Tag Archives: Anthology

The Curious Cases of Sherlock Holmes Volume One

20 Jun

Stephen Herczeg is a prolific author of Sherlock Holmes short stories. “The Curious Cases of Sherlock Holmes Volume One” brings together eight of his excellent stories that have been previously published in anthologies by both MX Publishing and Belanger Books.

Embellished with interesting forwards by editors David Marcum and Derrick Belanger, this stories in the volume are all entertaining and interesting reads.

I had favourites. Of course I did. ‘The Curious Case of the Sleeper’ was charming, while ‘The Adventure of the Modern Guy Fawkes’ was pure Conan-Doyle. My absolute favourite, however, was ‘The Adventure of the Sugar Merchant’: the ending of which had the hair on the back of my neck standing on end.

I sat down last night and read every story, which tells you all you need to know about the readability of the book. Rare is the book that I pick up and do not put down until the last word has been read.

Highly recommended.

“The Curious Cases of Sherlock Holmes Volume One” is published by MX Publishing and available directly from them: https://mxpublishing.com/products/the-curious-cases-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-one?_pos=3&_sid=44f3a8efa&_ss=r

Sherlock Holmes of Baking Street

6 Apr

During lockdown last year, the wonderful Margie Deck had the idea of an anthology based on the play of words between Baker Street and Baking. Enter Nancy Holder and with the support of Belanger Books the idea became a reality.

“Sherlock Holmes of Baking Street” is not a cookbook. It is a book the theme of Sherlock Holmes and baking. It is a skillful mix of essays, fiction, and an interview. Included in the mix is a new short story from me: “Best Served Cold” which is not for those with a delicate stomach!

The anthology is now on Kickstarter, with some great packages for supporters. Why not pop over and check out the delicious menu of writers and snag yourself a great deal at the same time.

The Ghost Club

4 Apr

Welcome to the Ghost Club – where Arthur Conan Doyle, along with Bram Stoker, Henry James and their guests, invite you to a feast of Victorian tales of the uncanny and macabre.

“The Ghost Club” is written by noted horror writer William Meikle. Each story purports to be written by a prominent Victorian writer. All fourteen stories are seriously weird, always creepy, and, at times downright terrifying. Each one is a great read, but, of course, I have my favourites.

“The High Bungalow” (Rudyard Kipling) – a terrifying tale of ghosts and Freemasonry in the hills of the Punjab.

“The Immortal Memory” (Leo Tolstoy) – death and poetry at the court of Catherine the Great.

“The House of the Dead” (Bram Stoker) – this tale of death and spirits seriously made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

“Farside” (Herbert George Wells) – a tale of spirits and technology that left me more than a little unsettled.

“The Angry Ghost” (Oscar Wilde) – not a particularly frightening tale, but notable because William Meikle caught the flavour of Wilde’s style perfectly. It put me in mind of Wilde’s classic story “The Canterville Ghost”.

“The Scrimshaw Set” (Henry James) – this tale of the sea and death is chilling a macabre in equal measures.

“The Curious Affair on the Embankment” (Arthur Conan Doyle) – Inspector Lestrade deals with a missing persons case with a horrifying twist.

I cannot recommend this volume of stories highly enough. If you enjoy classic ghost stories you will love this book.

The Sensible Necktie and Other Stories of Sherlock Holmes

3 Jan

“The Sensible Neckties and Other Stories of Sherlock Holmes” is the second volume of Sherlock Holmes short stories from Peter K. Andersson, published by MX Publishing. The quality of the stories are quite on par with the first book.

Peter Andersson writes excellent traditional Holmes short stories. Every story was a good read.

Two stories really stood out for me. The first was “The Adventure of the Hobnail Boots”. His Lestrade is robust and entertaining.

The second story was the delightful “The Remarkable Experience of Professor Parkins”. This story is a retelling of M. R. James classic ghost story “Oh Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad.” Turning Holmes’s logical eye onto a story of sheer illogical and terror made for a great read.

As in the previous collection, the friendship between Holmes and Watson is strong.

Highly recommended.

The book is available directly from MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/the-sensible-necktie-and-other-stories-of-sherlock-holmes?_pos=1&_sid=8dda48904&_ss=r

Maybe check out my books whilst you are there: https://mxpublishing.com/collections/sherlockian-author-profile-margaret-walsh

The Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder

21 Dec

Originally published in 1913, this edition by Wordsworth was published in 2006 with an introduction by David Stuart Davies.

“The Casebook of Carnaki the Ghost Finder” comprises stories written by W. H. Hodgson and originally published in magazines including the Idler, where at least one story came with a warning to readers!

This edition comprises nine stories of greater and lesser appeal. Several, including ‘The Gateway of the Monster’ and ‘The Horse of the Invisible’ are downright terrifying.

