Wednesday, December 7, 2011
More Holmes for the Holidays: Review
This is a decent collection of Sherlock Holmes pastiches written with a Christmas holiday theme. There are eleven stories in all--written by well-known mystery writers like Anne Perry, Edward D. Hoch, Peter Lovesy and Jon Breen as well as tales from science fiction and western writers like Bill Crider and Tanith Lee. And a few of the authors have dipped their toes in Holmes tributes in the past (Loren D Estleman and Daniel Stashower, for example). There are a wide range of themes from a stolen Stradivarius to a second adventure with a previous client to a puzzle involving a beautiful woman and a family curse. We also find Holmes solving mysteries for the likes of Oscar Wilde, O. Henry, Charles Darwin and Timothy Cratchit (Tiny Tim).
Just as there is a wide range of themes, there is a fairly wide range of expertise in this collection. The stories are obviously meant as homage to the Master, but few of the authors get the voice of Watson down correctly and there are occasional missteps in the relationship between Holmes and the good doctor. But regardless of the flaws, the stories are on the whole interesting and well worth the read--especially at this time of year. Three stars.