The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes by John H Watson, Tony Reynolds and Chris Coady

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The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes by John H Watson, Tony Reynolds and Chris Coady

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Category: Short Stories
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a successful detective character will have far too many cases in his career for it to be at all realistic. The worst case in point are the Hardy Boys, who have had two hundred or more adventures and are still not 20. Slightly more literary, but no less busy it can seem, was Sherlock Holmes, for Watson declaimed many times that he did not write down all that man's exploits. Tony Reynolds here gives us eight more cases, making Holmes' workload even more impressive.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 204 Date: November 2010
Publisher: MX Publishing
ISBN: 978-1907685613

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a successful detective character will have far too many cases in his career for it to be at all realistic. The worst case in point are the Hardy Boys, who have had two hundred or more adventures and are still not 20. Slightly more literary, but no less busy it can seem, was Sherlock Holmes, for Watson declaimed many times that he did not write down all that man's exploits. Tony Reynolds here gives us eight more cases, making Holmes' workload even more impressive.

He starts with the case of 'The Giant Rat of Sumatra' famously alluded to but never elaborated on by Watson officially. Sensibly, Reynolds has the beast involved in killings on board a boat bringing it to London, rather than send Watson back to Asia. The story seems to be just of analysing the deaths, then capturing the critter, but we get more in a third chapter after that.

Some stories here do need more. The whimsical Christmassy closer would need to be more whimsical (either that or less obvious). The second tale would need more racism. Now that's not what I'd normally like to see me typing, but this tale of a gypsy girl masquerading as a fortune teller would have had a lot more incriminatory language from the pen of Conan Doyle, and I just ask for people mimicking his style to consider every aspect of it to make it more realistic.

The third story has a nice tone with a locked room murder being set in a tropical greenhouse. Later an international crisis with anarchists fomenting problems for all can even be seen as a 9/11 metaphor - something Conan Doyle could never have foreseen. His spirit is evoked very well with a spiritualist having to be exposed - something dear to his interests.

The eight stories here show Reynolds to be a more than competent thriller writer - while nothing too surprising can be fitted into twenty pages he gives us a huge variety of formats, plotlines and situations. None seem at all out of place, and only the mild gore of the opener could raise too many purist eyebrows. He has an impeccable vocabulary of words and archaic terms, to convincingly add age to these stories, and they do come across as accurate, sincere additions to the canon.

The short format, then, may make these nothing more than slight entertainments to some, but to the Holmesian they would, I think, be most welcome. These bonuses, added to the output of Watson most successfully, would act as breaths of fresh air for their reading, and in my estimation be some of the best unauthorised Holmes stories out there.

I must thank the publishers for sending me a review copy.

You can get very good longer works of new Holmes writers - we loved The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Man From Hell by Barrie Roberts.

Buy The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes by John H Watson, Tony Reynolds and Chris Coady at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes by John H Watson, Tony Reynolds and Chris Coady at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes by John H Watson, Tony Reynolds and Chris Coady at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes by John H Watson, Tony Reynolds and Chris Coady at Amazon.com.

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