this is the 191st in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories edited by Mike Ashley, Carroll & Graf 1997 paperback, anthology of Sherlock Holmes pastiche short stories, 493 pages plus two appendices
This is a collection of 25 stories of Holmes and Watson, in the traditional periods and settings, by a group of authors known for their writing and many for their Holmesian scholarship. It’s no surprise then that the stories to be found here are, almost without exception, very good or excellent.
The stories are arranged by periods: The Early Years, The 1880s, The 1890s and The Final Years. Between stories Ashley fills in with where the stories fall both into the Canon and in relation to each other in the events in Holmes and Watson’s lives. This knits things together quite nicely making the entire set of stories flows together in a pleasing manner.
The two appendices are Complete Chronology of Sherlock Holmes Cases and The Tales of Sherlock Holmes. The former covers both stories by Doyle and many stories written by others prior to this collection. The second Appendix lists the canon in Part 1 and the apocryphal tales in Part 2. Both are useful references.
Table of Contents: (asterisks indicate stories I found especially enjoyable)
- The Bothersome Business Of The Dutch Nativity / Derek Wilson *
- The Affray At Thr Kildare Street Club / Peter Tremayne
- The Case Of The Incumbent Invalid / Claire Griffen *
- The Adventure Of Vittoria The Circus Belle / Edward D. Hoch
- The Darlington Substitution Scandal / David Stuart Davies *
- The Adventure Of The Suspect Servant / Barbara Roden
- The Adventure Of The Amateur Mendicant Society / John Betancourt *
- The Adventure Of The Silver Buckle / Denis O. Smith *
- The Case Of The Sporting Squire / Guy N. Smith
- The Vanishing Of The Atkinsons / Eric Brown *
- The Adventure Of The Fallen Star / Simon Clark
- The Adventure Of The Dorset Street Lodger / Michael Moorcock **
- The Mystery Of The Addleton Curse / Barrie Roberts *
- The Adventure Of The Pasisian Gentleman / Robert Weinberg & Lois H. Gresh
- The Adventure Of The Inertial Adjustor / Stephen Baxter
- The Adventure Of The Touch Of God / Peter Crowther **
- The Adventure Of The Persecuted Painter / Basil Copper *
- The Adventure Of The Suffering Ruler / H. R. F. Keating *
- The Repulsive Story Of The Red Leech / David Langford
- The Adventure Of The Grace Chalice / Roger Johnson
- The Adventure Of The Faithful Retainer / Amy Myers *
- The Case Of The Suicidal Lawyer / Martin Edwards
- The Legacy Of Rachel Howells / Michael Doyle
- The Adventure Of The Bulgarian Diplomat / Zakaria Erzinclioglu
- The Enigma Of The Warwickshire Vortex / F. Gwynplaine Macintyre
- The Case Of The Last Battle / L. B. Greenwood
I gave some asterisks, but really almost all of these stories are quite good. If you’re in the mood to read some non-canon Sherlock Holmes pastiches, written in the traditional style, place and (with two exceptions) time, this would be an excellent choice.
Richard, I have never read pastiches, though this collection looks interesting.
This would be a very good place to start, Prashant. I liked all but four of the stories and thought they were well done.
Has anyone ever done a complete bibliography of all the Holmes pastiches?
Charles, it has been tried, but there are new ones being written all the time, so it’s never complete. There are many hundreds, perhaps thousands of them.
Looks like a book I should own.
I have a copy of this book on my shelves. Now I should read it. Nice review!