In the Company of Sherlock Holmes – Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon by Laurie King & Leslie Klinger, Eds. © 2014, Pegasus Books 2014 hardcover, mystery short story anthology
The blurb states: “Contemporary authors from a variety of genres create new stories inspired by the Holmes canon. Inside you’ll find Holmes in times and places previously unimagined, as well as characters who have themselves been affected by the tales of Sherlock Holmes.”
This book won the 2014 Anthony Award for Best Anthology or Collection. Since of late I’ve been reading the Holmes canon and related pastiches, I thought I’d try it. There are 15 stories in the anthology, though two of them are graphic in nature, rather than prose.
Table of Contents:
- “The Crooked Man” / by Michael Connelly
- “The Curious Affair of the Italian Art Dealer” / by Sara Paretsky
- “The Memoirs of Silver Blaze / by Michael Sims
- “Dr. Watson’s Casebook” / by Andrew Grant
- “The Adventure of the Laughing Fisherman” / by Jeffrey Deaver
- “Art in the Blood” / by Laura Caldwell
- “Dunkirk” / by John Lescroart
- “The Problem of the Empty Slipper” / script by Leah Moore & John Reppion ; illustrations by Chris Doherty and Adam Caldwell
- “Lost Boys” / by Cornelia Funke
- “The Thinking Machine” / by Denise Hamilton
- “By Any Other Name / by Michael Dirda
- “He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes” / by Harlan Ellison
- “The Adventure of My Ignoble Ancestress” / by Nancy Holder
- “The Closing” / by Leslie S. Klinger
- “How I Came to Meet Sherlock Holmes” / by Gahan Wilson.
Of these stories, I found the best, by far, to be “Dunkirk” by John Lescroart. The protagonist in the story is a fellow who gives his name as Sigerson. The story is beautifully written, and several of the short parts of it could have been their own brief stories. I read this story twice, something I rarely do with an anthology, unless I’m rereading the whole thing.
Very few of the stories include Holmes and Watson as the reader of traditional pastiches might expect to find them. Don’t misunderstand me, there are many excellent stories here, but the majority of them would have been just as good, or perhaps better, without having the need to connect with Holmes in some way or another. This isn’t a book I’ll retain for my Holmes shelves, so it’s free to a good home. If you’re interested, leave a comment on the About page with your e-addy, or email me at the e-addy I have there.