Thanks to Dave @ The Write Reads and Maurice Barkley for the review copy!
Author: Maurice Barkley
Published: February 20th 2018
Length: 156 pages
Genres: Mystery, Anthology, Retelling
Source: Blog Tour
Stories also published individually
I very rarely pick up short stories because I usually prefer to have a lot of time to really get to know the characters. But in this case, we are already familiar with everyone and I love Sherlock Holmes and his deduction skills! So pf course I took the opportunity to review these stories.
And I am really glad I read this anthology of 5 new cases. It was so much fun and, actually, the exact right thing for me right now as I’m struggling a bit to concentrate due to current events. So short stories were the perfect and much-needed distraction.
I’m really amazed at how well Maurice Barkley managed to not only capture the voice of the characters but also transported us into Victorian England right away! It’s probably partly because of how familiar I’m already with the vibe of Sherlock Holmes stories but then again, that makes it all the more impressive to capture the same atmosphere!
As I’ve already said, this anthology consists of 5 stories, each one better and more intriguing than the one before!
The Holborn Toy Shop – Children keep disappearing
The Legacy of Doctor Carus – Father leaves mystery for his children in order for them to inherit his fortune.
The Train from Plymouth – Missing train arrives three years late.
The Whitehall Papers – An impossible jailbreak
The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van – A crime way more elaborate than the title may imply
If I had to choose my favourite would probably be the mystery of the missing train. The Train from Plymouth, just because I could see every scene so well in my mind. But then again The Legacy of Doctor Carus was so satisfying?!
(Although I kind of dislike Dr Watson in this one)
Ahhh, they were all so good in different ways!
We also get to meet some well known side characters in these stories, from Inspector Lestrade, Mrs Hudson and Wiggins to Sherlock’s brother Mycroft.
The mysteries are all very intriguing and I loved them but would I have read them at any other time I would have probably wished for a tiny bit more. More character depth and a little longer stories … but again, I’m a lover of really deep dives into characters so that may just be my personal preference. And it’s not that there is a lot missing since they are so well known characters.
If you are very familiar with Sherlock Holmes’ way of solving his cases you might guess at least part of the solutions but it’s still very satisfying to see them being unravelled on the page.
All in all, I had a really great time reading these stories and if you love mysteries and Sherlock Holmes you should really check them out!
Maurice Barkley lives with his wife Marie in a suburb of Rochester, New York. Retired from a career as a commercial artist and builder of treehouses, he is WRITING and busy reinforcing the stereotype of a pesky househusband. Favourite relaxation is throwing peanuts to squirrels, blue jays, cardinals and chipmunks from his porch. Once he built a doll hair-making machine using an old sewing machine. It worked, but his wife got tired of making Raggedy Ann dolls, so it sits in the garage. You can find him on TWITTER, @MauriceBarkley