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The Adventure of the Plated Spoon and Other Tales of Sherlock Holmes
Edited by Loren D. Estleman
Cover Artist: F+W Media
Review by Gayle Surrette
Tyrus Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781440574504
Date: 01 November 2014 List Price $26.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Publisher's Book Page / Editor's Website / Show Official Info /

Loren D. Estleman has once again collected some amazing stories together to celebrate the ongoing career of Sherlock Holmes. These 12 stories run from parody, excerpts from longer works, pastiches, and yet they're all rollicking good mysteries that inspire new detectives, or carry on the adventures of Doyle's original characters. Each story is introduced by a short piece that gives the reader some background information about the author and/or the genesis or set up for the story. In one story Holmes and Watson visit the Bahamas, and in another we learn how Watson dealt with the aftermath of Reichenbach.

The title story, "The Adventure of the Plated Spoon" by Loren D. Estleman, gives Mary Watson a part to play. Mary gets kidnapped while Watson is on a case with Holmes. Luckily, Mary manages to free herself. When Holmes hears her story, he realizes that she'd been kidnapped by white slavers who specialize in procuring women. The following investigation seems like it will get nowhere until another woman is taken. Great story with lots of action and a Mary of spirit, intelligence, and wit much like the Mary Watson of recent movies.

Several of the stories were excerpts from longer works. There's an excerpt from Max Rohmer's The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu which certainly made me want to look up the book and read the entire adventure, for this set-up was exciting. "Two Shabby Figures" is an excerpt from Laurie R. King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice which was the first book in her Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series. I've read most of this series and still find it entertaining and well worth my time.

Deborah Morgan's "The Mysterious Case of the Urn of Ash: or, What Would Sherlock Do?" highlights just how reading the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Watson can change the way you look at the world around you. The story features Jeff Talbot from her Antique-Lover Mysteries. Talbot is given a huge steamer trunk by a friend who was left it by one of his patients. It's filled with Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. As he digs through the trunk, an URN is discovered. Who is in the urn? Why is it in this trunk? What would Sherlock do? Very entertaining.

I enjoyed all the stories. There's enough variety to keep the reader interested and turning the pages and most are short enough to be a nice evening entertainment as you dive in to relax with a vicarious adventure.

Table of Contents: The Adventure of the Two Collaborators by J.M. Barrie; The Surgeon's Kit by Ellery Queen; The Adventure of the Dying Ship by Edward D. Hoch; Excerpt from The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer; How Watson Learned the Trick by Sir Author Conan Doyle; Two Shabby Figures by Laurie R. King; The Adventure of the Unique Hamlet by Vincent Starrett; The Adventure of the Red Widow by Adrian Conan Doyle; The Mysterious Case of the Urn of ASH; or What Would Sherlock Do? by Deborah Morgan; The Adventure of the Deadly Interlude by James O'Keefe; The Adventure of the Rounded Ocelot by Larry D. Sweazy; and The Adventure of the Plated Spoon by Loren D. Estleman.

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