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Holmes for the Holidays

(Holmes for the Holidays #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  575 ratings  ·  43 reviews
With stories by Anne Perry, Carolyn Wheat, Carole Nelson Douglas, Reginald Hill and many more, this delightful mystery collection captures the spirit of the brilliant detective of Baker Street. It's perfect for anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes -- or any mystery fan who's looking for the very best in short fiction.

Contents include:
The Watch Night Bell by Anne Perry
The Sleut
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Berkley Hardcover
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  575 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Allow me to use an analogy here. Imagine that in 20 years or so people start publishing collections of Buffy the Vampire Slayer pastiches. (In this version of the future Joss Whedon is either incredibly generous or has very bad lawyers.) In each story, Buffy does some research with the Scoobies (all of whom are currently getting along great!), patrols a cemetery, and stakes a vampire...and that’s it. No character development, not even any character insight! In every. Single. Story.

That’s this c
Jessica Fleming
Dec 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun read for the Holidays.
Paul M.
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm not quite through with this book but I thought I'd take a moment to chronicle my thoughts. For the most part, I enjoyed these Holmes and Watson short stories. Most felt as if they might have been Christmastime cases the two might have embarked upon. However, despite the fact that these stories obviously are not of the canon, and while it is likely impossible to have non-canon stories never contradict each other, it does seem to me that contradictory stories should at the very least not be pr ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
A half decent collection of short honesty I wasn't sure whether to read this just yet as it is a festive collection but in truth it's mainly Sherlock tales that just have the season tagged onto them.
Some of the stories were in truth a tad nondescript but there where enough here to maintain interest..chronologically I think you have to take this collection as it is..for instance two tales nod to ' a Christmas Carol' and yet depict two different futures for Tim Crachet and Irene Adler a
Jan 22, 2021 rated it liked it

I very much enjoy the literary tradition of modern writers creating homage stories to Holmes and Watson. It was also fun to read this, a story at a time, during and just past the holiday season, kind of a literary day by day Advent. There were several tales that included the Scrooge story in just marvelous and fresh ways. I do wish, however, that modern writers would forebear from carrying on the more uncomfortable, dated aspects of the writing, in particular the Empire-centric point of view whi
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
It's not that the stories themselves are great that I give this 4 stars, but that they are good stories featuring Holmes and Watson set during the Christmas season with interesting seasonal tie-ins, such as a Christmas tree, Twelfth Night cake, and Dicken's A Christmas Carol. The weakest of the bunch are The Adventure of the Man Who Never Laughed, The Italian Sherlock and The Adventure of the Canine Ventriloquist which is also the weirdest. A book I pull out every year around Christmas for some ...more
Dec 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Sadly, ACD didn’t write any Christmas Holmes except Blue Carbuncle; luckily, there’s a ton of pastiches to more than make up for that oversight. These aren’t the best of them.

Skipped around a bit. As yet none of them will be making my Someday Re-read List. It’s kind of disappointing.

Three Ghosts
Canine Ventriloquist
Man Who Never Laughed
Yuletide Affair
Christmas Tree
Christmas Ghosts
Italian Sherlock
Christmas Client*

*To be fair to Hoch, I read his a year ago. Maybe it’s better than I remember.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Just as advertised: a collection of fun Holmes pastiche short stories in a holiday motif. Not really anything to write home about in any of the stories, but nothing lamentable either. Altogether, a relaxed and enjoyable holiday helping of Holmes. Just the thing for that rare quiet evening seated by the fire, Christmas tree aglow, and a glass of eggnog close to hand. Gratefully enjoyed and heartily recommended.
Eric Winter
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: holmes
A fun collection of Holmes stories, with interesting takes on the characters by different authors. A few cameos by actual historical figures led me to learn a few things. The stories bounced around in time - it would be interesting to go back and place them in the canonical chronology to see how many references I missed.
Elle Hartford
Dec 31, 2021 rated it liked it
I like the idea of the anthology, and some of the stories are interesting, but I agree with another reviewer that the holiday aspect is just a bit of background color really.

Also -- just a content note -- several of the stories involved children in danger/pedophilia, which jarred me at first especially since it *is* a holiday anthology.
Calvin Daniels
Solid 3.5 actually. Like many short stories collections by various authors a bit up and down, but a solid seasonal read.
Rachel Best
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Exactly as advertised.
Sarah Fortier
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great short stories. Definitely a fan & would recommend to anyone who enjoys Sherlock Holmes and/or looking for Christmas mysteries.
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology, holmes
3.8 stars

the Watch Night Bell by Anne Perry ***
the Sleuth of Christmas Past by Barbara Paul ****
A Scandal in Winter by Gillian Linscott ****
the Adventure in Border Country by Gwen Moffat ***
the Adventure of the Three Ghosts by Loren D. Estleman *****
the Adventure of the Canine Ventriloquist by Jon L. Breen ****
the Adventure of the Man Who Never Laughed by J.N. Williamson ****
the Yuletide Affair by John Stoessel ****
the Adventure of the Christmas Tree by William L. DeAndrea ****
the Adventure of t
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Short story compilation of more recent Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson mysteries, written by several mystery writers. I've read parts of this book before, but this December I read the whole compilation. A very enjoyable read. My favorite was the story by John Stoessel, "The Yuletide Affair," in which Dr. Watson told Holmes of an adventure he had on his own once when Holmes was busy elsewhere, in which Watson was called in to St. Bartholomew's Hospital to help save the life of Inspector Lestrade, ...more
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
This uneven mix of Sherlock Holmes short story mysteries, all set during the Christmas season, gets a 2 1/2 stars. Of course the usual suspects appear (Irene Adler, Professor Moriarty) along with tales which fall flat at the end ("The Adventure of the Angel's Trumpet", for instance) and at least one with somewhat disturbing (at least to me) content. There were several standouts among the group however, one of them being "The Yuletide Affair", a solo Watson adventure in which the good doctor save ...more
Dec 26, 2011 added it
Shelves: 2011
Very enjoyable - my favorite story in this group was The Adventure of the Christmas Tree by William L. DeAndrea because I felt the characters of Holmes & Dr. Watson were most true to form and the actual mystery was believable. I also liked The Thief of Twelfth Night by Carole Nelson Douglas because of the Irene Adler connection and The Christmas Client by Edward D. Hoch because of the Moriarity connection. I thought they all had their good points and it was interesting to see how each author put ...more
Robert Schneider
This was an okay collection with some really bad editing. Some of the authors were better at capturing the feel of Holmes and Watson than others. Even so this collection began to feel a bit same-y after a bit, having 2 stories about Dickens' A Christmas Carol didn't help either. I found a couple of the stories to stand out because they were handled a bit differently than the rest, Watsons' solo tale "The Yuletide Affair by John Stoessel and "The Thief of Twelfth Night" by Carole Nelson Douglas. ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
I've read this collection several times, as part of my traditional holiday reading binge. I've always been a sucker for Christmas stories, and I picked this up on a bargain table many years ago. I love the tone of the stories and the way they capture the essence of Victorian England at Christmas. Of course none of them measure up to Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, but some come quite close. An excellent choice for a snowy December evening or two. ...more
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think more Sherlock is always wonderful, so I was delighted to find this book. And the stories are written by outstanding mystery writers, a plus.

The stories vary in quality, of course. None are terrible, but some are very much better than others. A few sound so authentic that I could believe they came from Watson's famous dispatch box.

My one complaint is that there are several working off Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I got tired of that. Oh well.

A lot of fun.
Rena Sherwood
Someday someone will put together the ultimate non-canonical Holmes short story anthology. This isn't it, but it will do for now. The big problem (besides all the stories having a Christmas theme) -- not one but TWO short stories involving Dickens' A Christmas Carol. A little short on imagination here, folks?

More than a dozen authors write pastiches of the Sherlock Holmes stories, with the proviso that all are set during the Christmas holidays. Two, at least, involve the works of Charles Dickens; one presents the unexpected figure of Lewis Carroll. Tastes vary, of course, but if you like Holmes, you'll enjoy at least some of these delightful tales. ...more
Sandra Strange
What Sherlock fan could resist a book with such a delightful title? I've appropriately been reading this collection of short stories during the Christmas season. The stories are inconsistent (all have different authors). I was a bit disappointed with the first two, which were not as captivating as later stories. All are true to the original characters and milieu. In general, a fun read ...more
A delightful bit of Christmas reading! As is usually the case, the story featuring a cameo by the stunning Irene Adler was my favorite of the lot. Can't wait to start the next volume of the anthology.

"Do you follow my conclusions?" "Only with peril, Watson."
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An anthology of Sherlock stories set around Christmas. They were all good and seemed in keeping with the genre--some more than others. I especially enjoyed the ones that were based off of a "Christmas Carol." ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I so enjoyed these stories. Only a few could have been better written, but still they were all very entertaining. It was a wonderful fantasy trip for me as an longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes. I highly recommend it.
Nate Simon
Jan 01, 2021 rated it did not like it
Wildly disappointing. A collection of "Holmes stories" by different authors, all taking place around the holidays, but none are written in the style of ACD, none have seriously well thought out mysteries, none were interesting enough to read this again. ...more
Great adaptations by modern authors each telling a story of Sherlock Holmes at Christmas.
Heather R
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holmesiana
I can never get enough Sherlock Holmes, and it makes me so happy that there are so many pastiche books out there. This one gets me in the Christmas spirit.
Collection of short stories written by noted mystery writers with Sherlock Holmes as the main character. Fun read for the holidays.
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Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and speculative fiction anthologist. In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories. He founded Tekno Books, a packager of more than 2000 published books. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Sci-Fi Channel.

For the 1950s anthologist and publisher of Gnome Press, see Martin Greenberg.

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