"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."

Monday, August 31, 2015

Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Released in 2009, Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes offered a new collection of Holmes stories, each with a horror twist.


Between the shadowy realms of fear and the unforgiving glare of science lies a battleground of unspeakable horror. In vile alleyways with blood-slick cobblestones, impenetrable fog, and the wan glow of gaslight, lurk the inhuman denizens of nightmare.

Faced with his worst fears, Sherlock Holmes has his faith in the science of observation and deduction shaken to the core in 13 all-new tales of terror from today's modern masters of the macabre!

Hounded by Stephen Volk
The Death Lantern by Lawrence C. Connoll
The Quality of Mercy by William Meikle
Emily's Kiss by James A. Moore
The Tragic Case of the Child Prodigy by William Patrick Maynard
The Last Windigo by Hayden Trenholm
Celeste by Neil Jackson
The Best Laid Plans by Robert Lauderdale
Exalted are the Forces of Darkness by Leigh Blackmore
The Affair of the Heart by Mark Morris
The Hand-Delivered Letter by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Of the Origin of the Hound of the Baskervilles by Barbara Roden
Mr. Other's Children by J. R. Campbell

Title: Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes
Author: J.R. Campbell & Charles Prepolec
Year: 2009
Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Purchase: Amazon.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Revenge of the Hound (1989)

This sequel to The Hound of the Baskervilles was first released in hardcover 1987 to celebrate the Centenary of Sherlock Holmes. This paperback edition from Pinnacle released in 1989.

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are back!
World-class Sherlockian Michael Hardwick has faithfully resurrected Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved super-sleuth in a dazzling new adventure so devilishly ingenious that Sir Arthur himself would most certainly have applauded! 
A sleeping derelict is savaged by a huge hound... The headless skeleton of Oliver Cromwell is stolen...A Chinese ship's steward is mysteriously murdered... And the King of England is threatened with blackmail. A sinister game is afoot, and it's up to Sherlock Holmes and his devoted crony and chronicler Dr. John Watson to put the pieces of the bizarre puzzle together, in order to keep the British Empire from being torn apart!

Title: The Revenge of the Hound
Author: Michael Hardwick
Year: 1989
Publisher: Pinnacle
Purchase: Amazon.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cry For Thunder (2015)

This has got to be one of the most unusual Holmes match-ups of all time. Kolchak: The Night Stalker was a popular TV show in the 1970s starring Darren McGavin as reporter Carl Kolchak who uncovers paranormal mysteries and his fair share of monsters. First released in 2014, this is the just released paperback edition.

BASED ON TRUE EVENTS... a historic unveiling! Not a dream, not a hoax, not a parallel universe! Two of the most unique investigators of all time try to untangle the same mystery... one hundred years apart from each other! The lawless Wild West; the hidden world of Victorian London; the present-day hell of Hollywood... there... and back again. Follow Holmes' trail of a man who was wrongfully - and willingly - imprisoned, to shocking New World Order anarchy, to a beautiful woman who needs Kolchak to delve into the surreal past, to the shunned man who has the key!

Title: Cry For Thunder
Author: Joe Gentile
Year: 2015 (first published 2014)
Publisher: Moonstone
Purchase: Amazon

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Solar Pons Versus the Devil's Claw (2004)

Here's one last Ponsian post before we return to the man from Baker Street. After breaking with the estate of August Derleth, Basil Copper continued to write and publish Solar Pons stories via small publishers. Solar Pons Versus the Devil's Claw was Copper's only feature length Pons novel. It was released in a limited edition in 2004 by Sarob Press and today sells for a premium.

