Book Review: "Further Encounters of Sherlock Holmes"
- by Señor Editor, 26 February 2014
Titan Books has been doing a lot of good work to keep Sherlock Holmes in active duty, constantly taking on new cases. The British publisher releases brand new Holmes works every year, constantly adding to the mythos, and I reviewed (and enjoyed) a few of them on this site. This Friday, Titan will publish the anthology "Further Encounters of Sherlock Holmes", edited by George Mann, and we got a review AND an exclusive excerpt for you today!
The stories take Holmes and Watson on adventures ranging from the weird to the supernatural and absolutely far-out. If you're a Holmes fan (or a Watson fan, like me), chances are you will find something for yourself here. Let's talk briefly about some of the anthology's highlights.
Fans of Holmes' arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, will be pleased to learn that even after death, the villain still causes chaos. Philip Purser-Hallard's story "The Adventures of the Professor's Bequest" sheds some light on Moriarty's epic plans, when Sherlock is contacted by the man's brother-in-law. It's a very nice story, showing that even the great detective can occasionally get his mind blown by his enemy's plots. Andrew Lane shows a pretty ruthless side of the investigator, in a story that opens with a dead, shaved monkey left in the house on Baker Street. You can't go wrong with a dead, shaved monkey as your opener, and it's just one of the memorable things in Lane's tale. Guy Adams' story is one I was especially looking forward to reading. He's an author, who I first thought was good and enjoyable... and then he released the amazing "Deadbeat: Makes You Stronger" last year, and my opinion of him skyrocketed to "holy crap, give me more of this man's work." He writes "An Adventure in Three Courses" here. His great sense of humour lends itself brilliantly to a story of vengeance served cold, taking place in a very peculiar restaurant. The high seas "Adventure of the Coin of the Realm" (by Maynard and Martukovich) was also a welcome change from the London setting, having our heroes solve a murder mystery on a ship sailing from the United States to the United Kingdom.
On the more supernatural/fantastic side of things, I really loved what Scott Handcock ("The Girl Who Paid For Silence") and Mark A. Latham ("Sherlock Holmes and the Popish Relic") brought to the table. Both of their stories do a great job of highlighting Watson's open mindedness when it comes to the mystical and supernatural, a side of the character that I really like, and that puts him in contrast to his logical-minded partner. There's also Lou Anders, who tells a story that's a science-fiction pulp fan's wet dream, having quite a bit of fun with the crossover "The Sleep of Reason". I won't be spoiling that one - you can read the beginning of it below!
All in all, this is a very enjoyable collection of stories, with everybody involved providing high quality stories. It's quite impressive what a satisfying mystery some of these authors can fit in 15-40 pages. There's not a story here that disappoints or feels like a letdown, which is an accomplishment for any anthology. If you're a Holmes/Watson fan, a fan of popculture or of good mystery fiction, you should pick this volume up. It feels good to have brand new, well-written Holmes stories coming out in 2014.
And now, here's a special sample...
EXCLUSIVE BOOK EXCERPT:
Thanks to George Mann and the good people at Titan Books, we got an exclusive excerpt from the anthology, from the story "The Sleep of Reason" by Lou Anders. It's quite a read, so enjoy and make sure to order the book!
How did you like that? Are you a Holmes fan? Planning to pick the anthology up on Friday? What modern Sherlock stories did you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments!