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"dealt with any public print" [RESI]

Although many Sherlock Holmes pastiches are published, very few often have the sparkle of Conan Doyle's writing. This is not a complaint - after all, attempting to document the great detective's further adventures often mean focusing more on the story and less on the style. However, The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes, edited by Tony Reynolds and available via MX Publishing, is the best of both worlds, containing some well-written stories that reflect the "house style" at its best.

Thankfully, Reynolds does a very admirable job in writing a series of tales that could easily fit into the Canon, but that have an imagination and creativity all of their own. Even the first story - "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" - takes its cue from the Canon, but spins a decidedly distinctive tale. But page after page contains some wonderful, well-written adventures which (thankfully) contain a brief statement within as to why the tale was "omitted" (usually for reasons of either national security or personal embarrassment).

Sometimes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and for Sherlockians, finding the perfect Conan Doyle-esque copy can be a valiant quest. Thankfully, Tony Reynold's Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes makes the quest a little easier. It's a near-perfect gem of a book, and worth reading - and owning.


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