Reluctantly, Sherlock Holmes agrees to assist Inspector Lestrade who is being hounded by an obnoxious nobleman whose jewel-encrusted dagger has gone missing. However, what Holmes initially believes to be a simple theft turns out instead to be his first encounter with a master criminal, who is as ruthless as he is brilliant, and whom Watson dubs “The Merchant of Menace.”
Soon Holmes finds himself matching wits with a man who will steal anything – if the price is right. Moreover, this thief will go to any lengths, including blackmail and murder, to achieve his desired goal.
As Holmes comes to understand his adversary, he also begins to realize he can only react to the Merchant because he has no idea where this criminal mastermind will strike next. All Holmes knows for certain is the Merchant seems to specialize in priceless, one-of-a-kind articles. Will that be enough information for the Great Detective to outwit his foe?
From the British Museum to the Louvre to Blenheim Palace, Holmes finds himself in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Set against the backdrop of early Edwardian England, the Great Detective and his Boswell encounter an array of luminaries from the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough to a young Winston Churchill.
For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, this time around Holmes must try to bring to justice a villain who might well be the next Napoleon of Crime.
Where to Buy
#4 The Merchant of Menace Amazon UK
Pretty much the definition of a delight to read. As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I always enjoy a great new story to add to their adventures. As long as it keeps true to Doyle of course and I think that Ryan has done a very good job injecting Doyle’s spirit with a true sense of his mystery and problem-solving.
Holmes is as logical and observant as ever, and Watson the ever-faithful keeper of his cases.
I can’t stress enough just how enjoyable I found this read and it wasn’t just Ryan’s great adaptation of style for Holmes and Watson but also the pacing and flow.
The story isn’t overly done in length, so our author is able to give us a story that has tension and mystery building throughout while not dragging it on.
Holmes has amazing disguises, there’s an impossible crime, Watson is ever faithfully at his side and trying to piece together clues himself, and well, the game is afoot!
Not to mention he encounters a rather delicious new ‘villain’ this one can give Moriarty a run for is money but instead of trying to one-up the brilliance of Doyle’s Moriarty, Ryan pays homage in the making of his ‘Merchant.’
If you’re a fan of Holmes, and like to read the stories that were inspired by Doyle, I suggest giving this one and the others in the series a try! Four cups of coffee from me!
Thank you to Caroline and the publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Other Books in the Series
#1 The Vatican Cameos | #2 The Stone of Destiny | #3 The Druid of Death
About the Author
A lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan is the author of “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book” as well as a book on Agatha Christie trivia, and his series, the Sherlock Holmes Adventures, now consisting of four books, all available from MX Publishing, London.
Richard Ryan obtained his master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in medieval literature; he is a die-hard fan of the Fighting Irish — it doesn’t matter what sport. He has been happily married for 40 years and is the proud father of two children.
Twitter | Amazon | GoodReads
The Rest of the Tour
The Art of Sherlock Holmes is a totally unique experience. Imagine a dozen or more of the finest artists in the U.S. creating art for some the best new short stories written by some of the finest Holmes authors in the world. Each artist has envisioned their version of one story specifically selected for them. All stories and art in one large, hardcover, coffee table presentation volume. This first edition features artists from West Palm Beach, Florida. Future editions will be global, with participating artists contributing from all over the world. The Art of Sherlock Holmes was conceived and curated by Phil Growick, himself a renowned Holmes author.
MX Publishing (May 25, 2019)
ISBN (hardcover – special edition)
ISBN (hardcover – standard edition)
Where to buy the book
This was definitely a new experience for me, I love Sherlock Holmes but hadn’t read anything outside of Doyle and I was not disappointed! This combined the talents of not just some amazing writers but some amazing artists as well. I loved that each short story was accompanied by an art piece and I’m not sure that I could have picked a favorite one. The artists really worked well to represent the story offered by the authors and it’s evident that they were all great matches for each other.
It was actually hard to remember sometimes that these were different authors, they all kept true to Doyle in one way or another and they all flowed together so well that you just got lost in the world of Holmes and Watson. They don’t get too flashy with Sherlock solving the crimes and it all seems plausible with how he figures things out, nothing is too big for the short story structure.
Speaking of Holmes and Watson, there was plenty of our favorite duo but there was even a Moriarty story! That was a pretty fun one to read but I have to say my favorite story was the The Adventure of the Paradol Chamber by Paul W. Nash.
If you’re a Sherlock Holmes (or Doctor Watson) fan, regardless if you like Doyle’s works or other adaptations then I would definitely scoot this book your way, it’s not just the stories it’s the amazing art as well, which you can see some examples of below.
About the Curator/Editor
The project was conceived by and is curated by Phil Growick. Phil ran one of the world’s leading executive search firms in the advertising industry. Phil’s network in the creative world is unparalleled which is perfect for artist acquisition. Now living in West Palm, Phil is heavily involved in the local art community and as a two-time Sherlock Holmes novelist came up with the concept of combining two of his passions – art and Holmes.
“You’re presented with murder, theft, treason, betrayal, love, loss and greed. All the ingredients to make a delicious Holmes meal of mystery: inimitable interpretations of truly unique Holmes stories.”
About MX Publishing
MX is the world’s largest Sherlock Holmes publisher. The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is the world’s largest new Sherlock stories collection with twelve bestselling volumes in the last four years – with three more volumes due in May 2019. Over 100 authors have taken part in the anthology including NY Times best sellers Lee Child, Jonathan Kellerman, Lyndsay Faye and Bonnie MacBird.
The collection raises money for the Stepping Stones School ( a school for children with learning disabilities) at Undershaw, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home which carries the Estate’s Conan Doyle Seal. The collection has overwhelming support from leading Sherlockians worldwide. MX are in a perfect position to bring the best in Holmes fiction and the Sherlock fan base to the project.
MX’ other project is the Happy Life Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya. Twinned with Stepping Stones, Happy Life has saved the lives of over 600 abandoned babies in the last two decades. The project has expanded to include a school and pediatric hospital.
The Rest of the Tour