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Review of Baker Street Beat – an Eclectic Collection of Sherlockian Scribblings

Before he created the McCabe and Cody series – [Or is it Cody and McCabe? It depends on whom you ask, and it’s an interesting point to ponder … .] Dan Andriacco had written a variety of Sherlockian items – essays, plays, and even a pastiche. Fortunately, instead of being forced to seek each of these out in their various original points of publication, they have all been collected in “Baker Street Beat”.

There’s something here for every Sherlockian. There are a couple of radio plays – one of “The Speckled Band”, and one with a more contemporary feel. For those that like Sherlockian Scholarship, the book includes several essays, including one which is of particular interest to me, “Writing the Holmes Pastiche”. Another of equal importance is “You Know My Methods, Watson”, examining the connections between Holmes and Dr. Thorndyke, another of my heroes. And then there’s “Reichenbach Pilgrimage”, which means a lot to me since I haven’t been able to get there yet – and in the meantime this essay helps to provide valuable information until I do.

As a devotee of Holmes Adventures, what I want most is MORE adventures. And this book has a real winner, Dan Andriacco’s own version of “The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden”. As much as I enjoy his McCabe and Cody [Cody and McCabe?] books, I want him to write more Holmes pastiches! Are you listening, Mr. Andriacco?

This book has been around since 2011, but it certainly hasn’t gone out of date. Add it to your Holmes collection today!

Reviewed by David Marcum

Baker Street Beat is available through all good bookstores including in the USA  Amazon USABarnes and Noble, in the UK Amazon and Waterstones, and for all other countries Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In electronic formats Amazon KindleKoboNook, and iTunes for the iPad. Available on Audio.

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What’s New in 2018: Top Holmes Gifts for Sherlockians

What’s New in 2018: Top Holmes Gifts for Sherlockians – by The Best of Sherlock Holmes

2018 Sherlock Holmes Books – Fiction

The year’s best fictional Holmes books published in 2018.

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

Jack the Ripper struck less than a year after Holmes’s debut, and many pastiches put Holmes on the Ripper case.  In a twist reminiscent of Murder Rooms, Harper has Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell investigate the Ripper murders.  They team up with socialist/feminist Margaret Harkness, who displays aspects of Irene Adler.  This mashup of real historical figures in fictionalized roles works pretty well, although Harper pushes the limits when he includes Mark Twain.  Harkness ends up as the most interesting character, and the fast pace should please thriller readers and Ripper fanatics.  ($15.95 SRP; Amazon US listing $10.97) 

Sherlock Holmes and the Miskatonic Monstrosities by James Lovegrove

With rather more than a wink and a nod to the reader, Lovegrove mixes Holmes with H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. While more of a supernatural adventure than a mystery, Holmes does make some good deductions.  It includes many references to the original Holmes tales, and we learn those are actually based on more macabre events in this alternate universe.  Like A Study in Scarlet, the second part of this book tells a separate backstory.  You don’t have to read the first book in this series to enjoy this one, and a third volume arrives on November 27.  However, it certainly helps to have a basic background on Cthulhu.  ($14.95 SRP; Amazon US listing $10.37) 

The Irregular by H.B. Lyle

Wiggins, the former head of Holmes’s band of street-urchin assistants, is a British Army veteran who reluctantly becomes a secret agent investigating a terrorist conspiracy.  Grittier than the Holmes tales, this fast-paced spy thriller offers a compelling blend of action and deduction, with vivid characters and excellent descriptions of 1909 London.  Holmes makes a brief appearance.  The book should appeal to Sherlockians as well as fans of historical mystery or espionage.  A fine start for what promises to be a fascinating series, the sequel The Red Ribbon will be released in mid-November.  ($16.99 SRP; Amazon US listing $11.55) 

Holmes Entangled by Gordon McAlpine

Conan Doyle knows that someone is trying to kill him, and turns to Sherlock Holmes for help.  By no means a traditional Holmes mystery or pastiche, this work of metafiction is imaginative with clever insights and speculations on the Canon and its characters.  It is mostly narrated by Holmes with a sophisticated style and a dry sense of humor.  Featuring a story within a story, as well as aspects of quantum physics and the multiverse, you’re more likely to enjoy this tale if you have some wider knowledge of literature and/or science.  ($13.95 SRP; Amazon US listing $10.23)

