"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."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Demon Device (1981)

Not a Holmes story, but I think this still falls under our charter of "cases for which the world was not yet prepared." The Demon Device features Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself in action. First published in 1979, this beautiful 1981 Charter paperback sports sensational cover art and is illustrated throughout.

The time is World War I. The British government discovers the Germans are developing a deadly new secret weapon. Someone must be sent to find and destroy it and who would be a better candidate than Arthur Conan Doyle.

Doyle is a six-foot-two, two-hundered-pound giant, and expert balloonist, boxer and airplane pilot. And he certainly can solve a ride as well as his fictional hero. But his abilities are sorely tested by the dizzying kaleidoscope of perils he finds behind enemy lines. And his prudish Victorian morality is stretched to the breaking point by the tempestuous I.A., a mysterious, dazzling beauty with very clear ideas on how she can help the embattled Doyle.

Title: The Demon Device
Author: Robert Saffron
Year: 1981 (first published 1979)
Publisher: Charter
Purchase: Amazon.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Quallsford Inheritance (1987)

The Quallsford Inheritance – "a memoir of Sherlock Holmes from the papers of Edward Porter Jones, his late assistant" – was first published in hardcover in 1986. This is the first paperback edition.


And so Porter, Sherlock Holmes's nineteen-year-old apprentice, sets off for the Isle of Graesney, where Edmund Quallsford has committed suicide.

Or has he? Evidence seems to point to murder, and rumors of smuggling and old family debts prove to be well founded. Luckily, Holmes shows up–in disguise, of course–and the Holmes-Poter team sorts its way through a lively group of locals to find the smuggling-ring mastermind.

Title: The Quallsford Inheritance
Author: Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
Year: 1987 (first published 1986)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Purchase: Amazon

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sherlock Holmes and the Golden Bird (1979)

The first Holmes pastiche by the prolific Frank Thomas. This first paperback edition contains a preview for The Dossier of Solar Pons in the back.

As the cold London fog rolls in off the Thames and Sherlock Holmes and the good doctor settle in for a quiet and cozy night by the fire, a letter arrives . . . . 
And so begins a tale as incredible as any yet told–one in which we journey back in time with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they stalk the pages of evil–from the decadent quarters of Soho to the exotic reaches of Constantinople, from the mysterious village of St. Aubrey to the familiar 221B Baker Street. Theirs is a strange search for a Golden Bird whose history is ancient, whose presence is illusive and whose secrets are both  rich and deadly . . . . 

Title: Sherlock Holmes and the Golden Bird
Author: Frank Thomas
Year: 1979
Publisher: Pinnacle
Purchase: Amazon

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Monstrous Regiment of Woman (1997)

Laurie R. King's sequel to The Beekeeper's Apprentice. First published in hardcover in 1995. This Batman paperback is from 1997.

The dawn of 1921 finds Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes's brilliant young apprentice, about to come into a considerable inheritance. Nevertheless, she still enjoys her nighttime prowls in disguise through London's grimy streets, where one night she encounters an old friend, now a charity worker among the poor. Veronica Beaconsfield introduces Russell to the New York Temple of God, a curious amalgam of church and feminist movement, led by the enigmatic, electrifying Margery Childe. Part suffragette, part mystic, she lives quite well for a woman of God from supposedly humble origins. Despite herself, Russell is drawn ever deeper into Childe's circle. When Veronica has a near-fatal accident–and turns out to be the fourth bluestocking in the group to meet with misadventure after changing her will–Russell and Holmes launch a quite investigation. But the Temple may bring the newly rich Russell far closer to heaven than she would like....

Title: A Monstrous Regiment of Women
Author: Laurie R. King
Year: 1997
Publisher: Bantam Books
Purchase: Amazon

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