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The Adventure of the Bloody Duck and other tales of Sherlock Holmes by MX Publishing – Reviewed by Vincent G

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Worth reading 😎

The collection is for those who are not avid Holmes readers. The stories are not weak, nor so diluted that die-hard fans will be bored.

Synopsis

“I had seen many strange things in my time living in 221B Baker Street with Mr. Sherlock Holmes, but an elderly man standing in the middle of our living room holding a blood-stained duck was most certainly one of the oddest of my experiences.”

Join Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they solve six cases involving stolen jewels, political intrigue, dreadful murders…and a duck!

Margaret Walsh’s collection of Sherlock Holmes stories is as odd as the title, which might exist to fascinate readers or describe a plot with just enough twists to mimic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Adventure of the Bloody Duck seems designed to pique readers’ curiosity enough to check out the book. The volume’s overall honest, friendly tone, will pull them through the rest.

The anthology is a good place for those who are not avid Holmes readers. Neither weak by any means, nor so diluted that die-hard fans will be bored, Walsh, a Melbourne, Australia author explains:

I did not have enough previously published work to make a reasonable anthology, so I set about writing two new stories for the book. In this anthology you will find four previously published stories, two new ones written expressly for this book. There is also a short essay at the end that I wrote to explain why Sherlock Holmes had such a grip on me.

That frankness is evident throughout the collection. Walsh uses the collection as a walk through her evolution as a Holmes writer and fan. Her first MX Holmes publication came from writing fan fiction. “The Affair of the Helingstone Rubies,” story in the volume, was the first of her contributions to one of MX’s more than 200 published Holmes novels and anthologies.

She offers, “Deceptive Appearances,” the 2017, first story written outside fan fiction

to show readers her literary evolution. That is followed by “The Mystery of the Vanishing Emeralds,” written originally for Bloody Duck. Despite its seriousness, as Doyle would want, the story shows that theft is filthy business. The second original tale, “The Rubies of Bast,” is more sinister. Readers will be anxious to read how Holmes arrived at the solution.

“Why Sherlock Holmes?”, Walsh’s confessional essay, will likely appeal most to those who question a fascination with Holmes. It first appeared in MX’s 2017, “Sherlock Holmes: Tales from the Stranger’s Room Volume 3”, but pinpoints what endears the stories to readers throughout time – friendship.

It is possibly the most intense friendship in literature. It is the friendship we all secretly desire. Someone who would give their life for us, and that we would do the same for.

The Adventure of the Bloody Duck and other Tales of Sherlock Holmes is not the cleverest MX book. It is well designed, easily read and earns its place.

Reviewed by

Vincent G


I am a retired Creative Writing professor who teaches and writes in Central Florida. My fiction, nonfiction and poetry reviews go back more than 30 years in a wide range of publications. In addition to the cited genre areas, I enjoy history, politics, culture, and memoir.

Synopsis

“I had seen many strange things in my time living in 221B Baker Street with Mr. Sherlock Holmes, but an elderly man standing in the middle of our living room holding a blood-stained duck was most certainly one of the oddest of my experiences.”

Join Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they solve six cases involving stolen jewels, political intrigue, dreadful murders…and a duck!

Foreword

Sometime during 2021, during an exchange of emails with David Marcum, he suggested that I consider putting together an anthology of my stories. At the time I put it off as I was busy working on my fourth novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of Neb-Heka-Ra.

As the year progressed it became horribly clear that, due to the sheer volume of research, the book would not be ready for publication in 2022. I tentatively reached out to Steve Emecz at MX Publishing and asked if an anthology would be acceptable for this year. He agreed and I turned my attention to the short stories I had written.

It also became clear that I did not have enough previously published work to make a reasonable anthology, so I set about writing two new stories for the book.  In this anthology you will find four previously published stories, two new ones written expressly for this book. There is also a short essay at the end that I wrote to explain why Sherlock Holmes had such a grip on me.

Each story has an introduction explaining where each story was originally published, who the editor was, and any small snippets of information that you may find interesting. Feel free to flick over those if such things do not interest you.

Enjoy!

Margaret Walsh

Melbourne, Australia, January 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 June 19, 2022

Published by MX Publishing

30000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Historical Fiction

Vincent G

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