This book is a collection of stories published by MX Publishing. They are the world’s largest Sherlock Holmes publisher, but also are a social enterprise funding both the Stepping Stones School (for children with learning disabilities) located in Doyle’s home in Surrey, as well as the Happy Lives Project (they work with abandoned babies to find them homes) in Nairobi, Kenya. The upcoming volumes of the MX collection, Volumes XI and XII are filled with short stories about Sherlock Holmes and Watson that have been written recently by various contributors that have a real knowledge of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was flabbergasted to find that the stories read as if written by Doyle himself with all of the intrigue and adventure the original writings held. The stories are simply marvelous and I would be shocked if readers can put them down.
I am offering up reviews of a few stories from the books. You will find the stories to be well worth your time, not to mention the joy of providing a bit of funding for social work.
“The Giant Rat of Sumatra” by Leslie Charteris & Denis Green is a play script that is witty and would be great fun to see done live. It reads very well, with no snags for following the storyline. Watson is asked to tell a Sherlock Holmes story in a restaurant as part of the entertainment, he does so willingly and with flare as he describes a case in Calcutta India about a zoologist by the name of Jackson who has captured a giant rat from the Pygmies in Sumatra. This particular tribe of Pygmies worships these giant rats. Their size is attributed to the fact that they are fed human blood. Jackson is trying to get back to America to have the rat be part of his private zoo collection. Unfortunately the giant rat keeps killing people by biting them. Watson is requested to check out a bitten man before he dies and as they say “the game is afoot”.
“The Shanghaied Surgeon” by C.H. Dye
In this engaging short story, Watson is kidnapped and forced to doctor gang members on a ship. Watson is in deep despair as Holmes has died previously and therefore can not be of aid. The story is fascinating with Watson working on his own, certainly a brilliant mind in his own right, and it has a great twist of an ending.
“The Adventures of the Smith Mortimer Succession” by Daniel D Victor
This is tremendous story about an elderly wealthy gentleman who can not find his only son. The man is fearful for his son’s life but as it turns out he is most concerned over who will take the reins of his fortune. Holmes is outstanding in this one and the writing superb!