An Unsolved Mystery

A problem without a solution may interest the student, but can hardly fail to annoy the casual reader. Among these unfinished tales is that of Mr. James Phillimore, who, stepping back into his own house to get his umbrella, was never more seen in this world.

The Problem of Thor Bridge by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories: Part XLII - Cover

The latest volumes in the record-breaking MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories focus on untold cases, the adventures that Watson mentions in passing throughout his accounts. In ‘The Problem of Thor Bridge’, he explains that, “Some, and not the least interesting, were complete failures, and as such will hardly bear narrating, since no final explanation is forthcoming.” It is one of these unfinished tales that I recount in Mr. Phillimore’s Umbrella.

This story presented a particular challenge as it is an unsolved mystery. Watson feared that such tales might “annoy the casual reader.” However, his brief description of the case is tantalising, not least in making one wonder about the significance of the umbrella. Why did Mr. Phillimore step back inside to fetch it? Was he just concerned about the weather, or was there some more important reason? The search for answers takes Holmes and Watson across the city, from a house by the river to a shop in the West End that is still a London landmark today.

Mr. Phillimore’s Umbrella appears in Part XLII of The MX Collection of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, one of the three new volumes of this massive collection of traditional Sherlock Holmes pastiches, edited by David Marcum. As with previous volumes, all royalties will go to support the Undershaw school for special needs children, based in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home. They will be published in November and are available to pre-order now through Kickstarter at


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