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The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  15,500 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews
The game is afoot! Night Shade Books is proud to present the fantastic adventures of the world's greatest detective — mystery, fantasy, science fiction, horror, no genre can escape the esteemed detective's needle-sharp intellect and intuition. This reprint anthology showcases the best Holmes short fiction from the last 25 years, featuring stories by such visionaries as Ste ...more
ebook, 350 pages
Published September 2009 by Night Shade Books
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4.0 stars. An overall very good collection with some superb stories (including one "All Time Favorite"), some okay stories and some good to very good stories. If you like Sherlock Holmes stories, you will like this collection (possibly even love it). I have separated the contents of the book into the categories above (superb, good to very good and okay) to be of help in navigating this collection (but of course this is only my opinion).


A Study in Emerald (Neil Gaiman). N
Vanessa Wu
Feb 25, 2012 Vanessa Wu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I was going to review tonight was a really dirty, sexy little thing by some independent authors that got me slavering with senseless lust; but due to a technical/legal hitch to do with access to data and some commercial jiggery-pokery between two dot coms, that particular book cannot be found on Goodreads at the moment. So I'll review The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes instead.

I wasn't expecting much of it, to be honest. I listened to a quite well written introduction by, I pr
Mar 06, 2011 Rozonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't even begin to describe how awesome this book is. True, I've been a Sherlockian nearly all of my life,reading nearly all of the Canon as a child and my first pastiches (the ones by Nicholas Meyer) in my early teens. The brand new BBC series has done but add to my enthusiasm.
This pastiche anthology is any Sherlockian's dream, putting Holmes and Watson in many different situations,that include time travel,pirates, Cthulhu myths,alien invasions, attempted assassinations,even Holmes having s
Jul 11, 2014 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Sherlock Holmes
The stories I read from this collection are:

'The Doctor's Case' by Stephen King

For as much as I like Stephen King, I was not sure it was within his range to write a Sherlock Holmes story. And while the reader can see the license he took with the characters, I was left fairly impressed with this result. The highlight of this story is its premise -- King has Watson solve this case ahead of Holmes, something that never happened in the canon.

'The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland' by
Jun 01, 2016 Absinthe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2016
There were a few good stories in here, but overall I found most of the stories to be predictable and to be but shadows of Conan Doyle's greatness. I wouldn't really recommend this book to others as it can be tedious to make your way through the whole thing, but like I said a few of the stories were pretty good, such as 'The Singular Habits of Wasps' by Geoffrey Landis, 'The Human Mystery' by Tanith Lee, and ' The Vale of the White Horse' by Sharyn McCrumb.
Mar 10, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle
As with any modern anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories, there are some high points as well as a few lows. And this collection is no different. Some of my favorite stories in this collection are the ones that follow the traditional Doyle formula. And then there are the stories that push the boundaries, taking the reader out of his or her comfort zone and pitting Holmes and Watson against dinosaurs, aliens, demonic spirits, pirates and the like. Some of these unconventional tales are entertaining ...more
Aug 31, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
I do love a good Holmes fan fiction collection! Many more good than bad here. I'll try to do as many individual reviews as I can.

The Horror of Many Faces: Watson sees a man brutally murdered right in front of him on the street and the murderer is...Holmes? Bum Bum Baaaaaaa! I previously read this one but had forgotten the twist. Jolly good.

The Case of the Bloodless Sock: A great kidnapping mystery with just a dash of a familiar villain.

The Adventure of the Other Detective: Watson is whisked away
Mikaley "Kales" (KalesKorner)
3.5 there were some stories I loved and others I barely paid attention to. So a good mix of stories about my favorite detective.
Hal Bodner
The trouble with most anthologies today is that they're uneven. Two or three amazing stories are bundled in with a majority of mediocre stories with one or two complete stinkers thrown in for good measure. Worse, it seems like a lot of anthology editors are too quick to abandon the theme of the collection in favor of including a "name" author. The book might very well include a previously unpublished story by someone like Robert Bloch or Peter Straub, but if I buy an anthology entitled "Demon Zo ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
Like all anthologies, this collection is hit or miss. None of the stories were particularly bad or anything, it's just that not a whole lot of them were particularly awesome, either. A lot of them were fun and entertaining, but also forgettable. (I commented in my status updates with brief thoughts after pretty much every story, so the run down is there.)

