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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Sherlock Holmes Stories I Always Wanted By A.C. Thompson, editor

The Sherlock Holmes Stories I Always Wanted
By A.C. Thompson, editor 

Welcome to my obsession.

I guess I shouldn’t call it obsession. That makes me sound mentally unstable. Perhaps it would be more socially acceptable if I called this new anthology, An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from Mocha Memoirs Press my “labor of love.” I’m not what one would call a “devout Sherlockian.” I couldn’t tell you the exact measurements of the sitting room at 221b Baker Street. 
If you want to know every detail check out this site
Nor can I recall the basic plot-line of every single story. In fact, when it comes to the origins of my love affair with Sherlock Holmes, they’re based more in movies than the original books by Arthur Conan Doyle. Young Sherlock Holmes and The Great Mouse Detective were my introductions and ever since I’ve devoured everything I could get my hands on.

At first the original canon might seem dry or difficult to follow with its Victorian prose and expository style. After all, most of the stories are told by Dr. Watson after the fact. With our action-packed lifestyles these days, that style of writing can prove very tedious. In the BBC’s Sherlock, the viewer is part of the action. We’re right there on Watson’s shoulder observing and participating in everything that happens. They even go so far as to animate Sherlock’s thought processes for the viewer. Imagine if the whole show was two people sitting in a parlor smoking pipes and telling stories. It would get really boring, really quickly. So the first thing I wanted to do with this anthology was to capture the feel of watching it on screen. Every story in An Improbable Truth is fast-paced and will carry the reader along with Holmes and Watson. The expository diatribes are quick and serve to move the story along.

My other goal in compiling this anthology was to BRING THE HORROR. It’s no coincidence that Hound of the Baskervilles is the most popular story in the Sherlock canon. Kidnapping a sweet young girl, a ferocious and bloodthirsty Hellhound, a terrible curse, and a Gothic location—it’s a horror story. Of course, there’s a Scooby Doo moment in the end that disproves the paranormal aspect. I got to thinking, what if there was no Scooby Doo moment? Mystery is a genre that naturally lends itself to horror. What if we could create stories that are really scary? Cases that would make Sherlock question his own mind and test his powers of deduction. Gruesome murders, monsters, depravity—really play up the horror aspect. Besides, Holmes is a perfect Gothic hero and Watson is, of course, the girl falling down for no reason and showing us her underwear. An Improbable Truth is the Sherlock Holmes anthology I’ve been wanting my whole life.

Thanks again to the I Smell Sheep crew for having me today and letting me gush about Sherlock. Usually people ask me to stop when I do that…

Excerpt from “The Fairy Pool” by Lucy Blue:

“Well done, John.” His friend’s color was high and dramatic. Either he had already imbibed some chemical stimulant at nine in the morning, or the mere fact of John’s leaving had sent him into the first stages of frenzy on its own. “For once, you’ve hit upon the crux of the question without prompting. Why indeed?” John removed the train tickets from his pocket, and Sherlock snatched them from his hand. “Ravenglass,” he read.

“In the Lake District,” John said, taking them back. “Mary’s friend Seraphima grew up there. It’s meant to be quite lovely.”

“In summer perhaps.” The great detective was obviously unconvinced. “In October it will be a miserable bog. And really, John, Seraphima? Is that the limit of your invention? Seraphima is the name of an Italian carnival dancer, not the school chum of one’s respectable fiancée.”

John was inclined to agree. “Nevertheless, that is her name. Her aunts are the novelists Nora and Mirabel May. Perhaps one of them chose her name.”

Sherlock frowned. “That does seem plausible.” He took the tickets again and sniffed them. “As spinsters and the most prominent and financially successful members of the family, they would no doubt exert a certain influence over the naming of offspring, particularly those from poorer branches of the clan.”

“Seraphima was orphaned at an early age and brought up by the aunts,” John said. “So I’m sure you must be right.”

“One hardly follows the other, but yes, I must be.” He sniffed the tickets again. “When did you purchase these?”

John took them back. “Yesterday afternoon.” He put them back in his pocket. “I had just returned from the station when I told you about our trip.”

Sherlock’s smile was positively demonic. “That is a lie.”

“Holmes, really—“

“Those tickets rested for no small time in close proximity to the bare skin of your fiancée—next to her bosom, unless I miss my guess.”

John’s eyes popped. “I do beg your pardon!”

“They reek of her perfume—an ordinarily subtle scent intensified precipitously by abundance, heat, moisture, or some combination of the three. Since Mary is an extremely hygienic young woman not given to bathing herself in perfume or acts of great physical exertion, I deduce that she carried the tickets next to her skin while in a state of anxiety which resulted in greater than usual perspiration.”

“Have you been sniffing my fiancée?!?”

“Don’t be absurd.”

“No, but really!” Ordinarily Holmes’ deductions were a source of wonder and no small delight to his friend, but this seemed not only improper but highly perilous. “Who are you to recognize her scent?”

“I recognize the presence of Mrs. Hudson’s favorite hack driver by the lingering aroma of horse shit on my hall rug,” Holmes said. “This in no way represents a symbolic romantic attraction.”

An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by A.C. Thompson
268 pages
Publisher: Mocha Memoirs Press
October 27, 2015
“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains,however improbable, must be the truth.”

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most recognizable characters in Western literature. Conan Doyle’s inimitable detective has been the subject of literally thousands of books, movies, television shows, plays and even songs. With the rise of the BBC series and the release of most copyrights, the beloved character has found a new life among modern audiences.

In An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 14 authors of horror and mystery have come together to create a unique anthology that sets Holmes on some of his most terrifying adventures. A pair of sisters willing to sacrifice young girls to an ancient demon for a taste of success, a sinister device that can manipulate time itself, and a madman that can raise corpses from the dead are just a few among the grisly tales that can be found within these pages.

Curl up with a warm cuppa and leave all the lights on. This is not your grandfather’s Sherlock Holmes.

About the Editor:
A.C. Thompson is the editing alter-ego of novelist Alexandra Christian. Lexxx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and a pet ghost hunter. She has published several novels, novellas and short stories with Ellora’s Cave, Purple Sword Publications, and Mocha Memoirs Press. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. Questions, comments and complaints are most welcome at her website:  


  1. While I probably wouldn't have picked this up on my own, this sounds pretty interesting! hugs...

  2. Wow!! this sounds great! Not into horror at all, but scary mystery sounds right up my alley..along with the master of detection…yay!

  3. Wow! I was buried at AtomaCon promoting this book, so I completely missed the post. Thanks so much for your support, guys! The book has truly been a labor of love and I hope everyone enjoys it!