Amanda is the sister of my dear friend, Mindy, who will be guesting again very soon. Amanda has a fun book review for all of us bibliophiles who also happen to be Sher-Locked. We are trading some book reviews back and forth and pretty soon I’ll be writing about the Night Circus for her, so check her out. Anyone who loves reading and writing about it as much as I do is a pretty cool cat, in my book!
This book is a collection of stories that are about… you guessed it… Sherlock Holmes. The stories are written by a large variety of authors. In fact, I think that is part of the reason this collection is so great. There are authors from just about every fiction genre featured in this book. In total there are 28 stories in this collection, as well as a brief introduction by the editor plus a short summary of the Holmesian universe in case you are not familiar with it.
One reason I enjoyed this collection is that the authors did a good job of sticking to the original style that the Holmes’s stories are presented in. True to form, Watson is the narrator in most of these tales, and the adventures (for the most part) remain in the traditional setting of Holmes’s London. Of course, there are a few tales in the lot that deviate a bit from the traditional Holmesian way and those were some of my favorites.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Cthulhu ever came back and the creatures of Lovecraft ruled our world? Have you ever wondered about the tales that Dr. Watson mentions but never explains from the original stories? Or have you ever wondered why Holmes shouldn’t have come back to life after the The Reichenbach Fall? And perhaps one of the most important questions you need answered that this book can provide a solution to: why would a dinosaur kill a trombone player?
All these questions and more will be answered by the vast array of tales in this collection.
As I was reading these stories I couldn’t help but compare them to other tales that I’ve read about Sherlock Holmes. These stories are not as great as the originals, but as I said, they do recreate the mood and setting well. I also compared these tales to 2 book length Holmes stories that I’ve read in the last two years – Caleb Carr’s The Italian Secretary and Anthony Horowitz’s The House of Silk. Of the two, I preferred The House of Silk. It too made me feel like I was reading one of the originals again. The author captured many of the qualities that are so familiar in Doyle’s work.
If you are wanting to read some Holmes adventures to find out why people can’t stop reading him after all these years, start with the originals, and after that, the collection The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a good place to continue.