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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle by Tim Symonds

“Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle by Tim Symonds. Once again Holmes and Watson become entangled in a potentially devastating political conspiracy. In 1904 an invitation to address the exclusive Kipling League at a Sussex country house has unexpected consequences for them. Holmes suspects that the lecture was arranged to provide an alibi for the murder at nearby Scotney Castle, but uncovering the truth stretches his powers to the limit as the killers have learned more from him then he supposed – and the Kipling League’s schemes, like those of Baron Maupertuis, are colossal. It’s an engrossing tale, well told.”

Roger Johnson

Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle is available from all good bookstores including in the USA Barnes and Noble and Amazon, in the UK Waterstones,Amazon and Book Depository (free worldwide delivery) and in all electronic formats including Kindle and  iPad.

dead boer

 

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews A Chronology of the Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

“As Randall Stock notes in his foreword, a chronology is not a biography, but A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, May 22nd 1859 to July 7th 1930, the magnum opus of Brian W Pugh, is more valuable than most of the published lives of Conan Doyle. The new edition adds about fifty pages, seven of them containing a chronological summary of the journal recently published as ‘Dangerous Work’: Diary of an Arctic Adventure(enthusiastically reviewed in DM 325). Here are lists of ACD’s various homes, his sporting career, the burial places of the Doyles, statues and plaques, and more, including some fascinating photographs. But the essence of the book is in the orderly calendar of Sir Arthur’s life, in which innumerable ambiguities and uncertainties are authoritatively resolved. Brian Pugh has created that rare thing, a genuinely essential work of reference.”

Roger Johnson

A Chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle – Revised and Expanded Edition is available from all good bookstores including in the USA AmazonBarnes and Noble, in the UK Amazon,Waterstones,  and for everywhere else Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery.

chronology 2nd edition

 

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The Many Watsons

“In The Many Watsons Kieran McMullen takes a look at fifty-four actors, male and female, who have played Dr Watson or a Watson character on screen. It’s good to see the Watsons getting their share of attention, though the text needs proofreading, and I could wish that the actors had been dealt with in alphabetical or chronological order. Should there be a second edition, I hope Mr McMullen will include some at least of the radio Watsons – Leigh Lovell, Alfred Shirley, Norman Shelley, Michael Williams, Andrew Sachs, Larry Albert… Royalties from this light, lively collection of essays will go to the Undershaw Preservation Trust.”

Roger Johnson

The Many Watsons is available from all good bookshops including in the USA Amazon andBarnes and Noble, in the UK Amazon and Waterstones. For elsewhere Book Depositorywho offer free delivery worldwide. In ebook format there is KindleiPadNook and Kobo.

 

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The 1895 Murder by Dan Andriacco

“The title of The 1895 Murder by Dan Andriacco (MX Publishing,

www.mxpublishing.co.uk; £9.99/$16.95/€12.99) refers neatly to a play

based on ‘The Bruce-Partington Plans’, written by Professor Sebastian

McCabe of St Benignus College, Erin, Ohio. As he proved in No Police

Like Holmes and Holmes Sweet Holmes, Mac is a devoted Sherlockian

and a highly skilled detective, so when a man is shot dead outside the

theatre where he’s playing Mycroft Holmes, he and his brother-in-law

Jeff Cody are pleased to help find the killer. Well, mostly. Jeff‘s mind,

naturally, is on his impending wedding and the need for diplomacy with

his fiancée’s rather unpredictable parents. It’s a pleasure to visit Erin

again and to watch the solving of a particularly baffling mystery.”

The 1895 Murder is available from all good bookstores including in the USA  Amazon, in the UK Waterstones and Amazon, and for everywhere else Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleNookiPad and Kobo.

 

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Philip K Jones reviews Baker Street Beat – A Sherlock Holmes collection

Philip K Jones (aka The Ill Dressed Vagabond) is one of the USA’s leading Sherlock Holmes Reviewers. Here he reviews ‘Baker Street Beat’ by Dan Andriacco – a collection of Holmes items that the Sherlock Holmes Society of London describes as “it gives you the same sort of feeling as when you’re chatting over a drink with a knowledgeable fellow-Holmesian”.

