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Amy Thomas reviews The Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes: The Sherlockian Artwork of Norman Schatell

The Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes:

The Sherlockian Artwork of Norman Schatell

Reviewed by Amy Thomas

The Baker Street Babes

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“As an art lover, I derive special joy from visiting museums like the Met in New York or the National Gallery. There’s a somewhat impish part of me, however, that takes more than a little delight in The Far Side and any collection of cartoons from The New Yorker I can get my hands on. It’s difficult to explain the appeal of a humorous cartoon—you either get it or you don’t, much like lolcats or anti-joke chicken. If, like me, you’re the sort of person who enjoys cartoons, The Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes is right up your street.

During the 1970s, artist Norman Schatell published prolifically in The Baker Street Journaland various other prestigious Holmesian publications. This book collects over three hundred of his cartoons and presents them as a delicious buffet to delight humorously-inclined Sherlockians.

Books of cartoons make wonderful coffee table accompaniments, because they bear opening over and over again to discover new things to enjoy. Schatell’s work is both whimsical and respectful. It’s obvious he was a skilled artist and a knowledgeable Sherlockian, so part of the fun for readers is finding the in-jokes he included for those who are in the Holmesian know.

My one beef with the book, the fact that it’s a little hard to read the written text on a few cartoons, actually adds to the charm: Apparently, several of the included illustrations are actually reproduced from illustrated envelopes Schatell sent to his friends, so a bit of a homespun feel is to be expected.

Norman Schatell’s artwork added a great deal to the world of Sherlock Holmes fandom in the 1970s. Thankfully, due to his son Glenn’s efforts, new-wave fans can now enjoy his collection of humorous, irreverent, and delightful cartoons for years to come.”

The Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes is available from major bookstores including Amazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Also available on Amazon Kindle.

 

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Philip K Jones reviews Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Legacy

“This is another collection of tales by David Ruffle.  By my count it is his fourth collection, but I am not sure of the various publishing dates and editions involved.  This collection begins with a lengthy novella and includes a dozen or more, shorter items.  Those that are not fragments could be described as short stories.  Most have some Sherlockian content, but some have no relation to Holmes and Watson.

The title story is quite interesting and draws its villain from deep in Holmes’ past.  Mycroft and Inspector Lestrade put in appearances and Dr. Watson pursues his second (or is she his third?) wife.  Other old acquaintances make appearances, if only fleeting ones and Lyme Regis provides a colorful and interesting background

There is little to say about the shorter works.  All are interesting, some are touching and many are set in Lyme Regis.  The place and its history provide a fascinating background, especially to a writer as sensitive to its echoes as is Mr. Ruffle.

This is an interesting collection of stories, constructed around a colorful and interesting place.  It is well worth the time it takes to read and it evokes pictures of times long past and people worth knowing.  The collection ends with “A Brief History of Lyme Regis” and a pair of laudatory poems.”

Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Legacy is available from all good bookstores worldwide including in the USA AmazonClassic Specialities and Barnes and Noble  – and in all electronic formats including Amazon KindleNookKobo and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone)

 

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Video Review of No Police Like Holmes by Ross K

A two part video review of Dan Andriacco’s Sherlock Holmes novel – No Police Like Holmes – from Ross K.

 

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