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A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon

(Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,459 ratings  ·  410 reviews
What would happen if you asked eighteen top writers who don't normally write about Sherlock Holmes to write about Sherlock Holmes? What if you wrote to them, saying:

In 19th century England, a new kind of hero--a consulting detective--blossomed in the mind of an underemployed doctor and ignited the world's imagination. In the thirteen decades since A Study in Scarlet first
Paperback, 385 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Bantam (first published October 1st 2011)
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3.77  · 
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 ·  3,459 ratings  ·  410 reviews

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Dec 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sherlockiana, mystery
I don't know why I keep doing this to myself.

There ARE a couple of decent reads, but this collection is chiefly notable for another atypical and enjoyable SH pastiche by Neil Gaiman, affectionately inspired by his own experience with beekeeping.

The problem is, really, that no matter what criticism writers may cast at Doyle, or at Holmes ("not as interesting as he thought he was") the fact is that Doyle put these stories together really well, and he laid Holmes' dry, analytical deductions out wit
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This anthology is a mixed bag. Some of the 16 true stories and one epilogue mini-story are pointless and pedestrian: major mystery writers retelling Conan Doyle canon stories with their own series stars solving the same case or just writing a basic mystery with a few nods in the direction of Holmes references. Fortunately that isn't all the collection has to offer and there are a few true gems and even more entertaining offerings in with the blandness.

Neil Gaiman's "The Case of Death and Honey"
Riju Ganguly
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the finest collection of pastiches and other (Sherlock Holmes-inspired) pieces, this book should be lapped up by those who are in love with the Great Detective, and esp. by those who have cherished his present day reincarnation via BBC. The contents are:

(*) An Introduction by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger

1) YOU'D BETTER GO IN DISGUISE by Alan Bradley: a superb cat & mouse piece enacted by a killer and the Great Detective, with a darker tone that might have upset Sir Arthur.

2) A
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: overdrive, sherlock
Mixed bag. 5 of them I liked, the rest were disappointing <2☆.

Awesome, 5 stars

I liked this one, it was as good as a Holmes story.

Interesting premise involving Arthur Conan Doyle.

A SPOT OF DETECTION Jacqueline Winspear.
Lighthearted and fun

Enjoyed this one, it felt like a plausible Holmes story.
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-books
Like all short story collections this is a mixed bag. The best stories were not a surprise--Laura Lippman's, Neil Gaiman's, and Alan Bradley's. Lippman's was my personal favorite, one of the only stories that emotionally resonates, and one that ends in a completely different place than it starts. Gaiman's was as well-written, and a nice blend of fantasy and mystery. Bradley's begins the collection and is nice combination of Hitchcock and Holmes, even if the solution is telegraphed from the begin ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
2.5 stars

Like most short story collections, this one had it's ups and it's downers. Honestly, though, most of these were rather pointless. I didn't even finish "The Mysterious Case of the Unwritten Short Story," given that aside from its basic insipidity, it was kind of a cop-out. And I'd recommend completely skipping"A Triumph of Logic"-- while several of the stories had one or two cases of mild language, that one had some serious, unnecessary swearing. Most of the stories didn't even feel "Hol
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, mystery
I liked the premise of this book - stories inspired by Holmes by authors who aren't usually associated with the literary legacy of Holmes - but wasn't entirely sold on the execution. Some of the stories were grand; Neil Gaiman's was, of course, fantastic (but it felt kind of like cheating to include him, since Gaiman won a Hugo for his previous Holmes pastiche; if a Hugo doesn't count as being associated with the literary legacy of Holmes, I'm not sure what does), and I enjoyed the Lee Child, La ...more
“A Study in Sherlock” is an anthology first published in 2011. The stories allegedly take inspiration from the Holmes canon. The problem is, sometimes the inspiration is so obscure that even the most dedicated Sherlockian can’t spot the bloody thing.

The anthology was edited by noted Sherlockian Leslie S. Klinger (who is currently up to his arse in a lawsuit) and author Laurie R. King. I am being honest that I would think twice about picking up an anthology edited by them again. “A Study in Sherl
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans of Sherlock Holmes
The stories I read from this collection are:

'The Case of Death and Honey' by Neil Gaiman

As always, Neil Gaiman's perspective -- in this case, of Sherlock's later years -- is interesting. However, this is not on the same level as his other Holmes pastiche, 'A Study in Emerald.'

