Out this week: my latest book, The Improbable Casebook of Sherlock Holmes; seven adventures of the World’s Greatest Detective that will test his powers of observation and deduction like never before.
Following the release of my first collection of short stories, The Feats of Sherlock Holmes, I have been very fortunate to have contributed more stories to several anthologies from MX Publishing and Belanger Books. Since I was a child, I have enjoyed creating new adventures for Holmes and Watson and it is a real joy to share these newly unearthed cases with the world.
So, what can you expect from The Improbable Casebook of Sherlock Holmes? Within these pages, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson will confront an array of monsters and madmen, tackle seemingly impossible mysteries, and come face-to-face with some of the most fearsome aberrations of nature beyond their wildest nightmares.
First up is “The Scholar of Silchester Court” in which a timid academic named Augustus Larkin seeks Holmes’s help after he moves into the titular rooming house. Once the grand mansion of a regal family who met a violent end, the building has fallen into great disrepair. However, the spirits of the building’s former occupants appear restless as Larkin claims to hear them speaking from beyond the grave. While his client fears that he may be losing his mind, Sherlock Holmes begins to unravel a dangerous conspiracy.
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November….So the old rhyme goes and the Guy Fawkes’ Night at the center of “The Adventure of the Deadly Inheritance” is one that neither Sherlock Holmes nor Dr. Watson is ever likely to forget. Edmund Ainsford appeals to Holmes to find his brother who, while enacting a bizarre ritual in order to claim his inheritance, entered a disused building and then disappeared into thin air.
Throughout Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories there are several references to the many other adventures Holmes and Watson shared which, for reasons of discretion, the Good Doctor never saw fit to publish. Perhaps the most famous of these untold adventures is that of “The Giant Rat of Sumatra” a story for which Sherlock Holmes said the world is not yet prepared. Perhaps, at long last, the world is prepared for my version of this tale set in the coastal town of Whitby (Dracula fans be on the lookout for a few references) in which Holmes and Watson are drawn into the investigation of a violent and seemingly motiveless double murder.
Next up is “A Ghost from the Past” originally included in a series chronicling sequels to the original Canon. A threatening message in the mail sets Holmes and Watson on a collision course with one of their most dangerous adversaries who seems to be seeking revenge. However, the detectives’ pursuit to find the foe may prove to be only the beginning of one of the darkest chapters in their careers as they discover that both ghosts and sins of the past cast long shadows.
In “The Adventure of the Weeping Stone,” Dr. Watson travels to Sussex to visit a retired Sherlock Holmes who has kept himself busy tending to his bees. The detective’s quiet retirement is broken by an archaeological dig on the beach below his cottage as a team of researchers study an inexplicable stone Incan artifact which seems to drip blood. When a death interrupts the dig, Holmes and Watson are drawn into the case to protect an innocent man accused of murder and, even as they delve into the troubled past of the victim, the detectives realize that the answer to this baffling mystery may lie with the stone itself.
Sherlock Holmes’s enigmatic older brother, Mycroft, looms large (literally) over the original stories despite his marginal appearances. Yet, in “Death in the House of the Black Madonna” it is Mycroft who persuades his younger brother out of retirement once more to undertake a dangerous mission for King and Country. With Watson at his side, Holmes travels through war-torn Europe to Prague to locate a missing British agent. As Holmes infiltrates the shadowy world of organized crime, he becomes aware of hushed whispers that the legendary monster, The Golem has returned to Prague. Could this creature have some connection with the missing agent?
“In the Footsteps of Madness” rounds out the collection and returns us to the foggy, gas-lit streets of Victorian London. Scotland Yard is baffled by the senseless murder of a construction worker in the London sewers; the dead man’s wounds seemingly inflicted by a wild animal. Holmes and Watson will descend into the sewers in pursuit of the killer who may be more than just human. Both men will emerge with their conceptions of the improbable and the impossible shattered forever. Fans of H.G. Wells will not want to miss this thrilling adventure that combines the Sherlockian mythos with one of the science fiction author's most well-known stories.