are interesting, some are exceptional and a few are unpleasant The Comfort of the Seine is a novella by Stephen Volk In it we watch a painfully young Sherlock Holmes take a vacation from his studies at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where I have always believed he studied to visit Paris with friends There Sherlock falls in love, acquires a mentor and selects a profession, all with a large dose of adolescent angst Strict Sherlockians may disagree with the author s premise, as do I, but it is still an interesting and insightful tale The Adventure of Lucifer s Footprints is a short story by Christopher Fowler that tells of an evil done during the Crimean war and its ghastly punishment in Devon The Deadly Sin of Sherlock Holmes is a imaginative novella by Tom English that provides an alternative cause for The Great Hiatus and a name source for the Napoleon of Crime The Color That Came to Chiswick is a short story by William Meikle that tells about sabotage in a brewery, or of something in a brewery What is really going on or growing up in Chiswick is open to question From the Tree of Time is a short story by Fred Saberhagen that tells an incident in his life of Dracula series The Count is asked by Holmes to lend his expertise to an investigation and his comments lead to a quick solution The Executioner is a short story by Lawrence C Connolly that takes place following events in The Final Problem There seems to be an unnamed book by the original Dr Frankenstein, known to Sherlock but not to the reviewer, that explains much about the central character in this tale In the end, Sherlock sets out on The Great Hiatus for far different reasons than those given in The Adventure of the Empty House A Country Death is a short Novella by Simon Curt Unsworth that describes the death of Holmes and its investigation by some unfortunate policemen Sadly, a countryman or a biologist would find serious problems with the evidence and events as presented Sherlock Holmes and the Great Game is a short story by Kevin Cockle that tells of a mission by Holmes and Watson to the Canadian Arctic at the behest of the Crown, or of some Higher Authority Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell is a short story by Simon Clark that is a bit confusing and disjoint The Greatest Mystery is a short story by Paul Kane that pits Holmes and Watson against their greatest opponent While final victory is unsure, a small battle is won The House of Blood is a short story by Tony Richards It presents Holmes in 21st Century Las Vegas and is ainteresting story than one would expect from the premise The Adventure of the Six Maledictions is a novella by Kim Newman that is worth the price of the entire book It is an evenhilarious narrative by the Colonel Moran of A Volume in Vermillion that tells the problems he and Professor Moriarty encounter dealing with the minions of a one eyed yellow idol This compilation is certainly worth the price If all of the stories are not to your taste, some certainly will be The variety of tales is wide, with something or things for everyone s tastes.Reviewed by Philip K Jones, November 2011 Published in Doctor Watson s Formulary, 21, 09 2012 Here is a new collection of fantasy mystery stories about that most famous of detectives, Sherlock Holmes.Who was Sherlock Holmes before he became a famous detective He was a student at Cambridge University, who, while living in Paris, learned the art of detection from another famous person, Edgar Allan Poe Holmes and Watson travel to the English countryside, where, according to the locals, the Devil himself is causing hoofprints from invisible horses to appear in the turf during frequent stor Here is a new collection of fantasy mystery stories about that most famous of detectives, Sherlock Holmes.Who was Sherlock Holmes before he became a famous detective He was a student at Cambridge University, who, while living in Paris, learned the art of detection from another famous person, Edgar Allan Poe Holmes and Watson travel to the English countryside, where, according to the locals, the Devil himself is causing hoofprints from invisible horses to appear in the turf during frequent storms.A book, but not just any book, has disappeared from the monastery where it has been under lock and key for several hundred years It is a compnedium of evil, hideous acts when anyone reads from the book, they are compelled to enact what they have read The passage then disappears from the book Can a book actually be a malevolent, living thing Despite Holmes well known disbelief in the supernatural, a strange green slime may be legitimately alien It hypnotizes its victim, before it turns them into a mass of green protoplasm In another story, Holmes is assisted by a certain Count named Dracula Another tale takes place in 21st Century Las Vegas.Five years previously, a disaster on a salvage ship left a man on the ocean bottom in a diving bell Now, he seems to be alive and