This is a dynamite book, standing out less from Copper's Pons tales only because so many of his approach novel length anyway. Hugh Mulvane spends most of the first quarter of the story regaling Pons with a freakish tale of his vile uncle Simon Hardcastle (love that name!), who dies during a nightmarish ordeal in the creepy old cemetery of his grand Chalcroft Manor. Weird marks on the ground near the body––found also around a dead poacher some months earlier––revive a spooky legend, instilling fear among the superstitious citizenry. Mr. Mulvane is supposed to inherit, which places him in a difficult position, yet he's ostensibly keen to get to the bottom of the mystery. Pons agrees, he and Parker accompanying the young man to the estate and the scene of the crime.  
Only then, well into the book, with the aid of Inspector Stone of the Buckinghamshire C.I.D., does Pons plunge into the fray, sift the minutest physical clues, interrogate the suspects, none of whom seem at all likely. Peters the estate manager; his beautiful wife Sarita; the lovely Miss Masterson; Tidmarsh, music master at the local college; Angela the maid; what could any of them hope to gain from dirty deeds? So obscure is the situation that for a period it isn't clear that any major crime has been committed. Pons, however, starts shuffling the pieces of the puzzle, begins to fashion in his mind the shadowy image of an evil conspiracy. 
-From the essay The Adventures of Solar Pons by Jeffery Scott Sims.

Title: Solar Pons Versus the Devil's Claw
Author: Basil Copper
Year: 2004
Publisher: Sarob Press
Purchase: Amazon

Also see: The Adventures of Solar Pons (1976)The Return of Solar Pons (1975)Mr. Fairlie's Final Journey (1976)The Dossier of Solar Pons (1979)The Further Adventures of Solar Pons (1979).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Further Adventures of Solar Pons (1979)

The second collection of original Solar Pons stories by Basil Copper. This 9th Pinnacle paperback was published in 1979 and has one of my favorite Pons covers.

Hark! Solar Pons is Back! 
And the chase is on . . . join the hunt as this superlative sleuth pursues his quarry through the tangled webs of intrigue, crime and murder. 
Faithful followers of Sherlock Holmes and mystery lovers alike will delight in Basil Cooper's compelling storytelling as he continues the grand tradition of August Derleth's unerring detective genius, Solar Pons. This literary descendant of Sherlock Holmes is the true heir to the incomparable Master . . . so the chase will continue, as long as villainy and crime must answer to truth and justice! 
The Adventure of the Shaft of Death 
The Adventure of the Defeated Doctor 
The Adventure of the Surrey Sadist 
The Adventure of the Missing Student

Title: The Further Adventures of Solar Pons
Author: Basil Copper
Year: 1979
Publisher: Pinnacle
Purchase: Amazon

Also see: The Adventures of Solar Pons (1976)The Return of Solar Pons (1975)Mr. Fairlie's Final Journey (1976)The Dossier of Solar Pons (1979).

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Dossier of Solar Pons (1979)

After collecting all the Solar Pons stories by August Derleth into seven paperbacks (including one novel), in 1979 Pinnacle released an original collection of authorized Pons stories by horror and mystery novelist Basil Copper. This was the first.

The Chase Continues . . .

When August Derleth inherited the mantle of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he created in Solar Pons a detective whose genius cannot be matched––perhaps not even by Sherlock Holmes himself! Now the pen has passed int the hand of the noted British author, Basil Copper, whose superlative storytelling abilities will astound and delight the most discrimination dyed-in-the-woll aficionados of detection.

Here are six spine tingling and superbly crafted tales of suspense in the best tradition of Solar Pons. Come, once again, to Number 7B Praed Street, where the inimitable and infallible master of the art of deductive detection awaits. Follow along closely as he sets apace onto the mist-shrouded cobblestones of old London's alleyways in chase of crime. But make haste! The game's already afoot!

The Adventure of the Perplexed Photographer
The Adventure of the Sealed Spire
The Adventure of the Six Gold Doubloons
The Adventure of the Ipi Idol
The Adventure of Buffington Old Grange
The Adventure of the Hammer of Hate

Title: The Dossier of Solar Pons
Author: Basil Copper
Year: 1979
Publisher: Pinnacle
Purchase: Amazon

Also see: The Adventures of Solar Pons (1976)The Return of Solar Pons (1975)Mr. Fairlie's Final Journey (1976).

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mr. Fairlie's Final Journey (1976)

August Derleth's only full-length Solar Pons novel was Mr. Fairlie's Final Journey, first released in 1968 by Mycroft & Moran. This 1976 paperback edition was released as part of Pinnacle's Pons reprint series (No. 7).