The Further Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes (Vol. 1 & 2) by Denis O. Smith

You simply cannot beat Denis O. Smith for traditional Holmes stories that capture the style and characters of Conan Doyle.  Several of the tales in this collection are excellent, and all the rest are very good.  If you’ve never read Smith, get this collection now!  You’ll also want to consider his New Chronicles and Lost Chronicles.  Smith fans should note that 6 of the 12 stories in the Further Chronicles have appeared in other books.  The paperback version  of Further Chronicles (also in Kindle format) is split into two books, with Volume 2 perhaps slightly better.  ($34.95 SRP; Amazon US listing; or $14.95 paperback Volume 1 and Volume 2.)

2018 Books About Holmes & Conan Doyle

The year’s best books about Holmes or Conan Doyle published in 2018.

The Serpentine Muse on CD-ROM 

Old issues of Sherlockian journals are often difficult to find, and even if you own copies, they typically lack cumulative indexes.  A few, such as the eBSJ v2, have been scanned, and this new CD-ROM from the archives of the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes is a most welcome addition. It contains the complete run of 134 issues of The Serpentine Muse from its inception in April 1975 through Spring 2017.  The scanned PDFs feature searchable text provided via good-quality OCR, and it includes a searchable Acrobat index.  This mix of scholarly articles and fun reading at a great price is a must-buy!  ($15 and free shipping; not on Amazon, see ASH website)

Conan Doyle For The Defense by Margalit Fox 

Conan Doyle intervened in a number of real-life crimes, including the case of Oscar Slater.   Fox excels at providing context and background for American readers, and goes well beyond the Slater affair to discuss the evolution of detection and forensics.  Even if you don’t care about Slater, people interested in history or true-crime should find this a fascinating read.  Its main weakness is an overemphasis on police bias, given later allegations that the police knew the actual murderer and covered it up.  But Fox tells this history very well indeed, and holds your interest through the entire book.  ($27.00 SRP; Amazon US listing $18.36)

Trenches by Robert Katz and Andrew Solberg (eds.)

While Conan Doyle once said that Holmes was too old to serve in WWI, he did involve Holmes as a secret agent in “His Last Bow.”  This volume examines Holmes and Conan Doyle in the First World War.  It reproduces the extant manuscript for “His Last Bow,” five original drawings by Frederic Dorr Steele for the story, and Conan Doyle’s manuscript of a poem about the war.  Transcriptions, annotations, and discussions of the origins of these items provide context for the creations.  A fine collection of essays, both historical and playing “the game,” explore many related topics.  ($39.95 SRP; not on Amazon; see BSI website)

A Chronology of the Life of Arthur Conan Doyle by Brian W. Pugh (fourth edition, 2018)

When writing about Conan Doyle, or fact-checking someone’s claim about him, Pugh’s Chronology is the place to start.  It provides a master index to more than 2,000 books, articles and select primary sources about Sir Arthur.  The chronological listing of events includes the sources for dating each event.  This 2018 edition expands the book’s main entries by 40 pages, offers citations with more detail than prior editions, and has an improved index.  Online stores might carry older editions, so be sure to get the book with “2018” in the upper right corner, as linked here.  ($34.95 SRP; Amazon US listing $34.95)

Click here for more Sherlock Holmes gifts.

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Is Sherlock OK with this?

Geri Schear

I saw a tweet the other day in response to a piece about the new Dear Holmes series. It said:

“Did you get permission from the creators of Sherlock to do this?”

Sigh.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Sherlock. I love Benedict Cumberbatch, adore Steven Moffat and can’t get enough Mark Gatiss, but even they would be miffed at the suggestion that they created Sherlock… Holmes, that is. The thing is, if you came to the Great Detective through the BBC series, you arrived late. Very late.

