As I revealed in my last post, my first experience of Sherlock Holmes in print was not the Canon, but a pastiche, The Seven Per-Cent-Solution by Nicholas Meyer. Of course, in the 1970s this was a pretty good choice of pastiche, so I might not be as ashamed of this as I'm pretending to be.
After reading the Meyer, I did begin to pick up the Doyle collections and started to give the Canon a proper read. But I craved another post-modern pastiche novel in the style of Solution. Luckily, because of the success of the Meyer book (which was also made into a film), my local Waldenbooks had quite a few of these to choose from. The first two I came away with were The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin and Exit Sherlock Holmes by Robert Lee Hall.
What drew me to these two paperbacks was the cover art. These are exactly the kinds of covers a budding young Sherlockian would be attracted to (I still like them). Also, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story promised an encounter with Jack The Ripper, so that was pretty irresistible.
While these did not live up to the level of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, I still enjoyed them both. They are well-written adventures with their own revisionist "twists." (SPOILERS AHEAD.) In The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, the great detective turns out to actually be Jack The Ripper(!). In Exit Sherlock Holmes he's revealed to be a time traveler.
While I didn't really care for the twist in Last (Holmes cannot be a murderer), the time travel element in Exit Sherlock Holmes is handled better than you would expect, and I've always though this novel would make an interesting Sherlock Holmes film.
Title: The Last Sherlock Holmes Story
Author: Michael Dibdin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Title: Exit Sherlock Holmes
Author: Robert Lee Hall
Publisher: Playboy Press
- Sherlock Holmes (1916)
- A Study In Terror (1966)
- The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
- The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
- Sherlock Holmes in New York (1976)
- The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1977)
- Murder By Decree (1979)
- Young Sherlock (1982)
- Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
- Jeremy Brett
- SHERLOCK (BBC)
- The Adventures of Solar Pons
- The Chronicles of Solar Pons
- The Return of Solar Pons
- Mr. Fairlie's Final Journey
- The Dossier of Solar Pons
- The Further Adventures of Solar Pons
- The Secret Files of Solar Pons
- The Exploits of Solar Pons
- Solar Pons Versus the Devil's Claw
- The Complete Adventures of Solar Pons
"Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, M.D., painted upon the lid. It is crammed with papers, nearly all of which are records of cases to illustrate the curious problems which Mr. Sherlock Holmes has at various times to examine."