Who Done It?
Mr. Fairlie set out for London but never reached his destination. His dead body was found en route and in the lining of his hat was the address of . . . Solar Pons! 
No one had any evident motive to kill Jones Fairlie–but someone did. This wasn't the first time this clever killer had slain and it wouldn't be the last–unless the master of detection, Solar Pons, could stop him. 
Why was Mr. Fairlie carrying Pons's address? And who was this murderer whose killing were planned with utmost care? These were the related puzzles laid before Solar Pons within hours of the discovery of Fairlie's murder . . .

Title: Mr. Fairlie's Final Journey
Author: August Derleth
Year: 1976 (first published 1968)
Publisher: Pinnacle
Purchase: Amazon.

Also see: The Adventures of Solar Pons (1976)The Return of Solar Pons (1975).

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Return of Solar Pons (1975)

Solar Pons, "the Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street," returns in another collection of stories by August Derleth. First published in 1958, this 1975 U.S. Pinnacle paperback includes an introduction by Edgar W. Smith. As you can see by the numbered cover, this was Pinnacle's 6th Pons publication.

Who is Solar Pons? Who, indeed, is Sherlock Holmes?

They are inventions of two superlative storytellers...the invincible Arthur Conan Doyle of London, the prodigious and prolific August Derleth of Wisconsin.

The whole world knows of the legendary Holmes and his Baker Street beat. But only a few of the most dyed-in-the-wool aficionados of detection have been privileged to make the acquaintance of Solar Pons and his Praed Street office.

Here then is Solar Pons at his best. Only Watson himself could distinguish between the footsteps of Pons or Holmes. If you've not yet joined us in the chase, you are about to discover new joy in a tradition that, alas, has disappeared. Come, the game is afoot!

The Adventure of the Lost Dutchman
The Adventure of the Devil's Footprints
The Adventure of the Dorrington Inheritance
The Adventure of the 'Triple Kent'
The Adventure of the Rydberg Numbers
The Adventure of the Grice-Paterson Curse
The Adventure of the Stone of Scone
The Adventure of the Remarkable Worm
The Adventure of the Penny Magenta
The Adventure of the Trained Cormorant
The Adventure of the Camberwell Beauty
The Adventure of the Little Hangman
The Adventure of the Swedenborg Signatures

By the way, if the cover art looks strangely familiar, here's why:

Title: The Return of Solar Pons
Author: August Derleth
Year: 1975 (first published 1958)
Publisher: Pinnacle
Purchase: Amazon.

Also see: The Adventures of Solar Pons (1976)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Adventures of Solar Pons (1976)

Unique among Sherlock Holmes pastiches are the adventures of Solar Pons "the Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street." On hearing that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had no plans to write more Holmes stories, 19-year-old August Derleth wrote the author asking permission to take over the series. Doyle declined, so Derleth created his own detective, Solar Pons, modeled very closely on Sherlock and his world. Derleth would ultimately write more Pons stories than Doyle wrote about Holmes.

First published in 1945, this is a 1976 UK paperback of the first collection of Pons stories with terrific cover art.

In his inverness cape Solar Pons steps briskly from No 7B Praed Street onto the mist-shrouded cobblestones of old London's alleyways. 
The game is afoot... 
The Adventure of the Frightened Baronet
The Adventure of the Late Mr. Faversham
The Adventure of the Black Narcissus
The Adventure of the Norcross Riddle
The Adventure of the Retired Novelist
The Adventure of the Three Red Dwarfs
The Adventure of the Sotheby Salesman
The Adventure of the Purloined Periapt
The Adventure of the Limping Man
The Adventure of the Seven Passengers
The Adventure of the Lost Holiday
The Adventure of the Man With a Broken Face

Title: The Adventures of Solar Pons
Author: August Derleth
Year: 1976 (first published 1945)
Publisher: Futura
Purchase: Amazon.co.uk.

Check out the official Solar Pons website: www.solarpons.com. You can also Like Solar Pons on Facebook.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

LINK: The Scandalous Sherlock Holmes Copyright Issue

My favorite Holmes website I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere has an excellent article about the confusing history of Sherlock Holmes copyright and claims by certain parties. Writers of Holmes pastiche should have a read before paying a license to anyone who claims to own those boys from Baker Street.

Click the headline to have at read at I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

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