Thursday, January 15, 2015

The West End Horror (1976)

Nicholas Meyer's follow-up to his best-selling first Holmes novel, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.

March, 1895. London. A month of singular occurrences in the West End. First there was the bizarre murder of theatre critic Jonathan McCarthy; the police were baffled. Then came the lawsuit against the Marquess of Queenbury for libel; the public was scandalized. And what of the ingenue at the Savoy, discovered with her throat slashed? Or the police surgeon who disappeared talking with him two corpses from the mortuary?
Some of the theatre district's most fashionable and creative luminaries (as well as a number of more marginal participants) were involved or affected by these events: a penniless stage critic and writer named Bernard Shaw; Ellen Terry, the gifted actress and loveliest woman in London; Gilbert and Sullivan; a suspicious box office clerk named Bram Stoker; and aging matinee idol, Henry Irving; an unscrupulous publisher calling himself Frank Harris; and a controversial wit by the name of Oscar Wilde. 
Scotland Yard is mystified by what appear to be unrelated cases, but to Holmes the matter is elementary: a maniac is on the loose.

Title: The West End Horror
Author: Nicholas Meyer
Year: 1976
Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Co.
Purchase: Amazon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes (1980)

Having had Holmes battle Dracula in an earlier novel, Loren D. Estleman next paired the great detective with Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. A strange case indeed.

"It is a business most dark and sinister, and before it is finished, I fear that more than one life may be ruined...."

Sherlock Holmes was right, as the savage murder of Sir Danvers Carew later proved. With Dr. John H. Watson, Holmes has already encountered the evil young hedonistic Edward Hyde and knew he was strangely connected with Henry Jekyll, the wealthy, respectable London doctor. It was not until the Queen herself requested it, however, that Holmes was officially on the case, the blackest mystery of his career! Although Robert Louis Stevenson published his tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as fiction, the hideous facts were true insofar as Stevenson knew them. Here, finally, is the entire firsthand account of that devilish crime as recorded by Dr. Watson, with an explanation of why Holmes's personal involvement had to be kept secret––until now....

Title: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes
Author: Loren D. Estleman
Year: 1980 (first published 1979)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Purchase: Amazon.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man (1985)

One of several books that teams Sherlock Holmes with the world's greatest escapologist, Harry Houdini.

Sherlock Holmes and Harry Houdini? The World's greatest detective and the king of magic–together? 
Yes, together, astounding all England and confounding the crooks who would commit "the crime of the century." Here, for the first time, are the details of this legendary case. 
Even while London is applauding Houdini for such incredible feats as "Walking Through A Brick Wall" and "The Ancient Hindu Water Torture Cell Escape," his devoted wife, Bess, fears for his safety. A rival magician is plotting against him. When Houdini is framed for espionage and incarcerated, Holmes vows to clear his name. 
So begins one of Sherlock Holmes's most colorful adventures. You'll meet such exotic characters as the beautiful and mysterious Countess Valenka, who attempts to blackmail the Prince of Wales, and Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's brother, whose bulk is matched only by his intellect (said to be even more formidable than Sherlock's). 
You'll see Houdini reduce his body to ectoplasm–and Holmes deduce how he did it. You'll witness Houdini perpetrate the most astonishing escape of his career–from Scotland Yard! And, best of all, you'll see Holmes in action: his celebrated deductive technique, his uncanny talent for confounding disguise, and his hitherto unrevealed skill of flying aeroplanes. 
The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man is a magical entertainment, glittering with suspense, comedy, and romance. It is a must for Sherlock Holmes fans, and for all lovers of adventure and mystery in a grand style.

Title: The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man
Author: Daniel Stashower
Year: 1985
Publisher: William Morrow & Co.
Purchase: Amazon.