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The Ghosts in Baker Street: New Tales of Sherlock Holmes
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Pastiches, Homages & Parodies > Ghosts in Baker Street

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message 1: by Ken B (last edited Nov 29, 2013 04:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ken B I started another anthology of Sherlock Holmes short stories, The Ghosts in Baker Street: New Tales of Sherlock Holmes. I will be writing reviews of each story as I finish them. If you have read any of these, please feel free to discuss.

Ken B "The Devil and Sherlock Holmes" by Loren D. Estleman

I have read a couple of Estleman's novel-length Holmes pastiches, Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Holmes, both of which are top notch Holmes pastiches.

That being said, "The Devil and Sherlock Holmes" did not disappoint.

A "John Smith" is admitted to a mental hospital claiming to be the Devil himself. Smith manages to cause enough grief at the establishment that Watson requests that Holmes stop by to try to disprove the man's claims.


Ken B "The Adventure of the Librarian's Ghost" by Jon L. Breen

The "family ghost", the ghost of the former family librarian, appears during times of political turmoil, offering cryptic hints as to how to resolve what ails the empire. The ghost is back and the current head of the manor wants answers.


Ken B "The Adventure of the Late Orang Outang" by Gillian Linscott

Holmes investigates a family's haunting and an apparent suicide attempt amid a rivalry for a tenured position at Oxford.


message 5: by Stutley (new)

Stutley Constable (stutleyconstable) | 12 comments Ken wrote: ""The Adventure of the Late Orang Outang" by Gillian Linscott

Holmes investigates a family's haunting and an apparent suicide attempt amid a rivalry for a tenured position at Oxford..."

I understand what you intend to do with this thread, but the last two entries were not reviews. You simply told us the plot of the stories. Rating them with stars is fine, but I think telling us what you liked and disliked about the stories would be more effective and far more informative. It would help anyone reading this thread to determine if they would also like to read the anthology. Isn't that what you set out to do in the first place?

Ken B If anything in particular sticks out, I will most certainly point it out. Those couple of stories were fairly average Holmes pastiches. Not much to comment on.

message 7: by Ken B (last edited Dec 03, 2013 05:34PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ken B "A Scandal in Drury Lane, or The Vampire Trap" by Carolyn Wheat.

This one does not match the quality of the previous three short stories. The story is there. It is engaging. You have a ghost, a mysterious death, Spiritualism, all the ingredients (view spoiler) You get drawn in...and then let down hard.

The solution makes no sense. (view spoiler)

This one just didn't work.


message 8: by Ken B (last edited Dec 04, 2013 09:31PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ken B "Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy's Curse" by H. Paul Jeffers

As far as Holmes pastiches goes, this one was pretty straight forward.

One sticking point grabbed my attention though. (view spoiler)

A couple of other items did though have me searching the archives to verify a couple of references.

First, Jeffers gives Watson a living brother. The only references I could find in ACD's works mentioning a brother are in A Study in Scarlet (July 1880), where Watson claims to have no relatives in England (without specifying who may be living where) and then again in The Sign of Four (Sept 1887) where there is some discussion of a deceased father and deceased older brother. "Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy's Curse" falls squarely between these dates, being set in April 1883. The chronology works...I like that!

Additionally, Jeffers claims that Watson is a Master Freemason. I could find no reference in ACD's Holmes stories claiming such. I have though read a couple of articles that claim for one reason or another that Watson and Holmes almost assuredly were Freemasons.

I am a purist when it comes to my Holmes stories. But, as long as the facts aren't corrupted too much and the changes advance the story of our heroes, I am all for creativity.

3 1/2 STARS

Ken B "Death in the East End" by Colin Bruce

Colin Bruce wins the award for creepiest short story in this anthology. The creepiest part of the whole thing is that, according to the notes following the short story, the basic premise of story is rooted in historical fact, which has me wondering if any other stories have been written around those unfortunate events. It seems a veritable endless supply of creepiness!


Ken B "The Adventure of the Dog in the Nighttime" by Paula Cohen

Cohen does a great job painting the scenery but only a passable job producing an intriguing Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

(view spoiler)


Ken B "Selden's Tale" by Daniel Stashower

I am familiar with Stashower's work having read his Harry Houdini mysteries and a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ectoplasmic Man. As with his other works, I found this one passable at best.

This is not really a Sherlock Holmes story. It is a fleshing out of the character of Selden, the Notting Hill Murderer, from The Hound of the Baskervilles. Stashower really tones down the character and makes him more a victim of his circumstances than the convicted murderer and escapee that he is.

Neither Sherlock Holmes nor John Watson make an appearance in this short story.


Ken B "The Adventure of the St. Marylebone Ghoul" by Bill Crider

This story had two glaring problems to my mind. (view spoiler)

This one was so bad as to be offensive!


Ken B "The Coole Park Problem" by Micheal & Clare Breathnach

This sentimental short story combines a heavy dose of Irish folklore wrapped around a mystery where Holmes is accompanied by Irish literary greats William Butler Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. It was a surprisingly good tale.


Ken B My review of the collection as a whole:

With any collection of short stories, there are going to be those that you love and those that you think are real stinkers. "The Ghosts in Baker Street" is no exception.

Among the standouts are "Death in the East End" by Colin Bruce and "The Coole Park Problem" by Micheal & Clare Breathnach.

As a whole the collection is just so-so. Those two stories though make the book worth the effort.

I have reviewed each of the stories separately in the Baker Street Irregulars GR discussion group ( in the following thread:

BTW, I skipped the three essays at the end of the collection on the recommendation of other reviewers.


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