Reedsy

The Redacted Sherlock Holmes (Volume VII) by MX Publishing – Reviewed by Maia Keeley

reedsy.com

This book will launch on Apr 25, 2022. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Loved it! 😍

Factually accurate and fun to read! These five stories are an excellent addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon.

Synopsis

Two kings, a model, a traitor, two wombats, two poets, an accountant, more lobbyists than you can count, three titans of business, two artists, a pawnbroker…and Sherlock Holmes.

Orlando Pearson presents them all in the latest addition to the acclaimed Redacted Sherlock Holmes series.

The Poet and his Muse – a life-changing discovery in Highgate Cemetery;
A Study in Black and Orange – the race to find a missing royal artefact;
The Cherry-Tree and the Comma – poetry, treason, and blackmail;
M Harris Smith – the woman with whom Holmes had a professional association; and
A Story with a Health-Warning – death, spirits, and taxes.
An irresistible blend of Holmestry and history.

With these five short stories the author masterfully captures the distinctive voices of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original characters. Each story anchors the reader in a historical event and gives a creative spin on how the World’s Greatest Consulting Detective could have played a part in it.

As a major history nerd, I loved that the facts described in the stories are meticulously researched and accurate. I enjoyed learning obscure tidbits of English history within the context of a Sherlock Holmes mystery. However, the more detailed facts sometimes felt a little shoehorned into the action of the story instead of being woven in more seamlessly. Although very informative some portions of the narrative felt more like an encyclopedia than a mystery novel.

My favorite stories have to be The Poet and his Muse and M Harris Smith because they not only describe a fascinating event in history but they also add color to Holmes’ character and life. In the first story, we get a rare glimpse into Sherlock’s life as a boy as well as why he decided to become a consulting detective. This story is a macabre delight to read and also gives a hint as to why Holmes never married or found love.

In M Harris Smith, we learn a little about how Sherlock earned “his bread and cheese” because as the author points out it is implausible that Scotland Yard Inspectors like Lestrade and Gregson were in a position to pay him compensation for his help on their cases. I have to admit that as an avid fan of Holmes, the source of his income has always been a puzzle for me. The author here gives a very plausible and satisfying explanation for Holmes’ source of steady income.

Although not perfect, this author accomplishes the most difficult task before anyone attempting to add to the stories of beloved characters like Holmes and Watson- recreating the voice and style of the original story. Dr. Watson’s amused and sometimes self deprecating style is captured in these stories and Holmes acerbic but witty tone is brought back to life.

If you love history and lament that there are no more Sherlock Holmes stories… this is the perfect book for you.

Reviewed by

Maia Keeley


A voracious reader of romance and fantasy fiction, I bring humor and honesty to all of my reviews. I love to fall into the world of a good book and hopefully I can help others do the same.

Synopsis

Two kings, a model, a traitor, two wombats, two poets, an accountant, more lobbyists than you can count, three titans of business, two artists, a pawnbroker…and Sherlock Holmes.

Orlando Pearson presents them all in the latest addition to the acclaimed Redacted Sherlock Holmes series.

The Poet and his Muse – a life-changing discovery in Highgate Cemetery;
A Study in Black and Orange – the race to find a missing royal artefact;
The Cherry-Tree and the Comma – poetry, treason, and blackmail;
M Harris Smith – the woman with whom Holmes had a professional association; and
A Story with a Health-Warning – death, spirits, and taxes.
An irresistible blend of Holmestry and history.

Foreword

Followers of The Redacted Sherlock Holmes series have often asked how many of the historical events retold in the collections published to date actually happened as described. So, taking examples from each volume backwards from VI to I:

–      Was there a French female composer called Augusta Holmès who was Sherlock Holmes’s sister?

–      Did Winston Churchill seek Holmes’s help at the height of the Battle of Britain and of the Blitz, and was the bombing of neutral Ireland by the Germans in 1941 one of the results of this consultation?

–      Was the 1930s German tennis star, Gottfried von Cramm, Sherlock Holmes’s grandson, and was von Cramm’s redoubtable mother the result of a liaison between Holmes and Irene Adler?

–      Was the winter of 1894/5 one of such monstrous ferocity that Holmes was asked to investigate whether 19th century industrialisation was causing changes in the climate?

–      Did the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, later King Edward VII, plot to usurp Queen Victoria as monarch, and did Sherlock Holmes make a discovery that thwarted this?

–      Was Holmes engaged by the British government in 1945 to assess whether Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess, was fit to stand trial at Nuremburg?

Followers of the series who look up for themselves more details about the events referred to in the thirty-seven works (thirty-six short and one long) published to date, will find that the series presents the matters covered in a way that is consistent with the known facts. The redaction of the involvement of Sherlock Holmes was generally made on grounds of national security or because the matters Holmes uncovered were too shocking for them to be made public knowledge. It is to be rejoiced that the publication of these accounts of historic events withheld by Dr Watson allow the record to be set straight, and that the role of Sherlock Holmes at some of the key turning points in world history can finally be revealed.

Sherlock Holmes’s dealings with famous people was the inspiration for the front covers of the books. It is not spoiling the plot of the works in this collection when I disclose that the people featured on the front of this book are two kings, two poets, an artist, a model, a menagerist, a Classical scholar, a diplomat, a man found guilty of high treason, a drinks manufacturer, and an accountant. Some may note that this list gives more people than the seven figures shown opposite Sherlock Holmes. The aim of this introduction is not to solve mysteries when it precedes writings about the greatest mystery-solver of all, but a reading of The Poet and his Muse and of The Cherry-Tree and the Comma will resolve the apparent anomaly.

In this volume I have decided for the first time to put a brief explanation after each work of how much of what Dr Watson retells is the history of the event as we know it, and how much is new or may have been romanticised (Holmes’s words about Watson’s writings) or elaborated by Watson.

I hope readers of these works find the explanation enhances their enjoyment, and I am available under the email address name OrlandoDLPearson@gmail.com to answer any questions.

Orlando Pearson

London 2022

MX Publishing

MX Publishing has over 500 Sherlock Holmes books, from short stories to award winning novels and biographies. Over 200 of books have made it into audio and there are more coming. We also have regular campaigns on Kickstarter to promote new projects. view profile

Published on April 30, 2022

Published by MX Publishing

40000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Historical Fiction

Maia Keeley

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