'The Mysterious Case of the Unwritten Short Story' by Colin Cotterill

This was a chuckle-worthy graphic novel that I would have enjoyed more if I found it in the funny pages instead of in an otherwise serious Sherlock Holme
Mar 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, mysteries
Not a bad read, but as with most anthologies, there's bound to be a divergence in talent among the various stories presented.

My two favorites (by far) were Lee Child's The Bone-Headed League and Neil Gaiman's The Case of Death and Honey. Both of these were well written, imaginative and clever in their execution of creating a Sherlock Holmes-inspired story. As for the others, they were mildly entertaining or (in the case of three of them) sheer dreck.

All-in-all, an entertaining read for fans of t
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one; certainly not Sherlock fans
A decidedly "bleh" homage to Sherlock Holmes, which reaches a nadir of unreadability with "The Startling Events in the Electrified City." I couldn't finish the story and thought of giving up on the collection entirely.

I persevered, however, and the remaining stories weren't too bad. Just not "too good."

Except for one story, "The Last of Sheila Locke-Holmes," which has nothing to do with Holmes but is about a young girl dealing with her parents' marital problems, and quite good.

And I will mention
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
What sets this collection apart from other Sherlockian collections, is that it’s not so much stories about Holmes and Watson’s adventures, but stories that are inspired by Sherlock Holmes and the canon.

You’d Better Go in Disguise by Alan Bradley: A very well-done story to kick off this collection. It’s written almost entirely in dialogue, and there is very little action, but the tension of the story builds quickly. It starts off with the narrator in a park, when he notices a man watching him fr
This review can also be found on my blog, Snowflakes and Spider Silk

Sherlock Holmes has always been a part of my life - from the time I was little, my parents introduced me to this mystery-solving madman, and I have continued to be intrigued and awed by this eccentric character. It's clear that I'm not the only one, as many of the authors here say the same things. This anthology is quite an eclectic collection of stories based on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - from the usual murde
Not rating. Super unimpressed with the collection, but it always feels mean to rate something poorly that will show on the authors of the few parts I liked too!

1-You'd Better go in Disguise- strong start!
2-As to an Exact Knowledge of London- and a hard stop! kind of interesting unfinished idea sketch sandwiching an IMDB jumble.
3-Men With the Twisted Lips- interesting take but i'm iffy with anyone playing straight with Doyle's at best Victorian-orientalist characterizations
4- purloined paget- sor
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A enjoyable multifaceted look at the great detective and the Holmes that resides in is all.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
The stories range the whole spectrum of awful to fantastic. I really enjoyed at least three of them, so I think it was worth the read.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sherlock, anthologies
I believe it was my mother who got me started reading Sherlock Holmes. I checked out as many of Conan Doyle's books as I could carry home from the library. LOVED him, despite his flaws. (Cocaine? Bad, Sherlock!) As a result of my addiction, I have also read way too many Holmesian pastiches. As with other mythic characters (King Arthur, vampires, and werewolves come to mind), there are lots of good, well written stories/novels out there. There is also a LOT of sheer, deplorable DRECK. (Sherlock i ...more
Liz Jenkins
Feb 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a collection of short stories by authors experienced in various genres. Unfortunately, for some of them, the art of the short story proves elusive. The first two selections are, frankly, bad (the second in particular, by Tony Broadbent, seems to serve as little more than proof that Mr. Broadbent can use IMDB and is capable of providing extremely awkward expository dialogue which serves no eventual purpose). Luckily, the other authors seem to pick up the slack. Particular highlights are N ...more
Tales Untangled
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed many of the tales written, though some sparked my interest more than others, and the graphic novel left me completely cold. I found that if the stories were too similar I had to read another book in between to avoid confusion and to leave each installment feeling fresh.

One of my favorite stories, As to "An Exact Knowledge of London", was written by Tony Broadbent. This story opens with a man needing a cab wanting to visit the sites famous from Sherlock's adventures. The taxi driver, wh
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
King & Klinger's A Study in Sherlock is best thought of as a collection of "Stories Inspired By the Holmes Canon" - which is also appropriately the subtitle of the book. Obviously, all pastiches (by definition) are stories inspired (to one extent or another) by the canon of Sherlock Holmes, but these particular stories vary radically in form, tone, time period and approach from each other while all channeling elements of The Canon.

