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FYI, an update about reading Sherlock Holmes pastiches...

A year ago, I asked for recommendations of Sherlock Holmes pastiches and received 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'm still only "baby steps" into the project, 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.

There's a new entry on my list since the last time I posted an update!


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 Mycroft Memoranda by Ray Walsh (1985)
Read my review.

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

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz (2011)
Read my review.

The Whitechapel Horrors by Edward B. Hanna (1992)
Read my review.

Sherlock Holmes and the Seven Deadly Sins Murders by Barry Day (2002)
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.

Sherlock Holmes and the Apocalypse Murders by Barry Day (2001)
Read my review.

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

Lestrade and the Ripper by M.J. Trow (1999)
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 Trow's and Taylor's to fans of Holmes in general, but I'd still recommend Taylor's to those specifically who are fans of Benedict Cumberbatch.


The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes edited by John Joseph Adams (2009)
Read my review.

Next up: I'm finishing the collection Sherlock Holmes in Orbit, edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg (1995), and soon moving on to Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Space, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh (1986).


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. Next I'm planning to read "The Book of Tobit" in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #6.

"Now, Watson, the fair sex is your department."
- Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Second Stain," Arthur Conan Doyle


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 11th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
I quite enjoyed Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman and The House of Silk (although the crime was too modern). On the other hand, I didn't think much of The Scroll of the Dead by David Stuart Davies.
Dec. 11th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks for this!

"A Study in Emerald" is one of my most favorite short stories ever. I adore it!

That's very good to know about The Scroll of the Dead. That was on my list, and now I won't rush to read it.

Edited at 2011-12-11 01:53 pm (UTC)
Dec. 11th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
I was going to mention "A Study in Emerald" too, I think you'd like that one on more than one account (if you haven't read it already). :)

I downloaded a bunch of original Holmes from the Kindle store (they're free!) and I'm working my way through them now. :)
Dec. 11th, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you for this! I really should list short stories separately here - "A Study in Emerald" is one of my most favorite stories ever. Doyle + Gaiman + Lovecraft FTW! I adore it. Thanks for being so kind in mentioning it.

I'm anxious to read Gaiman's new Holmes story in A Study in Sherlock. The reviews for the collection as a whole aren't good, but it's Gaiman, so I'm sure his contribution will be brilliant. ;)

This is great news about the original ACD Holmes being available for download. When I get a Kindle (which is going to happen in the near future, methinks), that will be my first stop!
Dec. 11th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
I got the Kindle app for my iPad, and it's fun looking through the free books on Amazon. There's Lovecraft there, too! :D
Dec. 11th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reposting this! Your recs are very helpful (there's a lot of pastiche, and I have read some massively disappointing ones).

BTW, I completely agree with your ranking of Dust and Shadow. It's hands down my favorite.
Dec. 11th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
My pleasure! I'm so glad the recs are helpful. And it's wonderful to hear that you agree re: Dust and Shadow!
Dec. 11th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I am excited to read the first one, with such a good rec! Plus, I was going to ask you (again?) for a rec for a nonfiction book about the Ripper murders. After going on that fascinating Jack the Ripper Tour last week, I came home wanting to read more about the subject. Thanks!
Dec. 11th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
Dust and Shadow really is marvelous. I hope you enjoy it, too! FYI, The Mycroft Memoranda, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, The Whitechapel Horrors, and Sherlock Holmes and the Apocalypse Murders are also about Holmes and Jack the Ripper, though the last one is about the Ripper years later and not during the original murder spree. (Lestrade and the Ripper sounds like it is, but it's really less about the Ripper murders than I anticipated, and the mystery isn't "solved" until another novel in that series.)

There are several really good Ripper books, depending on what you're looking for (primary sources, suspect-centric analysis, etc.), but I believe the general consensus is that the best single-volume history is The Complete History of Jack the Ripper by Philip Sudgen. It's definitely the one I'd recommend first. I hope this helps!
Dec. 11th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
PS. Love your icon! :D
Dec. 12th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
So much Holmes, so little time!! Thank you for the recs (and for your kind words). Hope to see the movie tomorrow -- in which case you'll probably hear my squee!
Dec. 20th, 2011 10:48 am (UTC)
So much Holmes, so little time!!

LOL! So true!

My pleasure on both counts. I'm so glad to hear the film was worth a second viewing!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )