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Shadows Over Baker Street

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  4,205 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Sherlock Holmes enters the nightmare world of H.P. Lovecraft

New Tales of Terror!

What would happen if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's peerless detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his allies were to find themselves faced with Lovecraftian mysteries whose solutions lay not only beyond the grasp of logic, but beyond sanity itself. In this collection of original tales, twenty of today's c
Paperback, 438 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Del Rey/Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,205 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Both Lovecraft and Holmes fans, and "horror" fans in general
Doyle's Sherlock Holmes canon and Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos have both long been favorite subjects for pastiches; and given the number of contemporary writers who are fans of both, it's not surprising to find an anthology bringing them together. (The antithetical character of the juxtaposition is more apparent than real: Doyle eschewed the supernatural in his Holmes stories; but as Holmes observes in one of the stories here, we're dealing here with science, not magic --and Doyle's own Holmes sto ...more
Nov 03, 2008 rated it liked it
In the introduction to one of his 'Best New Horror' guides, Stephen Jones writes that the premise of this book - Sherlock Holmes meets H.P.Lovecraft - is one of the silliest in recent times. I disagree. I think the idea of taking the character who believes "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, nust be the truth" to the world of Cthulhu is one filled with possibilities.

The style of the stories owes more to Conan-Doyle than to Lovecraft, and only some of t
Oct 30, 2007 rated it liked it
How could this book possibly go wrong? Cthulhu is awesome! Sherlock Holmes is awesome! Put them together, and you ought to get double the awesome. And yet, only a few of the stories managed to strike a balance between the two worlds that actually works. A Study In Emerald, by Neil Gaiman, is by far the best story in the collection and reason enough to buy the book all on its own.

Though the other stories tend to pale in comparison, there are a handful more that are worth reading, and a couple tha
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A wondeful anthology filled to the brim with fascinating and creepy tales. Well worth buying!
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Die-Hard Fans With Low Standards
Shadows Over Baker Street presented me with a real dilemma, because I felt as though such a scattershot mix of stories couldn't really be boiled down to one rating. In the end, however, the sheer number of bad stories simply tipped things in favor of a two-star rating.

For the uninitiated, the book is a collection of short stories in which the formulaic "mythos fiction" of H.P. Lovecraft and others collides with the world of Sherlock Holmes. We are, in principle, to expect Holmesian deductive rea
Nathan Harrison
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'd love to give it 5 stars, but I feel there's only so much pastiche can achieve, even if it is as inspired as the short stories in this collection. Now, that said, if they were all on par with Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald", I'd be whining that I couldn't go up to 6 stars & begging for another installment.

When I first read this collection about a year ago I liked it well enough, being much more well-versed on the Lovecraft side of the equation than the Holmes. But credit the Guy Richie fil
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, horror
Oh man.
I love "A Study In Emerald". Love it. I've read some of the other stories in the book and have liked them pretty well, but I love "A Study In Emerald".
In case you don't know this is basically a collection of stories that break down to being Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulu. And the first story is "A Study In Emerald" by [author:Neil Gaiman}. It's brilliant. It shows why Neil Gaiman is a master of his craft. It's chilling and thought provoking and just great.
Like I said I've read a few of the ot
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The ultimate pastiche: Sherlock Holmes meets the denizens of H.P. Lovecraft's sinister universes. Two writers who have not only been imitated, but whose characters/settings have been used by countless others. The combo is even better. A Study in Emerald is just one of the many little gems in this book. Probably best that you have read at least one Cthulu mythos tale first though: just to know what is being lampooned or venerated.
Kathy Davie
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This anthology of short stories revolve around a central theme of Sherlock Holmes…with a twist, an H.P. Lovecraft twist. Every tale involves the supernatural and it's an intriguing mix of the feel of Holmes' England and Watson's companionship. The disconcerting aspect is not the supernatural as much as it’s the individual authors creating future histories for each man and none of those histories connect. As I read, I couldn't understand what happened to that second marriage or how the various au ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
After starting out brilliantly, this turned into more and more of an endless slog, like I was trapped in a wicked artifact from a Lovecraftian story: a neverending volume that steadily sucks the reader's soul dry. That's not to say that it's uniformly awful, but many of the stories have an intriguing build-up that is quickly rushed when the author realizes they're running out of space. Writing action-driven short stories well takes a specific set of skills, and this collection throws Lovecraft a ...more
Arthur O'dell
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, mystery, ebooks, horror
Just a lot of fun. It’s uncanny how well Doyle and Lovecraft go together. As an anthology of short stories, it is a little uneven, but the weakest stories are merely adequate rather than bad. And the standouts, particularly Neil Gaiman’s “A Study in Emerald”, and Elizabeth Bear’s “Tiger, Tiger” are outstanding.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I've ever felt more like a book was written specifically for me. This was a series of short Sherlock Holmes adventures set in the world (and/or inspired by the world) of H.P. Lovecraft, two of my greatest nerd loves. I would have never thought these two would blend together so well but I suppose it makes sense. Holmes is the the detective who needs to know everything and Lovecraft posits that to know everything is to be driven mad.

