Review of The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes by James Lovegrove

Maverick Detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful chronicler Dr John Watson return in twelve thrilling short stories.

The iconic duo find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events: an otherworldly stone whose touch inflicts fatal bleeding; a hellish potion unlocks a person’s devilish psyche; Holmes’s most hated rival detective tells his story; a fiendishly clever, almost undetectable method of revenge; Watson finally has his chance to shine; and many more – including a brand-new Cthulhu Casebooks story.

Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to Titan Books for sending me a copy of this great book for review! I do love a short story collection from time to time and this one really hit the mark.The stories themselves are make up from those pulled from existing collections and new reads just for this release. I especially enjoyed the personal opener to each story from the author. The thing I enjoyed most about this book was how diverse the stories were, there are of course classic Holmes tales however there are plenty which have a true fantasy feel to them, which as a fantasy reader at heart, rose my enjoyment of the book exponentially.

Standouts for me were The Problem of the Emperor’s Netsuke, which was actually delightful and a testament that there doesn’t have to be high grade nefarious goings on to make a great Holmes’ story. Compare that to the total darkness of The Strange Case of Dr Sacker and Mr Hope though and you can see what I mean about diversity, that story gave me the chills and actually one that I would love to have a full length story on. I also have to give a shout out to The Adventure of the Innocent Icarus as well for bringing Holmes into the world of superheroes which is a cross over we definitely needed! There was only one story that I had read before, The Adventure of the Deadly Seance, and it was a interesting decision to include it considering it was only published last year in The Sign of Seven anthology.

This is ultimately a wonderfully rich, yet bite sized selection of some of the best Holmes short stories by one of my favourite writers of the pastiche. There is a story for every mood covering a whole wealth of genres, each one filled with great story telling and a lot of humour; some dark and some deliciously crazy “I wasn’t going to enter that room unarmed, not with a pterodactyl on the loose!” This is a great pick up and put down book and a perfect addition to both established Holmes fans collection or a gateway book for those who want to dip their proverbial toes!

4*

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