communicating from the diving bell Is it possible, or is the explanationdown to earth This is a gem of a collection Fantasy fans will love it, and so will Holmes fans Those who enjoy good writing, in general, will also love it As always in an anthology of stories, some appeal and some don t The best story by far was Kim Newman s The Adventure of the Six Maledictions part of his Moriarty Moran Victorian mash up series but unfortunately I d already read it Still, it s an excellent story without it, I d have given this 3 stars I also enjoyed Christopher Fowler s effort he has a good knack for Holmes stories I also liked the story he wrote told from Mrs Hudson s point of view I enjoyed most of them, but a As always in an anthology of stories, some appeal and some don t The best story by far was Kim Newman s The Adventure of the Six Maledictions part of his Moriarty Moran Victorian mash up series but unfortunately I d already read it Still, it s an excellent story without it, I d have given this 3 stars I also enjoyed Christopher Fowler s effort he has a good knack for Holmes stories I also liked the story he wrote told from Mrs Hudson s point of view I enjoyed most of them, but at least two of the stories really, really irritated me by once again getting the drugs thing wrong It s not complicated Holmes uses cocaine and sometimes morphine when he hasn t got a case when he s bored He never uses it on a case And he never takes opium There s a whole sequence in I think The Man With the Twisted Lip where he assures a concerned Watson that he d never touch the stuff because it clouds the mental faculties Pedantic irritations aside, I enjoyed all the stories apart from possibly the one with the magic knife that solves all of Holmes cases for him a lotthan many Holmes pastiches I ve read in the past I was reading this concurrently with A Study in Sherlock and it s this one I ve kept reading and the other that has got left on a table to finish later I just finished reading the anthology Gaslight Arcanum Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes Reviews of each story are below.As with any collection, there were highs and lows Fortunately, the highs greatly outpaced the lows.As a collection, this is a hearty 4 STARS The Comfort of the Seine by Stephen VolkYoung Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe and the origins of Holmes as a detective Great Story 5 STARS The Adventure of Lucifer s Footprint by Christopher FowlerThis story was missing something The flow I just finished reading the anthology Gaslight Arcanum Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes Reviews of each story are below.As with any collection, there were highs and lows Fortunately, the highs greatly outpaced the lows.As a collection, this is a hearty 4 STARS The Comfort of the Seine by Stephen VolkYoung Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe and the origins of Holmes as a detective Great Story 5 STARS The Adventure of Lucifer s Footprint by Christopher FowlerThis story was missing something The flow between scenes was awkward One second you are in London, the next Devon One second you are in the local tavern, the next walking a field There is little or no mention of means of conveyance.The author also missed the descriptive scenes that help make Holmes stories Holmes and Watson are sitting in front of a fire with a brandy You are offered littledescription than that.Additionally, I believe there are references to a failure of one of the characters in the Charge of the Light Brigade I am not a British military history scholar and didn t feel it worth my while to fill in the blanks where the author failed to do so.Another reviewer suggested that The Adventure of Lucifer s Footprint was just an outline of a story and not the completed work I think that is accurate.1 STAR The Deadly Sin of Sherlock Holmes by Tom EnglishEnglish s Holmes and Watson are note perfect The setting was right on This one hit all of the proper notes with one glaring exception, the resolution of the mystery lacked explanation.Holmes for certain figured it out He had resigned to the fact that he was dealing with something supernatural A dangerous experiment was conducted providing Holmes with the proof he needed But, there was never any hint as to how or why the experiment that would prove the case worked and no clue as to why Holmes made the conclusions that he made.Fill in the blanks and this story is top notch Without that.meh.2 STARSAnd now we come to the reason I bought the anthology to start with The Color that Came to Chiswick by William MeikleHaving read Holmes, Carnacki and Professor Challenger pastiches by Meikle, I knew this one would be a win I like to be proven correct.Holmes and Watson are dispatched to investigate a case of industrial sabotage at a local brewery What they discover may have other worldly origins.As is often the case with short stories, you find yourself enjoying the story, setting or mystery so much