The best of the bunch is probably "A Study in Eme
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
This is so very fanfic-ish, in concept at least. (And sometimes in execution. Please note that that's not meant as an insult. While some fanfic is bad enough to make run screaming into the streets, some of it is of pro or near-pro quality.) It's a pretty cool idea, but I started losing interest after a few stories.

The Neil Gaiman piece at the beginning was excellent. I know that's a "really going out on a limb there" thing, but ... Neil Gaiman doesn't push my readerly buttons that much. (I know
Jeannie Sloan
Feb 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: cthulhu, horror
I liked this book but it's a little bit like too much of a good thing.I think I made the mistake of trying to read this book through when I would have been better set to read a story or two a day.I got kind of sick of Sherlock and Watson.
That said this is a fun book with a good premise.I am always looking for some good Mythos stories and this book has quite a few of them.
I think if you want to fully appreciate this book you will read it along with another book so that you look forward to Sherloc
Jun 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An anthology of modern writers inventing new tales that set Sherlock Holmes as a consulting detective in the world of H.P. Lovecraft. If you enjoy X-files, Lost or any other blend of mystery and the supernatural this should strike a cord.
Riju Ganguly
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Shadows over Baker Street" is an ingenious (if not singular) attempt by Ballantine Books to superimpose the gigantic persona of Sherlock Holmes upon the weirdly menacing landscape of Cthulhu, under the editorship of Michael Reaves and John Pelan. The authority of these two as well as the host of authors invited by them to undertake this `mission' is irreproachable. But to an aficionado of either genre, the crux of the matter is to find out who has been disparaged by whom (although the outcome o ...more
Apr 09, 2017 added it
Shelves: not-completed
needed to take a break on this one - hopefully i come back to it!
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadows Over Baker Street
By Michael Reaves, John Pelan, Neal Gaiman, Elizabeth Bear, Steve Perry, Steven Elliott Altman, James Lowder, Brian Stableford, Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson, Barbara Hambly, Paul Finch, Tim Lebbon, Caitlin R. Kiernan, John P. Vourlis, Richard A. Lupoff, F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, David Niall Wilson and Patricia Lee Macomber, and Simon Clark

Publisher: DelRey
Published In: New York , New York
Date: 2003
Pgs: 446

What would happen if Conan Doyle’s detective was to f
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This anthology brings the world's favourite detective into the realm of Cthulhu. Unlike the original canon in which there was no mystery that had any occult or paranormal elements (with Holmes going so far as to say that he doesn't believe in such phenomena), every story in this book brings Holmes into direct conflict with paranormal entities.

Most of the stories are very well written (I personally didn't really like the last couple of them) and successfully create an eerie background to the stor
Stuff I Read - Shadows Over Baker Street ed. Michael Reaves Review

I think this book was recommended to be because I read Dracula vs Sherlock Holmes, and once I saw that there was an entire anthology of the world's greatest detective taking on the creeping madness that is the Cthulhu Mythos, I was intrigued. What I found when I opened the volume, though, is what I've found with a great many anthologies, which is to say something of a mixed bag. There are some that are very good, and some that rea
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Sherlock Holmes meets Cthulhu! Not really, but that might be a subtitle to grab the attention of readers who enjoy both Sherlock Holmes pastiches and those stories that follow the tradition of HP Lovecraft in the mythos. A very fun book, but as always, when you have an anthology of stories to read, there are some that will be really good, some that will be okay, and some that you read just because they're in the collection. Funny thing, though, everyone who reads this book is going to like somet ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Overall, I enjoyed this collection. There has been a trend in Mythos anthologies to find stories that try to break the 'old school' mode or only use Lovecraft or the Mythos genre as inspiration. These may be good stories on their own, but do not make good Mythos stories or collections in my mind. In contrast, I thought the Sherlock Holmes setting fit perfectly with the 'Cthulhu by Gaslight' atmosphere. Many fit the classic Mythos trope of the investigators falling into something man was not mean ...more
Mixing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft is just a fascinating premise. While a few of the stories fall short, this collection is entertaining and well worth the read. My favorite stories in the collection are as follows:

