Alphabetical Index of Mystery Reviews

An Unusual Method of Death, or The Similarity Between Sherdog and Miss Sherlock

While rereading Sherlock Bones volume 7, I noticed that Case 9, “The Stolen Face”, had a rather unusual method of death. Chapter 6, the final chapter, lays out what happened. Spoilers throughout this post. The murderer tries to create the impression the victim committed suicide. He gave the victim sleeping drugs, then placed her on the edge of the water tower on the roof, with a rope around her neck. When she woke up, she fell off the edge, hanging […]

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Sherlock’s Secretary

Addy Zhuang has a job many of us would kill for. He’s been hired to answer Sherlock Holmes’ mail. Well, the messages that people send to 221B Baker Street, one of the most famous addresses of all time. Sherlock’s Secretary is a present-day mystery novel that begins when someone steals some of Sherlock’s letters. Addy and true crime podcaster (and object of Addy’s crush) Zabel Carvalho follow the clues to find out who’s behind the theft and why. Along the […]

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A Study in Crimson: Sherlock Holmes 1942

There have been many Sherlock Holmes stories and pastiches set in both the classic (1890–1910, or thereabouts) and modern eras. A Study in Crimson: Sherlock Holmes 1942 takes a different approach, with a setting inspired by the 1940s Universal Pictures film series starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. As told by Robert J. Harris, someone calling himself “Crimson Jack” is recreating the murders of Jack the Ripper. The book beautifully sets the stage with a minor case that introduces us […]

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Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders

In Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders, Margaret Walsh manages quite the feat: she combines the traditional feel of a classic Holmes pastiche with a modern sensibility when it comes to characters and motivations, enlivened with flashes of dry humor. Someone is killing and mutilating young men who dress as women. The variety of characters include a well-meaning woman who runs a safe house for young men of this type, a young baronet and his private secretary, and a medical […]

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Sherlock Holmes: Playing the Game

(I have begun reviewing Sherlock Holmes books for the website belonging to I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, the premier Sherlock Holmes podcast. This review originally appeared there.) Sherlockians know that “playing the game” means considering Arthur Conan Doyle’s role as Dr. John Watson’s literary agent. Doyle couldn’t have been the author, as Watson, of course, wrote those stories about his friend Sherlock Holmes. In Sherlock Holmes: Playing the Game , Cenarth Fox takes this approach to ludicrous but amusing extremes. […]

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Excerpt From New Enola Holmes Book

It’s said that success has many parents, while failure is an orphan. It’s also true that success, these days, has many children, as a positive response to, say, a movie leads to more related product. Which is my lead-in to the news that there’s a new Enola Holmes novel, out now. The original six volumes by Nancy Springer were published from 2006-2010, but given the success of the Netflix movie, they’re back, and there’s a new book in the series! […]

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Eight Faces at Three: A John J. Malone Mystery

Eight Faces at Three is the latest in the reprint line of American Mystery Classics curated by Otto Penzler of the Mysterious Bookshop. It’s the first of a series of mystery novels by Craig Rice starring hard-drinking, hard-boiled lawyer John J. Malone, of which there were around fourteen, eventually. Holly Inglehart is found, having fainted, in the same room as her dead, disliked aunt, with all the clocks in the house stopped at 3:00. She’s arrested for the murder, but […]

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The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes

The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes is short, silly fun. It’s got almost 30 stories in about 90 pages, and as you can see from the math, most are only two or three pages. Some involve Holmes being surprised or not exactly distinguishing himself in deduction, but the jokes around settings and details of life in his times are amusing. Guest stars include Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Irene Norton. Holmes solves mysteries involving the queen’s dogs, a missing ambassador, […]

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