that you feel a slight sense of disappointment at its end That is the case here My only complaint is selfish I wish it were longer.4 STARS From the Tree of Time by Fred SaberhagenSaberhagen is known best to me as the author of his Dracula series of books.In this tale, Sherlock Holmes employs his friend, the vampire Count Dracula, to assist him on a blackmail case Holmes feels that Dracula s knowledge of vampires could be particularly helpful in this instance.The first third of this short story is Dracula dispelling for the narrator the myths surrounding vampires It seemed overdone But, it was relevant to the conclusion of the story.3 STARS The Executioner by Lawrence C ConnollyThis short story is a different view on the moments after the death of Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls.There was very little mystery to the story But, the premise is good and makes an interesting retelling of those vague events It would probably also make a strong starting point for a new series.4 STARS A Country Death by Simon Kurt UnsworthA consulting detective is called in to investigate a mysterious deaththe death of Sherlock Holmes.This one isof a horror story than a Sherlock Holmes mystery But, that is just fine It is very well written and touches on a well documented hobby of Sherlock Holmes in his retirement.4 STARS Sherlock Holmes and the Great Game by Kevin CockleI am not usually a fan of Holmes outside of Victorian Great Britain I feel that part of the appeal of Sherlockian stories is that specific setting and often can t abide any deviation I found this story though a bit intriguing.Set in frozen rural Canada, Holmes and Watson, armed with an ancient relic are hunting killers that may have some ancient, dark origin The hints given as to Holmes role in this mystery may also indicate something darker andaged in our hero.This tale left me wanting to knowabout what was merely hinted at.4 STARS Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell by Simon Clark Watson Come at once That which cannot be Is With this message, Holmes summons Watson to join him in a mystery five years in the making.A marine salvage tragedy has left one man on the ocean floor, stranded in his diving bell with no chance for rescue.Five years later, diving on the same wreck, the salvage crew suffers yet another tragedy resulting in the deaths of twodivers, who appear to have died of fright after hearing calls from their comrade lost five years earlier.Enter Holmes and Watson.4 STARS The Greatest Mystery by Paul KaneHolmes and Watson are faced with a series of seemingly random murders committed by some close acquaintance or loved one of the victims Only Holmes is able to discern a pattern to the crimes and only Holmes, with the aid of Watson, is equipped to face his greatest foe.This short story got a little long winded in both the first few and last few pages But, the meat of the story was fantastic 4 STARS The House of Blood by Tony RichardsThe immortal Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of murders in modern day Las Vegas.Again, I am not usually a fan of Holmes outside of Victorian Great Britain But, in this case it seemed to work.Richards leaves just enough questions about Holmes to have piqued my interest in this story line How, for instance, did Holmes become immortal What type of immortal is he, as when responding to a comment about vampires, he says, There are no such creatures I would be interested in reading further along these lines if Richards chose to write it.4 STARS The Adventure of the Six Maledictions by Kim NewmanThis tale is told in the first person from the point of view of Colonel Sebastian Moran, the right hand man of Moriarty Holmes and Watson do not make an appearance in this story.I found it a little rough getting into the flow of Moran s colloquialisms But, once I got the groove, this story was actually quite good.Moriarty s scheming stole the show and the tidbits of humor hidden in Moran s colorful language flavored every paragraph.I have a couple of Kim Newman s novels that have been deep in the to be read stack for quite some time Those books just moved closer to the top of that mountain.4 STARS My full review is on Flames Rising Every anthology ends up having a few stories that don t appeal, and this one is much the same But most of the stories are good for a variety of reasons, and the last two stories are absolutely worth the price of admission If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes and novel approaches to well loved characters, this anthology is well worth a look My full review is on Flames Rising Every anthology ends up having a few stories that don t appeal, and this one is much the same But most of the stories are good for a variety of reasons, and the last two stories are absolutely worth the price of admission If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes and novel approaches to well loved characters, this anthology is well worth a look