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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes

Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes, J.R. Campbell & Charles Prepolec (ed.), Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2011

Here is a new collection of fantasy/mystery stories about that most famous of detectives, Sherlock Holmes.

Who was Sherlock Holmes before he became a famous detective? He was a student at Cambridge University, who, while living in Paris, learned the art of detection from another famous person, Edgar Allan Poe. Holmes and Watson travel to the English countryside, where, according to the locals, the Devil himself is causing hoofprints from invisible horses to appear in the turf during frequent storms.

A book, but not just any book, has disappeared from the monastery where it has been under lock and key for several hundred years. It is a compnedium of evil, hideous acts; when anyone reads from the book, they are compelled to enact what they have read. The passage then disappears from the book. Can a book actually be a malevolent, living thing?

Despite Holmes' well-known disbelief in the supernatural, a strange green slime may be legitimately alien. It hypnotizes its victim, before it turns them into a mass of green protoplasm. In another story, Holmes is assisted by a certain Count named Dracula. Another tale takes place in 21st Century Las Vegas.

Five years previously, a disaster on a salvage ship left a man on the ocean bottom in a diving bell. Now, he seems to be alive and communicating from the diving bell. Is it possible, or is the explanation more down-to-earth?

This is a gem of a collection. Fantasy fans will love it, and so will Holmes fans. Those who enjoy good writing, in general, will also love it.

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