Catherine Thompson's Reviews > A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon

A Study in Sherlock by Laurie R. King
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's review
Jul 05, 2012

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bookshelves: crime, mystery, private-investigator-fiction
Read from July 04 to 08, 2012

A collection of stories inspired by Sherlock Holmes and his creator, this anthology is edited by Laurie R. King, author of the Mary Russell mysteries, and Leslie S. Klinger, a noted Holmes enthusiast and editor of the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. The stories are overall pretty good, with one or two really outstanding entries, but some seem to have little or no connection to Holmes at all. The first story in the collection, by Alan Bradley, is a direct pastiche, setting Holmes and Watson in their later years, but prior to the events of "His Last Bow." The second, "As to 'An Exact Knowledge of London'" by Tony Broadbent, is really quite clever, positing Holmes and Watson, as well as Moriarty, as immortals for all intents and purposes, and references much of the pop culture surrounding Holmes. SJ Rozen's entry is particularly good, taking "The Man with the Twisted Lip" and retelling the story from another perspective. And of course one cannot overlook Neil Gaiman's contribution, "The Case of Death and Honey," in which Holmes discovers a fountain of youth in China.

But then there are stories like "The Shadow Not Cast" by Lionel Chetwynd, which is so tangentially concerned with Holmes that it might as well not be in this collection. The same goes for Dana Stabenow's otherwise excellent entry, "The Eyak Interpreter," which takes a basic idea from a Holmes story but has little else to do with Doyle's creation.

I understand that all of these authors claim Doyle as an inspiration, and that's fine. But I was led to believe that the book was more concerned with Holmes and Watson than it is.

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