On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes by Stephen Browning

On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes by Stephen Browning

I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan which is why On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes caught my eye. The author sets out a series of walks around London, incorporating locations that feature in stories from the canon and incidents in Conan Doyle's life. There are even tidbits about family, friends, and literary contemporaries to Doyle along with the mention of real life individuals and their stories that likely influenced his writing of Sherlock Holmes. It made me want to go to London and follow the walks and suggested side excursions. It also made me want to go back and read some of the stories again and maybe watch some of the adaptations I haven't seen. The appendices were fun too, giving a chronological timeline of the Conan Doyle stories, notable actors to have played Holmes over the years, and an alphabetical Holmes miscellany. My one complaint is that I wish there were more and better photos. I'd love full...
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The Reminiscences of Solar Pons by August Derleth

The Reminiscences of Solar Pons by August Derleth

I love a good Sherlock Holmes pastiche. I picked up The Reminiscences of Solar Pons at a used book store based on the cover alone: "If there's ever to be another Sherlock Holmes, it's Solar Pons. 'Readers with a taste for genteel crime . . .could hardly do better." Solar Pons is undeniably and unapologetically based on Sherlock. When Derleth asked permission from Conan Doyle to take over the writing of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Conan Doyle declined. Derleth then created a clone of Holmes with Solar Pons, Dr. Parker his chronicler, Mrs. Johnson the landlady, Inspector Jamison of Scotland Yard, older brother Bancroft who works for the government, and the Praed Street Irregulars. This is the fourth collection of stories, but the first I've read. I definitely need to go back and read the others. I'm happy to see they're available as ebooks in case I can't find print copies. Solar Pons, like his predecessor, has excellent powers of observation...
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A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

This is the second Lady Sherlock book, and Miss Charlotte Holmes has set herself up as the supposed sister of an invalid brother, Sherlock, who is brilliant at solving baffling mysteries. Charlotte is still living with Mrs. Watson, who I just adore, and they really have the whole thing set up well. Only a few people know that Sherlock does not exist, including Charlotte’s sister Livia, Inspector Treadles, and Lord Ingram Ashburton, Ash, Charlotte’s closest friend since childhood. This book takes over just after the first, and really, although it could be read as a stand-alone, I would encourage you to read A Study in Scarlet Women first. Charlotte receives a note requesting an appointment from a Mrs. Finch, but Charlotte immediately recognizes the notepaper and realizes that the letter comes from Lady Ingram Ashburton. The situation is rather tricky, as Ash and his wife are not a happy couple. Moreover, Ash and Charlotte are secretly in love with one...
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A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

I have a tendency to read most Holmes knock-offs I come across. A Study in Scarlet Women was free with Audible's new Plus program. Sherlock is actually Charlotte Holmes. Charlotte is socially awkward, but , of course, incredibly observant and intelligent. She creates Sherlock so she is allowed to solve mysteries and problems. Women at the time are not expected to be able to manage on their own, let alone to be smarted than the police. I like that Charlotte makes her own choices and is trying to live life on her own terms. She teams up with Mrs. Watson, a widow who used to be on stage, to set up the whole "consulting detective" business/Sherlock deception. I do love both of these women, tough, independent, but also vulnerable in their own ways. This time, the main mystery centers on three deaths, supposedly natural connections, but Charlotte knows they are related murders. And proving who the killer was matters, if only...
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Unquiet Spirits by Bonnie MacBird

Unquiet Spirits by Bonnie MacBird

I usually don't read two from the same series back to back, but I didn't feel like trying to decide which audiobook to listen to next, so just went with #2 in MacBird's Sherlock Holmes Adventures. It was an enjoyable follow-up to Art in the Blood. Unquiet Spirits is a fast-paced, multi-layered mystery. Of course, all three pieces of the plot are connected. They almost always are in mysteries. I loved the atmosphere of the haunted Scottish castle and liked learning the details of the whiskey industry at the time. Holmes investigation brings him to the home of the McLarens in Scotland. The McLarens are not a nice family, though they make excellent whiskey. They don't like each other, not even the married couples. They are spiteful and put ambition over just about anything else. They want Holmes to investigate a situation for them, but don't want him to expose any of their other secrets. Holmes of course has...
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Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird

Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird

It's not often that I say this, but what originally drew me to Art in the Blood was the cover. It's simple and stylish and while it doesn't scream "Holmes" it does give us the era with the top hat and walking stick. Add in that I love a god Holmes pastiche and I was hooked. The conceit here is that an old, unpublished adventure written by Watson has been discovered and the author is simply sharing it with us, reconstructing any pieces that time has faded. I don't know that MacBird accomplishes the task of writing in the vein of Conan Doyle. It doesn't feel Victorian. Touches of modern language sneak in and to be honest, I'm not sure that anyone else can work with a character so brilliant, addicted, prone to depression, gifted as Holmes without pushing him over one edge or the other in their attempt to send him out on new cases. But I enjoy Holmes in...
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