The ones I remember the most, off hand, though, are:
The Doctor's Case
A Study in Emerald
The Vale of the White Horse (i.e. "the one with the hor
Jan 19, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the anthologies I have read are a bit hit and miss. A couple of stories stand out and some make you wonder how they ever got considered in the first place..

The stories that work best here are the ones that conform to the Arthur Conan Doyle style and dont mess with Watson being the narrator.

The stand out tales for me were "The Doctor's Case" by Stephen King, "A Study In Emerald" by Neil Gaiman and "The Singular Habits Of Wasps" by Geoffrey A. Landis.

Of the 28 tales in the collection, the 3 I
Dec 13, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The operative phrase in the title is "Selections from". This ebook contains only seven of the twenty-some adventures in the book. But, if they are any indication, it's a good read.

I especially enjoyed "Hanging" as it featured both Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Arthur Doyle, as characters.

"You See but You do not Observe" is a mind bender, which is true of anything based on the Schroedinger cart paradox. Sloppy thinking.
Jan 14, 2016 Thalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Cthulhu, Sherlock Holmes and much more unworldly things to adore.
Jan 11, 2016 Carson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was intriguing to learn of a collection of stories about Sherlock Holmes that were penned by several prominent writers, among them Stephen King.

Sherlock Holmes famously does not buy into anything supernatural. As a Holmes purist, it was a bit of a stretch to read a few of these chapters that tell of supernatural events and creatures; some of them seemed quite a departure from what I would expect from a Holmes story, but several could have passed for a tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Definitel
This was the last book I finished in 2014 and it fulfilled one of the categories in the Eclectic Reader Challenge (ERC). It is a good argument for participating in a challenge that is meant to push one out of normal reading ruts because this was fun and I can’t remember the last time I read an Anthology. Figuring out how to review it may be a challenge all in itself!

As the title suggests, the anthology is a collection of short stories by many different authors but all featuring the Sherlock Holm
Maya Bohnhoff
Jan 20, 2010 Maya Bohnhoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Sherlock Holmes. I mean, I really, really, really love Sherlock Holmes. So much so that I will not, under any circumstances that I can foresee, go to see the new movie starring Robert Downey Jr. (Chained naked to a bed, indeed. Harrumph! Sherlock Holmes would never contrive to find himself in that … er … position.)

I cut my teeth on Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. Hound of the Baskervilles was my favorite book when I was a kid (a Scholastic Book Club find) and when I saw Jeremy Brett perform
Jan 12, 2011 Leigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is aptly titled "Improbable" as most of the stories in this collection are well beyond believability and many fantastical, futuristic, science-fiction types of scenarios. That being said, the book was an enjoyable read. Being a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, like so many others, I am always longing for more stories about this great detective. But, being a purist, I would at least like to keep him within the realm of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original intent with this character. In the Improba ...more
Elizabeth this is basically just jumped-up fanfiction. Mostly good fanfiction, sure, but nobody really manages to believably capture Conan Doyle's voice. Having said that, these are worth a reread :

The Adventure of the Field Theorems, by Vonda N. McIntyre
The Adventure of the Inertial Adjuster, by Stephen Baxter
The Vale of the White Horse, by Sharyn McCrumb
The Adventure of the Lost World, by Dominic Green
The Adventure of the Antiquarian's Niece, by Barbara Hambly
Dynamics of a Hanging, by Tony Pi
Dec 22, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was never one for non-canon Holmes fiction. Indeed, this is only the second non-Doyle Holmes-centered book I ever picked up (the first being "Sherlock Holmes in America"). As with most short story anthologies, the tales are hit or miss. What makes this one stand out is that each story is very different from the rest, with the only running theme being supernatural or (in some cases) un-natural.