“This is a collection of personal reminiscences, early fiction and literary commentary by a long-time Sherlockian. It contains a personal history of one man’s lifelong fascination with the Canon. It also presents glimpses of other Sherlockians, their personalities and foibles, their whimsies and their exploits. From my point of view, it provides the added benefit of listing the earlier publications of the items presented. This make their entry into the database of Sherlockian pastiches, parodies and related fiction all the easier for me.

The first two items are personal expositions of the author’s fascination with the world of Sherlock Holmes; a history of his Canonical reading and a description of a pilgrimage to the Reichenbach Falls. Both items are unique and are also typical of the commentaries of other devotees of the Canon. The general trend of the discussions actually describes the process many hobbyists go through in picking up a lifelong interest, especially a literary one.

There are two other items of literary commentary included. The first is a discussion of the mysteries of Doctor Thorndyke, created by R. Austin Freeman, and the influences of Sherlock Holmes evident in those tales. This is most interesting. I have collected and read the Thorndyke mysteries for years and I was aware of some of those influences, but the author’s depth of detail was most impressive. The final literary commentary discusses writing a Sherlockian pastiche, using articles by various Sherlockians and examples of effective and ineffective methods. I found myself torn on reading this segment, for I feel that the author has missed an important aspect of the Canon and I am in the process of writing an article of my own on this very subject. In any case, this item should give ‘newbies’ an idea of what depths experienced Sherlockians can plumb in their efforts to understand the fascination they have with Sherlock Holmes.

The author has included four of his own efforts at writing fiction in this collection. The first is an early pastiche, “The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden.” This is an interesting effort to relate one of the “Untold Tales,” those cited in the Canon, but never told by Watson. This was one of two such tales cited in “The Solitary Cyclist.” There have been at least ten other efforts to tell this tale, but then some of the “Untold Tales” have been written scores of times. The second tale, “The Adventure of the Amateur Players,” is a mystery surrounding the presentation of a play about “Sherlock Holmes” by an amateur acting group, many of whom are Sherlockian hobbyists.

The final two items presented are scripts for radio programs. The first, “The Wrong Cab,” stars a real life detective in a quasi-Sherlockian adventure with odd results. The second is “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” and it presents a Canonical tale in format for a radio broadcast. I am unfamiliar with the requirements of such compositions and cannot judge the effectiveness of these efforts.

This book concludes with a bibliography that includes all the sources mentioned in the various items. It is not exhaustive, but it does provide a useful starting point for persons new to the world of Sherlockian fixation. All in all, this is an interesting book with items worth re-reading. It gives a good picture of the progress of the Sherlockian affliction, but offers no real promise of a cure for the disease.”

Baker Street Beat is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, and in many formats including Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books and iTunes for the iPad.

 

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Baker Street Beat

From the District Messenger, the newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, comes a review of Dan Andriaccos unusual and fascinating new collecition of “scribblings” about Sherlock Holmes.

“Baker Street Beat by Dan Andriacco is subtitled An Eclectic Collection of Sherlockian Scribblings, which sums up the book rather well. There’s nothing particularly profound or abstruse in its 140 pages. Rather, it gives you the same sort of feeling as when you’re chatting over a drink with a knowledgeable fellow-Holmesian.

After explaining how he came to be an enthusiast – his principal allegiance is to the Tankerville Club of Cincinnati – Mr Andriacco tells of his pilgrimage to Reichenbach. He considers the influence of Sherlock Holmes on the methods of John Thorndyke, and lays out sensible rules for the composition of a Holmes story.

The reader can then judge how well he follows his rules in ‘The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden’. Another neat story and two radio scripts complete this very pleasant book.”

Baker Street Beat is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, and in many formats including Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books and iTunes for the iPad.

 

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