Amy H. Sturgis (eldritchhobbit) wrote,
Amy H. Sturgis
eldritchhobbit

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It's a Holmes Pastiche Party!

Happy birthday to angelinehawkes, and happy early birthday to idwoman. May you both enjoy many happy returns of the day!


Some months ago, I asked for recommendations of Sherlock Holmes pastiches and received some great replies. (Thank you!) I waited until I'd finished going through all of Arthur Conan Doyle's canonical Holmesian writings in order, but now I've embarked on my pastiche reading. I've only scratched the surface -- I have quite a long "to read" list! -- but I thought I'd list the novels I've read thus far, ranked in order from my most favorite to my least favorite. My reviews are general, and though they may contain a few spoilers about the premise of a given work, they don't give away any twist endings or key surprises.

Most Favorite Novel Thus Far:
Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye (2009)
Read my review.

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin (1978)
Read my review.

The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer (1976)
Read my review.

The Seven-Percent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer (1974)
Read my review.

The Canary Trainer: From the Memoirs of John H. Watson by Nicholas Meyer (1993)
Read my review.

Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries and Other Stories by John Taylor (2010)
Read my review.

I had difficulty ranking The West End Horror and The Seven-Percent Solution, as they were rather neck-and-neck for me. I'd recommend all of these except Taylor's to fans of Holmes in general, but I'd still recommend Taylor's to those specifically who are fans of Benedict Cumberbatch.

In the novella/novelette category, I've read and thoroughly enjoyed "The Adventure of the Elusive Emeralds" (a poignant mystery with terrific Watson characterization, in particular, in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #4) and "The Adventure of the Haunted Bagpipes" (a truly chilling mystery with a very real and disturbing threat to Holmes and Watson in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #5), both by Carla Coupe (aka beledibabe). I highly recommend them. There's also a clever Lovecraft-Holmes mashup story in #5 that I'm reading right now.

My next pastiche reading probably will be The Whitechapel Horrors by Edward B. Hanna (1992).


"At first it seemed the Ripper affair had scarred my friend Sherlock Holmes as badly as it had the city of London itself."
- Lyndsay Faye, Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson
Tags: arthur conan doyle, genre literature, sherlock
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