My favorite of the set belonged to Tim Lebbon's "The Horror of Many Faces," a Lovecraft inspired tale
Alexis Neal
Quite good, and thoroughly enjoyable. Which is a pleasant surprise, since "continuing adventures" of classic characters can be atrocious when done poorly--which they often are. In this case, the editors wisely culled (or commissioned) stories from some extremely gifted authors--and more importantly, authors who seemed to truly cherish and appreciate Holmes and his work.

Many of the stories take advantage of the overlapping lives of such well-known authors as H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraf
Mar 17, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone

Every so often, despite my firm resolve to winnow down the monstrous length of my TBR shelf, I cave in to impulse and read something else. (Let’s not talk about my reading the entire “Dortmunder” set of novels by Donald Westlake. I happily sampled it after good reviews here on GR and convinced myself to extend the detour.) The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was maliciously positioned on top of a library shelf where it was known my eye would glance whilst retrieving previously-requested
Apr 17, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
All anthologies are something of a crapshoot, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes perhaps more so than most. Some tales included therein are so barely improbable as to be easily included in canon (if one wished), some so outre that "improbable" doesn't seem to cover it. The quality of writing varies as much as the tone, veering from the excellent (Schweitzer's The Adventure of the Death-Fetch and King's Mrs. Hudson's Case) to the truly awful (Green's The Adventure of the Lost World). St ...more
Welcome to the 1st Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Awards Show, where yours truly presents awards to the stories in this anthology as a way to celebrate the honestly fabulous talent displayed in this book.

But before I go ahead with declaring the winners, I have a few words to say about the editor of this fine collection. This is the first John Joseph Adams anthology I’ve had the pleasure to read, and I’m glad to report that it was a wonderful ride. Never had I read a better organized a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2013 L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inevitably every fan of Sherlock Holmes will reach the final story and sadly realize that there will be no more trips to 221B Baker Street from Arthur Conan Doyle's pen. The tantalizing hints dropped by Watson of other adventures seem to be destined to be forever untold. Happily others have taken up the task of chronicling these and other adventures of Holmes and/or Watson. Some have produced tales worthy of being included in the 'Canon' of Doyle's stories and others....well others make the read ...more
Fred Hughes
Jun 21, 2012 Fred Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will appeal to Sherlockians everywhere. If Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was alive today, first off he would be 153 years old, but more importantly, he would appreciate the many directions that the various authors in this book have taken his character ; Sherlock Holmes. As well as Doctor John Watson.

This anthology includes stories by Stephen King, Anne Perry, Neil Gaiman, Robert J. Sawyer and 24 others. They all have a different slant on Sherlock’s life, and adventures.

We find time t
Katie M.
Dec 31, 2010 Katie M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holmesians, geeks,
Recommended to Katie by: my dad
The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes contains an excellent collection of what is essentially Sherlock Holmes fanfic written by professional writers. I do not intend this as an insult; most stories in this book are well-written explorations of Holmes and Watson having new adventures, sometimes filling in the gaps between Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. The concept of this collection is that it contains a mix of genres: some straight-up mystery stories where every bizarre occurrence can be e ...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
Feb 16, 2011 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The focus of this anthology lies in one of Holmes' famous quotes: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Now what if Holmes investigates a crime scene and has all of his deduction techniques at his disposal, but one variable has changed - Holmes cannot eliminate the impossible - what then?

In this book you'll find Holmes and Watson investigating ghosts, aliens, pirates, dinosaurs, shape-shifters, evil gods and criminal masterminds, inclu
H.G. Martin
Dec 10, 2009 H.G. Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a compilation of Sherlock Holmes stories by some of today's best and most popular genre fiction authors. The twist here is that each story places Holmes and his ever-loyal friend Watson into a world, situation, or reality that Sir Arthur never envisioned. For instance, at least a couple of the stories feature Holmes dealing with a universe in which Lovecraft's Great Old Ones hold sway.

This is an extremely entertaining anthology, both for the quality of the stories and for the sheer fasci
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (cons ...more
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