on February 26, 2011
After completing, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, it dawned on me how much of a fan I am of the consulting detective. Though I do not claim to be a Sherlockian, I have read every one of Conan Doyle's Holmes' adventures and many, many of the subsequent works by various authors that have Holmes and Watson confronted by fascinating cases. This collection is eclectic to say the least. Some are pure mysteries that channel the style of Conan Doyle while others explore other worlds and the supernatural, testing the boundaries of reality. Each story has a short introduction including the author's bona fides and a vague description of the coming story which never gave anything away.
This book is not to be rushed. I took breaks and read other works making the effort fresher overall. This is because many of the stories resemble each other using the same characters, devices, and settings. Do not interpret this as a criticism, each plot is unique but the collection needs to be absorbed somewhat sparingly or the tales will collapse together.
There is plenty of Sherlockian trivia throughout which will satisfy those well acquainted with Conan Doyle but even newcomers will find entertainment given the range of stories included. Not to mention the quality of authors contributing including Stephen King who opens the book with a fun romp where Watson solves the case. Two great quotes from Holmes in this one are "Character indexes behavior" and "One becomes inured even to insight".
Among the other-worldly stories was Tim Lebbon's The Horror of the Many Faces and The Adventure of the Other Detective by Bradley H. Sinor, a delightful yarn of a parallel world where Holmes is not of the same character. While The Singular Habit of Wasps tackles Jack the Ripper in a very original fashion (there are a few Ripper stories in this collection).
Anne Perry's The Case of the Bloodless Sock brings in Moriarity to present a more classic Sherlockian tale. A Scandal in Montreal by Edward D. Hoch was fun for me as it involved Holmes and Watson's first trip to my country. The story was one of the weaker ones but I love the travelogue from Montreal's McGill University to the Muskokas in Ontario with Stephen Leacock in tow. The Adventure of the Field Theorems by Vonda M. McIntyre imagines a world where Holmes and Conan Doyle solve a case together and the latter does not come off well. A young Holmes is explored in The Spector of Tullyfane Abbey, which covers an early love of his life who ends up marrying another with dire consequences.
And these are just a few from a collection that has very few disappointments. So take a trip to 22b Baker Street, light your pipe, pour a brandy, and try to solve the cases before Holmes and Watson ultimately do.
This anthology includes stories by Stephen King, Anne Perry, Neil Gaiman, Robert J. Sawyer and 24 others. They all have a different slant on Sherlock's life, and adventures.
We find time travel, curses, and all sorts of oddities within the time frame he lived in. We find worthy opponents and even those who tease him. We find some that are his equal and some that just don't have a chance against the mind of the World's Greatest Consulting Detective.
Inspector Lestrade and Mrs Hudson are included in the tales.
A HIGHLY entertaining collection of short stories by a broad spectrum of writers from the horror, fantasy and sci-fi genres. All do Sherlock justice.
Fast paced and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED