"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."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Beekeeper's Apprentice (1996)

The Beekeeper's Apprentice or On The Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King is another Holmes pastiche that I think would make a great movie or TV miniseries. Originally published in hardcover in 1994, this Batman paperback is from 1996.


In 1915, long since retired from his observations of criminal humanity, Sherlock Holmes is engaged in a reclusive study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. Never did he think to meet an intellect to match his own–until his acquaintance with Miss Mary Russell, a very modern fifteen-year-old whose mental acuity is equaled only by her audacity, tenacity, and penchant for trousers and cloth caps, unthinkable in any young lady of Holmes's own generation.

Under Holmes's sardonic tutelage, Russell hones her talent for deduction, disguises, and danger; in the chilling case of a landowner's mysterious fever, and in the kidnapping of an American senator's daughter in the wilds of Wales. But her ultimate challenge is yet to come. A near-fatal bomb on her doorstep–and another on Holmes's–send the two sleuths on the trail of a murderer whose machinations scatter meaningless clues and seem utterly without motive. The villain's objective, however, is quite unequivocal:  to end Russell and Holmes's partnership–and then their lives.

Title: The Beekeeper's Apprentice
Author: Laurie R. King
Year: 1996
Publisher: Bantam Books
Purchase: Amazon

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sherlock Holmes and the Houdini Birthright (1995)

Holmes and Houdini set out to save Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from fraudulent psychics.

Here's another Sherlock Holmes pastiche from the fertile pen of Val Andrew. Again two areas of mystery are linked: the exploits of Shelock Holmes and the secrets of master escapologist, Harry Houdini. Doctor Watson's collaborator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, finds himself drawn into the world of fake psychics and Houdini is anxious for Holmes to unmask the perpertrators who prey on the innocent t believers.

Once he has been torn away from his beekeeping activities, Holmes's investigations lead him to some surprising locations including a Ruritanian castle. Sherlockians, historians and magic buffs will all be intrigued and delighted with this classic detective story which links fact and a little fiction to suggest what may have happened to Houdini after death.

Again .... the game is afoot.

Title: Sherlock Holmes and the Houdini Birthright
Author: Val Andrew
Year: 1995
Publisher: Breese Books
Purchase: Amazon

Monday, June 22, 2015

Night Break (2015)

The eight (and final?) installment in Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock Holmes series.

Sherlock's mother has died, his father has disappeared in India and his sister is acting strangely. The Holmes family seems to be falling apart, and not even brother Mycroft can keep it together. But while Sherlock is worrying about all of this, a man living nearby vanishes in his own house while Sherlock and Mycroft are visiting. Where did he go, and what is the connection with a massive canal being built in Egypt? The answer will rock the world, and tear the Holmes family apart!

Another fast-paced, brilliantly plotted adventure in Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock series as the teenage Sherlock Holmes investigates a new crime and comes up against a fresh crop of sinister, clever crooks.

Other books in the series are: Death Cloud (2010), Red Leech (2010), Black Ice (2011), Fire Storm (2011), Snake Bite (2012), Knife Edge (2013), and Stone Cold (2014).

Title: Young Sherlock: Night Break
Author: Andrew Lane
Year: 2015
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Purchase: Amazon.co.uk

UPDATE: As to the future of this series, I received this tweeted response from author Andrew Lane:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Exit Sherlock Holmes (1987)

This is a 1987 UK paperback edition of Robert Lee Hall's intriguing novel, Exit Sherlock Holmes. I always thought this one would have made a good movie.

October 1903. Moriarty is back in London–he too survived the Reichenbach Falls. Holmes goes to ground, leaving Watson like so much bait to draw the quarry. But the subsequent astonishing revelation and confrontation at 221B Baker Street is only the first in a shattering series of blows to be dealt Watson's (and our) view of Holmes. Until now we have known only the skimpiest details of his early life–and then only what he himself, a fiercely secretive man, chose to reveal. Where did he acquire his many different skills? Why did he tell Watson so little about his brother Mycroft? And what was the true relationship between Holmes and his arch foe Moriarty? Mysteries and enigmas rise to envelop Watson in his quest for the truth like the yellow fogs of Victorian London. Can he ever pin down the true identities of Holmes and Moriarty–and the true meaning of their lifelong duel?

Title: Exit Sherlock Holmes
Author: Robert Lee Hall
Year: 1987 (first published 1977)
Publisher: Grafton
Purchase: Amazon.co.uk.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Becoming Holmes (2014)

Not to be confused with Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock Holmes books, this unofficial series about "The Boy Sherlock Holmes" ran for six books between 2009 and 2014. As the cover states, this was his last adventure.

It is the summer of 1870 in London, and death seems to be everywhere; at least it feels that way to Sherlock Holmes. Almost seventeen now, he cannot shake the blackness that has descended upon him. And somewhere out there in the darkness, Sherlock's great enemy, the villainous Malefactor, is spinning his web of evil, planning who knows what. 
Only one thing can rouse the young detective from the depths of despair: the possibility of justice. Through information gleaned from his brother, Mycroft, Holmes uncovers a new and terrible plot unleashed by his nemesis. Prepared to do anything to stop Malefactor, Sherlock sets out to destroy his rival and bring him and his henchmen down, once and for all. Everything in the brilliant boy's life changes as death knocks again.... In this shocking and spine-tingling conclusion to the series, Sherlock Holmes transforms, becoming the immortal master of criminal detection.

Title: Becoming Holmes
Author: Shane Peacock
Year: 2014
Publisher: Tundra Books
Purchase: Amazon.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christopher Lee, 1922-2015

Sir Christopher Lee has passed away at age 93. Lee played Sherlock Holmes in the 1962 film Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, and in two television movies, Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991) and Incident at Victoria Falls (1992). He played Mycroft Holmes in the 1970 film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, and played Sir Henry Baskerville in the 1959 Hammer production of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

You can read his full obituary at BBC.com.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sherlock Holmes (1916) screens in San Francisco

William Gillette's recently discovered 1916 silent film version of his famous stage play Sherlock Holmes screened at the Castro Theatre in San Fransisco last Sunday. I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere has a full report and review. The film will be released on Blu-ray in October.

Read Sherlock Holmes in San Francisco: The Triumph of William Gillette at I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

Pre-order Sherlock Holmes on Blu-ray at Amazon.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula (1978)

I could hardly believe my eyes when I found this on bookstore shelves back in 1978. My two great interests combined: Sherlock Holmes and Dracula!

A mysterious schooner runs aground in an English harbor. Its cargo is fifty boxes of earth; its only living passenger, a black dog. The captain's body is lashed to the wheel––lifeless, drained of blood. Soon, a rash of bizarre nocturnal crimes terrifies London. This, plainly, is the work of Count Dracula. And just as plainly, it is a case for Sherlock Holmes. Lovers of the Holmes stories will find their hero here in a new role––avenger in a realm where pale corpses, rising from their graves, go forth by night to feast on blood...

Title: Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula or The Adventure of the Sanguinary Count
Author: Loren D. Estleman
Year: 1978
Publisher: Penguin
Purchase: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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