Dear Mr Kelly,
I felt compelled to write to you to let you know how much I enjoyed your publication of ‘The Outstanding Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes.’ Having recently finished all the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, I thought my journeys with Holmes and Watson were complete. I did not anticipate, however, that there was another collection of stories, seemingly left by Conan Doyle himself, ready for Baker Street fans to devour. I was thoroughly gripped by ‘The Mysterious Death of the Kennington Verger,’ thrilled by ‘The Paddington Pyromaniac,’ and elated by the twist of ‘The Peddler of Death.’ The fantastic riddles contained in ‘The Carstairs Legacy’ had my faculties working at full capacity and it was wonderful to observe Holmes and Watson crack these intriguing codes and unravel the mystery. This collection of stories filled the gap left by finishing the original stories, in a way that only Conan Doyle could. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered the name on the cover to be Gerard Kelly instead of the man himself. Had these stories been inserted into the original volumes of Sherlock Holmes collections, I severely doubt even the most enthusiastic Conan Doyle fans would be able to tell you which ones were not written by the original author. A fantastic, well-written and incredibly faithful collection of stories that do further justice to the legacy of Sherlock Holmes. Outstanding indeed Mr. Kelly.
My first reading of this book was an enjoyable experience. My wife also liked it. I am now finding that it can be reread and remain entertaining. Although each of the stories can be enjoyed by itself, there are connections between some of them, so that a cumulative effect is reached by the end of the book.
Its praiseworthy qualities include a natural flow of language, good repartee, some dramatic intensity, subtle humour, and an obvious familiarity with historical settings. The mood-creating illustrations are harmonious with the text…
The first story, ‘A Slaying in Suburbia’, is steeped in the history and language of the original stories. American readers should keep a good dictionary close at hand. ‘Solicitor’ should be read in the British legal sense. Don’t skip past words such as ‘fob’ without looking up its meaning. ‘Archly’ is very rich in meaning. The story itself is exciting and believable and the language used to tell it is exquisitely done. A Slaying in Suburbia is, in my opinion, a gem. All the stories are of the highest quality.
John McDonnell, U.S.A.
The Outstanding Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Gerard Kelly comes much closer to the style and manner of the Canon. I don’t go as far as one reader, who said ‘It is hard to believe they are not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own creations’, but Mr Kelly makes a good job of it. He knows his period and he has a devious imagination! In this volume you have thirteen ingenious and engaging new Sherlock Holmes stories. I commented favourably in The District Messenger 223 on A Slaying in Suburbia, and the rest of the tales are just as good…I’ve written a certain amount of fiction myself, and I’ve always found that plotting is the hardest part of it. I envy and admire writers who have a facility with plots, and Mr Kelly is certainly among them.
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London.
This is an excellent new collection of Holmes stories. Good quality new Holmes fiction, especially short-fiction, is extremely popular with fans around the world and we expect Gerry’s book to be a best seller!