"A Study in Emerald," Neil Gaiman - This is the story that made me buy the collection. I read it in Gaiman's book Fragile Things, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ending is excellent and while the story is pure Gaiman, it is also an excellent homage to the writers honored
David Elsensohn
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The idea, of course, is astonishing. However did you come up with it?

It’s obvious, when you know what to observe. A mere few decades before the usual Lovecraftian tales, in the gaslight period. A reserved demeanor in the face of cosmic terrors. The irresolvable confrontation between logic and chaotic madness.

It leads with the well-known gem by Neil Gaiman, “A Study in Emerald”, in which the protagonist’s genius is challenged by a secretive thespian… in a world where the stars already have been r
Isabel (kittiwake)
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
An anthology of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, in which the great detective's investigations lead him into the dark world imagined by H.P. Lovecraft.

The book starts off well, as "A Study in Emerald" (the only one of the stories I have read before) has a satisfying twist in its tail, and it finishes equally satisfyingly with "A Nightmare in Wax". Holmes faces a wide variety of cases, but it was interesting that more than one author suggested that Dr. Watson had come across the Old Ones before, durin
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of stories that blend Sherlock Holmes with the Lovecraftian horrors - which is a rather interesting concept, because Holmes is known for deducing the truth while Lovecraftian horror often hinges on the undeductible. That said, it's often true that good detective fiction never really hinges on whether the crimes and mysteries are ultimately plausible or not; it's often the behaviour of people involved in them that is more interesting. And what would be more interesting than to see fa ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it
As a fan of Lovecraft and the Holmes stories I really wanted to like this more. However, apart from the excellent opening story by Neil Gaiman, I found the quality quite variable and few of the stories have stayed with me. Some authors handled the Holmes material well but didn't have a feeling for Lovecraft while in other stories the reverse was true. On paper the gaslight-tinted world of Sherlock Holmes should work well with the Poe-flavored preoccupations of Lovecraft. Unfortunately this book ...more
Apr 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Basic Premise: Sherlock Holmes + Chulhu mythos = AWESOMENESS

Obviously, if you've never read anything by Lovecraft you won't understand the brilliance of these stories nearly as well as those who have. I'd recommend at least picking up a basic book of Lovecraft's stories before reading this. I think media uses Holmes enough for most people to be aware of who he is and not have to really have read any of Doyle's work to understand these stories, but doing so certainly would help. These stories ble
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
As with any anthology, this one is a mixed bag of candy. As other reviewers have stated, the first story offered, “A Study in Emerald” is the best written of all.
I found my favorite short tale in the middle of the book: “The horror of the many faces” by Tim Lebbon, has Watson witnessing a horrible murder by no less than Sherlock Holmes himself. The outcome is a perfect balance between ACD and Lovecraft’s styles.
The book was worthy just for the two stories mentioned above, but I also enjoyed some
Anthony Burdge
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolute & thoroughly engaging read! I did not want this to end as I thought the melding of both the Holmes & Lovecraft worlds fit so well together. It perhaps is not entirely a huge chore for the creative to imagine how Sherlock Holmes would be with Cthulh-oids, fishmen, the mad Arab & the Necronomicon about in his world. Each story is well placed in the contribution sequence, the imagery & detail were all spot on. Were I to be a bit critical, I wanted a bit more from Poppy Z Brite, Brite's sto ...more
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Michael Reaves is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and screenwriter whose many credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twilight Zone, Batman: The Animated Series, and Gargoyles. His novels include the New York Times bestseller STAR WARS: Darth Maul- Shadowhunter and STAR WARS: Death Star. He and Neil Gaiman cowrote Interworld. Reaves has also written short fiction, comic books, and ...more

Articles featuring this book

When genres cross and stories wander, interesting things can happen. Consider the curious case of the Supernatural Investigator, a surpris...
25 likes · 2 comments
“We can never know everything,” Holmes said, “but I fear that everything knows us.” 0 likes
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.” —H. P. Lovecraft,
“The Call of Cthulhu”
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