The longest story in the book is ‘The Hog’. It is also quite possibly the weirdest story I have ever read. It possibly also holds the record for the most time the words ‘grunting’ and ‘squealing’ have been used in a single story.

If you haven’t ventured into the world of Carnack the Ghost Finder, I highly recommend doing so. The stories are most definitely worth a read.

Dead Ringers: Sherlock Holmes Stories

25 Jun

50609507._SY475_“Dead Ringers” (published by MX Publishing) is a volume of short stories from the pen of noted Sherlockian Robert Perret and is quite a treat.

The stories have all been published in a wide variety of publications and it is nice to have them all collected together in one volume.

Robert Perret’s style is tight and firm and the stories fairly bounce along. Perret’s Holmes rarely jars, and the relationship between Holmes and Watson is solid gold.

Writers sometimes concentrate so hard on Holmes and Watson that other canonical characters suffer. Not in these stories: Lestrade, Gregson, Mrs. Hudson, and others are all as well rounded, and the original characters solid and believable.

With any anthology there will be stories of greater and lesser appeal to each reader. For me, the absolute stand out stories were:

The Mystery of the Change of Art
The Adventure of the Pharaoh’s Tablet
The Adventure of the Twofold Purpose.

The latter story was my favourite; its gothic overtones making for quite a chilling tale.

An excellent volume of stories to while away a cold winter’s evening. Highly recommended.

Link to Book: https://mxpublishing.com/products/dead-ringers-sherlock-holmes-stories?_pos=2&_sid=3471def3a&_ss=r

Writing Update

19 Mar

I haven’t done a blog post for a wee while.  Sorry about that.  For two reasons.  The first is that I haven’t been reading as much, and the second is the reason for the first.  I have been writing.

A few of you may remember that I had a short story published a few years ago.  Well that got the writing fire well and truly going.

I have an essay being published in the anthology “Finding Sherlock Holmes” edited by Chris Redmond and published by Wildside Press, due for release in the Northern hemisphere fall of this year.

Also being published this year is an essay in the anthology “Spark: How Fic Can Set Your Writing On Fire” edited by Atlin Merrick and published by Improbable Press, also due for release later this year.

On top of that I am in the process of editing my completed Sherlock Holmes pastiche that I will be attempting to find a publisher for.

As you can see I’ve been very busy.

Gaslight Gothic: Strange Tales of Sherlock Holmes

29 Jan

This book, the fourth anthology volume of Gaslight Sherlock Holmes stories, is simply delicious.

The standard of the stories is very high. Usually in every anthology you get at least one story that falls flat. It’s a tribute to the joint editing skills of J. R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec  that every story is a winner.

“Gaslight Gothic” combines the fog shrouded mysteries of Sherlock Holmes with the sort of plots that the likes of M. R. James and William Hope Hodgson excelled at.

As I said, every story is a winner, but three really stood out for me:

The Cuckoo’s Hour, by Mark A. Latham
The Strange Case of Dr Sacker and Mr Hope, by James Lovegrove
The Strange Adventure of Mary Holder, by Nancy Holder.

All three stories were creepy to an extremely high level.

“Gaslight Gothic: Strange Tales of Sherlock Holmes” now has a place in my permanent Sherlock Holmes collection, alongside my editions of the canon and one or two others.

Highly recommended.

Tales from the Stranger’s Room Volume 3

31 May

This isn’t a book review, more of a gentle book nudge, not to mention a touch of “I can’t believe this is actually happening”.

“Tale from the Stranger’s Room – Volume 3” an anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories and essays is due for publication on 3rd August 2017.  The volume is compiled and edited by noted Sherlockian David Ruffle, and published by MX Publishing.

I have my very first published piece in this book.

All royalties from the sale of the book will be going to Stepping Stones, the school in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home, Undershaw, where he wrote the iconic “Hound of the Baskervilles”.

“Tales from the Stranger’s Room – Volume 3” can be preordered directly from the publisher:

http://www.mxpublishing.co.uk/product/9781787051676/Sherlock+Holmes%3A+Tales+From+The+Stranger%27s+Room+-+Volume+3

I am very excited about this.  My first professional Sherlock Holmes story.

A Murmuring of Bees

9 Apr

“A Murmuring of Bees”, edited by Atlin Merrick, is the latest offering from Improbable Press, the gay romance/erotica Sherlock Holmes imprint.

The stories in this anthology revolve around bees, and, of course, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.  As with any anthology, the stories go from not very good, to mediocre, to excellent.  And, of course, it’s always a matter of personal taste.  My favourite stories were:

“Tales from the Riverbank” by Kim Le Patourel;
“The Secret Diary of Dr John Watson MD” by Kerry Greenwood; and
“The Love of Apiology” by Amy L. Webb

Some stories are straight out romance, but others are most definitely erotica.  So if man on man sexual intercourse offends you, then do not read.

A pleasant way to while away an autumn afternoon.  Recommended.

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