You see, there’s a difference between Sherlock, the BBC series which is set in 21st Century London, and Sherlock Holmes, the detective who was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and who (mostly) prowls the streets of Victorian London–when he’s not prowling Dartmoor or Cornwall or any number of other places in the sixty tales written by the good…

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Posted by on November 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Out on Kindle: The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Parts XI and XII

34 new traditional Holmes adventures in two simultaneously published volumes

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch box with my name, John H. Watson, M.D., Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid. It is crammed with papers, nearly all of which are records of cases to illustrate the curious problems which Mr. Sherlock Holmes had at various times to examine…” – Dr. John H. Watson

So wrote Dr. Watson in “The Problem of Thor Bridge” – and ever since, Sherlockians have been bringing us new adventures from this legendary tin dispatch box. While his original Literary Agent only edited the pitifully few sixty stories that make up the original Canon, there have since been literally thousands of traditional adventures about the true Sherlock Holmes – and there will never be enough!

Throughout the original Holmes Canon, there were hints and teases of other intriguing cases – The Giant Rat of Sumatra… The Abernetty Tragedy… The Manor House Case. Watson mentions well over one-hundred of these, which have collectively come to be known as The Untold Cases. Now, the latest MX anthologies present thirty-four of those adventures in two simultaneously published volumes, with all royalties going to support the Stepping Stones School at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes.

Join us as we return to Baker Street and discover more authentic adventures of Sherlock Holmes, described by the estimable Dr. Watson as “the best and wisest… whom I have ever known.”

Part XI: Some Untold Cases (1880-1891)

Part XII: Some Untold Cases (1894-1902) 

281 Sherlock Holmes books on Amazon Kindle USA

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Parts XI and XII are available for pre order from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes

A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes is a book for those who want to improve their thinking. It is a practical and enjoyable book that tells in a short-easy-to-read way about what we all can learn from Sherlock Holmes. Peter Bevelin has distilled Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes into bite-sized principles and key quotes. This book will appeal to both Sherlock fans as well as those who want to think better. It contains useful and timeless methods and questions applicable to a variety of important issues in life and business. We could all benefit from A few lessons from Sherlock Holmes.

A great summary of the words of advice to be found in various Sherlock Holmes related books including the canon itself. As a life-long Sherlock fan, I found this book rich in wisdom and enjoyed it very much!” –  David Malmberg

A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine,  Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon KindleKoboNook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow — Re-Imagined

Sleepy Hollow is a quiet, isolated valley along the Hudson River in New York State. The inhabitants of this neighborhood are quite superstitious and believe in all manner of tales, stories and fables about ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night. The most famous of these legends is that of the Headless Horsemen, the apparition of a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannonball during the Revolutionary War, and who now, it is said, rides forth at night to the scene of the battle seeking his skull.
One day an awkward, yet ambitious, schoolmaster from Connecticut by the name of Ichabod Crane arrives in Sleepy Hollow. Shortly thereafter he sets his marital sights on Katrina Van Tassel, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Dutch farmer, who has many suiters including the hot-blooded brawler and prankster Brom Bones. One night, following a gathering at the Van Tassel farmstead, Ichabod Crane mysteriously disappears and is not seen or heard from again in Sleepy Hollow.
What befell the unfortunate schoolmaster? Did he fall victim to the Headless Horseman on one of his nighttime rides or is there a more earthly explanation?

SLEEPY HOLLOW RE-IMAGINED: In this volume, the original and unabridged text of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is accompanied by twenty-eight charming color photographic illustrations featuring custom designed models built using only LEGO® brand minifigures and bricks. This uniquely illustrated edition is sure to delight LEGO enthusiasts, as well as fans of the writings of Washington Irving, children and adults alike.

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LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of Companies. The LEGO Group has not been involved in nor has it in any way licensed or authorized the publication of this book.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Re-Imagined is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USABarnes and Noble USA,  Amazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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Posted by on October 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Peter E. Blau reviews A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Revised 2018 Edition

“Brian W. Pugh continues to revise his A CHRONOLOGY OF THE LIFE OF SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE (Mar 14 #7); the fourth edition (London: MX Publishing, 2018; 444 pp.) is a grand resource for information about the life and work of Conan Doyle. The chronology starts in 1755 (the birth of James Doyle) and ends in 1998 (the memorial service for Dame Jean), and one of the truly useful aspects of the chronology is the citation of sources, so that one can sort through conflicts (and learn that in some cases, Conan Doyle himself was not the most reliable source). There’s also information about aspects of his life and works, and maps and photographs, and a careful and useful index compiled by Geraldine Beare. Recommended.”

A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Revised 2018 Edition is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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