K & K took some serious curatorial risks but ultimately
aPriL does feral sometimes
Laurie King, whose books I adore, and Leslie Klinger, contacted 18 well-established mystery authors and asked them to write a short story about or reflecting the character of Sherlock Holmes, originally created by Arthur Conan Doyle. The result is this collection. Equivalent to internet fan fiction in their inventive settings and different first person observers of either Sherlock himself or, more commonly, about youths and adults who use Sherlock Holmes-inspired methodology to solve mysteries, ...more
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
These aren't straight pastiches, but I love that about it. But it has the same problem that plagues short story collections; some stories you like, some stories you don't. I like Neil Gaiman's (and that story actually was a pretty straightforward pastiche, if a little... Neil Gaiman-y), and the collection did introduce me to some mystery writers I have heard about but haven't read yet (like Alan Bradley, Dana Stabenow, and Jacqueline Winspear) who did pretty decent stories. The one story that I ...more
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I know, I know, I need to get out of the mystery genre! But I think I just needed it for a little while. This is a compilation of short stories on everything Sherlock. Long buried mysteries, modern day adaptations, continuations, etc... every possible thing you can do with Sherlock. I really enjoy short stories and Sherlock so this was a very nice combination. Plus, it was edited by Laurie King who has written the Bee Keeper's Apprentice. Short stories are great because you can pick them up and ...more
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Many may think that it is a pastiche collection, but it is not the case. There are indeed some pastiches-including a magnificetn one by Neil Gaiman- but this collection includes also modern stories modelled after the Sherlockian tales, stories about boys and girls who meet with the Holmes stories at a point of their growing up, Holmes stories set in other places or times and with other characters (for example, a very uncommon version of the Greek Interpreter with Native Canadians as characters), ...more
Lana Kamennof-sine
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Kudos to Laurie R King & Leslie S Klinger for a wonderful compilation, and Kudos to the authors who took up the challenge.

Fascinating to read the variety of genre authors, their backstory connections to the Holmes Canon, and, above all, how they then interpret that.

Colin Cotterill had me laughing out loud - suspect Laurie did too, although has anyone shown it to Larry King?

A thoroughly enjoyable read, confirming my faith in some favourite authors AND introducing me to others I'd not yet read
I have long been a fan of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and jumped at the chance to see what a few authors, whose other books I have read and enjoyed, could do with a Holmesian type story. I wasn't disappointed in the least. Alan Bradley of Flavia de Luce fame, Charles Todd (whose Insp. Ian Rutledge is now a new favourite)and Lee Child - wonderful stories. I also discovered some new authors whose books I will now add to my never-ending To Read list...
Thank you to Laurie. R. King a
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
A collection of light, mostly enjoyable stories inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Some are new stories with the Sherlock Holmes characters. Some are retellings of Sherlock mysteries with new characters. Others step even further from the originals. As with all short story collections, the quality of the writing varies widely. I found a couple authors to put on my list to seek out and a couple to put on my list to avoid.
Such collections are always uneven, and this one perhaps more than most. Still, there are some favorite authors here (Neil Gaiman, Margaret Maron, Jacqueline Winspear,S.J. Rozan) and the Twitter interview with Mary Russell Holmes is worth the price of admission. Neil's story (why am I so comfortable calling him Neil? Because I read his blog faithfully, along with zillions of others?) is the best and my favorite, glimmering in the mind long after reading.
Oct 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, fiction
Altogether an enjoyable read, but left me feeling a little dissatisfied in the end. Roughly the first half of the book was brilliant, said brilliance culminating in Neil Gaiman's beautiful and mysterious "The Case of Death and Honey", but after that it kind of started to go downhill, and I found many of the stories towards the end frankly quite soporific.
C.O. Bonham
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a greatcollection of Holmes related stories. Some of them are actually Canon stories told from a different point of view like in "The Men With The Twisted Lips" and some are just about regular people inspired by the Sherlock stories to solve crimes as in "A Triumph of Logic." There is something for every manner of Holmes fan.
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's 2018 novel, Island of the Mad, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from London's Bedlam to the glitter of Venice's Lido,where Young Things and the friends of Cole Porter pass Mussolini's Blackshir

Other books in the series

Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon (4 books)
  • In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon
  • Echoes of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon
  • For the Sake of the Game: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon