Tag Archives: Anthology

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.

New release: A Murmuring of Bees — Mortal words

24 Nov

Improbable Press has a new anthology of Holmes/Watson romance stories, celebrating the celebrated sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his biographer, friend and (in these stories) lover John Watson. Some stories are sweet, others steamy. Many involve cases. Some are set in the Victorian era while others take place in 21st century London. In some they are […]

via New release: A Murmuring of Bees — Mortal words

The Mammoth Book of the Adventures of Moriarty

3 Jul

An excellent book of short stories involving Sherlock Holmes arch enemy Professor James Moriarty, edited by Maxim Jakubowski.

Some stories also feature Colonel Sebastian Moran, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and Mycroft Holmes.

Some stories propose a reversal of canon where it is Moriarty who survives the Reichenbach Falls.  Moriarty as a child, as a young man, as a very old man.  The possibilities are endless, and also entertaining.

Unusually for an anthology, the story quality was high through out.

My favourite stories were by:
Priscilla Masters
Keith Moray
David Stuart Davies

All in all an excellent anthology.  Highly recommended.

MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part II: 1890-1895

31 May

This book is part of a series of three anthologies edited last year by David Marcum.  Part II is a pretty good anthology.  The mix of stories is well balanced.  Most of them good, a few mediocre, but no really terrible ones.

For my money the most interesting stories were those written by

– Ann Margaret Lewis;
– Lyndsay Faye; and
– Wendy C. Fries (aka Atlin Merrick).

There was at least one sly BBC Sherlock reference tucked away inside a story.  I’ll let you look for it when you read the book.

The anthology is an excellent addition to the body of Sherlock Holmes pastiches.

Recommended for all lovers of Sherlock Holmes, and Victorian crime.

Down These Strange Streets

29 Sep

The book “Down These Strange Streets” (edited by George R. R. Martin) is touted as “urban fantasy” which is something I will take issue with.  Several of the stories are by prominent writers of historical fiction and the stories are to me, historical mysteries NOT urban fantasy.

For it to be urban fantasy the stories all need to have the frisson of the unexplained – ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night.

A number of stories fit that category, the vampires in Charlaine Harris’ story “Death by Dahlia” for example.  And S. M. Stirling’s creepy story “Pain and Suffering”.  But my favourite stories were, in actuality, straight out historical mystery fiction.  I have seen all the authors in mystery anthologies many times before.  Not to mention having read their full length novels.

Steven Saylor’s Gordianus the Finder as a young man solving a murder in the ancient city of Babylon in the story “Styx and Stones”.  A nice story that is more “Hounds of the Baskervilles” in its outcome than “Dracula”.

Diana Gabaldon’s wonderful Lord John Grey is out and about in Jamaica in “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies”.  The title explains the story.  Never mind Outlander, Diana needs to give us more Lord John.

But the story that delighted me the most was John Maddox Roberts’ story “Beware the Snake” using his delightful creation Decius Caecilius from the SPQR mystery series.  This story, whilst having a wonderful mystery involving a stolen sacred snake, (no ghosts, no vampires, no werewolves and no bloody zombies) had some of the funniest laugh out loud moments of any story I have read in ages.  Quote:

“The Claudians,” I observed, “are a family of insane hereditary criminals.”

“Look out!” Julia cried.  “He has a snake!  And he’ll use it!”

Pretty much sums up the book, really.

A good selection of stories, but if you go into expecting urban fantasy you will be disappointed.  The creep factor is quite low on the ground and the mystery/crime factor is quite high.  But if you enjoy well written short stories, regardless of genre, you will enjoy this book.

A Study in Sherlock

15 Sep

“A Study in Sherlock” is an anthology first published in 2011.  The stories allegedly take inspiration from the Holmes canon.  The problem is, sometimes the inspiration is so obscure that even the most dedicated Sherlockian can’t spot the bloody thing.

The anthology was edited by noted Sherlockian Leslie S. Klinger (who is currently up to his arse in a lawsuit) and author Laurie R. King.  I am being honest that I would think twice about picking up an anthology edited by them again.  “A Study in Sherlock” did not meet my expectations.  Too many of the stories had modern settings and did not feature Sherlock Holmes and John Watson at all.

Two stories, however, made up for much of my disappointment with the rest of the book.  One was by Tony Broadbent and featured a London taxi driver who as well as name checking almost ever actor who has played Holmes and Watson, had a lovely rant about the cab driver being a serial killer in the very first Sherlock episode “A Study in Pink”.

The other story was by Lee Child, an author I normally don’t enjoy.  However, his story, also with a modern setting, involving an FBI agent and the murder of an American in Baker Street, was delightful.

If you are just after interesting detective stories, then by all means pick up a copy of “A Study in Sherlock”, but I would steer any Sherlockian or Sherlock fan well away from it.

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