Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sherlock Holmes in a Dickensian Mood

London-based MX Publishing has published more than a hundred new Sherlock Holmes books -- and almost all of them in paperback. It doesn't take a master sleuth to deduce that MX must consider Sherlock Holmes & A Quantity of Debt particularly worthy to issue the book between hard covers. 

And so it is. David Marcum's first book-length Holmes pastiche is well-written and well-plotted, with a nicely Gothic atmosphere provided by a domineering housekeeper and the manor she supervises.

At the behest of Inspector Alec MacDonald, Holmes and Watson travel to Bedfordshire to investigate the murder of an unknown man whose body has just been found fifty years after the murder. The storyline that follows is not complex, but the characterization is.

Several aspects of the plot structure and story development are nice riffs on the four original Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. To say any more would be to play the spoiler. 

The novel's title was provided by Pip in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations: "So now, as an infallible way of making little ease great ease, I began to contract a quantity of debt." This book is ultimately about the paying of debts. The epigram at the beginning of the volume hints at the Dickensian mood within, but gives no clue as to the satisfying multiplicity of meanings in the title.

David Marcum is known to Sherlockians as the author of two short story collections, The Papers of Sherlock Holmes, Volumes I and II. In Sherlock Holmes & A Quantity of Debt, he demonstrates mastery of the longer form as well.  

Sherlock Holmes and A Quantity of Debt is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).


  1. Always look forward to your reviews. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for your interest and frequent participation in this blog!

  3. Great share of what sounds like a terrific read. Good review.