"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, September 26, 2017

A Samba for Sherlock (1998)

Sherlock Holmes heads to Rio de Janeiro in the 1998 novel originally published in Brazil.

Set in Rio de Janeiro in 1886, this internationally acclaimed literary thriller opens with the theft of a priceless Stradivarius violin that has been presented by Dom Pedro, emperor of Brazil, to his favorite mistress. At the same time a hideously inventive killer is prowling the boulevards and back alleys of Rio, leaving a violin string entangled in the intimate parts of his beautiful victims. Only one man possesses the genius, the valor, and the discretion that both cases demand: Sherlock Holmes. 
In this witty, charming, and highly original novel, the Brazilian author Jô Soares boldly reimagines Conan Doyle's legendary sleuth, introducing a very distracted and debauched Sherlock Holmes, one who trades cocaine for "Indian cigarettes" and falls head over heels for a sultry actress. Overflowing with suspense and historical erudition, A Samba for Sherlock is a novel that combines the authenticity of The Alienist with the exuberant fantasy of carnaval.

Title: A Samba for Sherlock
Author: Jô Soares
Year: 1998
Publisher: Vintage
Purchase: Amazon (U.S.) | Amazon (UK)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Globe Murders (1997)

Holmes and Watson tackle a Shakespearian murder mystery. This was the first of a series of Holmes pastiches by Barry Day published as mass market originals by Oberon Books.

London 1889 and a matter of grave national importance. American impresario, Florenz Adler, has rebuilt Shakespeare's Globe playhouse. Then grand opening is to take place in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Amidst the excitement, the actors receive sinister warnings in the form of cryptic quotations from Shakespeare's plays and a drawing of a rose. A hoax? A literary joke? But not for long – the joke turns sour as the murders begin, each an exact copy of a death in a Shakespeare play. Even the Queen receives a warning, and so Sherlock Holmes is called in to fathom out the plot – assisted, of course, by Dr. Watson.

Title: Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Globe Murders
Author: Barry Day
Year: 1997
Publisher: Oberon Books
Purchase: Amazon (U.S.) | Amazon (UK).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Crucifer of Blood (1979)

Paul Giovanni's semi-original Sherlock Holmes play is based largely on Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four.

Unpack your deerstalker cap, your calabash pipe and your pocket magnifying glass––the great detective is back! It seems that, among the effects of the renowned Dr. John Watson, was found a memoir which begins: 
"The dreadful case of the blood crucifer occurred in London in 1887 and formed one of the most painful and alarming episodes in my long association with Mr. Sherlock Holmes. We were young, and most of our career lay before us. If some other hand be tempted to present it to the public in narrative form, it will, I hope, become apparent why I considered it best to leave unrendered, the heart of this appalling story. 
It begun, some thirty years before, in India, during the Great Mutiny of the Red Fort of Agra..." 
Thus, playwright Paul Giovanni has stepped into the illustrious shoes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and presented an ever-increasing audience of Holmesian admirers with a new spine-chiller. 
From The Red Fort's hundred gates to an opium den in London's Limshouse district, Holmes' astounding deductive powers unravel the mystery of a bloody curse. Nefarious actions and delicious thrills abound.

When The Crucifer of Blood played in Los Angeles in 1980-81, it featured Charlton Heston as the great detective. But check out who is second billed as Dr. Watson!

Title: The Crucifer of Blood
Author: Paul Giovanni
Year: 1979
Publisher: Nelson Doubleday
Purchase: Amazon.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sherlock Holmes: My Life and Crimes (1986)

A fictional biography of Sherlock Holmes by the prolific Sherlockian writer Michael Hardwick.

Sherlock Holmes settled back into his chair, filled his pip with tobacco, and, with a nightcap libation in hand, found his mind drifting over the career that had made him the most famous detective in the world. Although his old friend Dr. Watson believed that he has chronicled faithfully many of his cases, the time had come to set the record straight.... 
This fictional biography by a Holmesian expert and biographer of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the first totally convincing account of the great detective's life. A vanished world is magnificently evoked as Holmes recounts a career that began with methodical self-training in criminal investigation, an apprenticeship with the famous Pinkerton Agency in Chicago, a fateful meeting with Dr. Watson in the laboratory of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and the move to Baker Street, which began their long partnership in adventure. Holmes also reveals the sensational details of what really append at his confrontation with his archenemy Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls and during the three "missing" years before he tuned up again in Dr. Watson's rooms in London. 
Ingeniously based on Sherlockian scholarship, this book demonstrates the author's uncanny abilities to use the immortal characters and their surroundings with an understanding that has been praised as making the book worthy of a place alongside the great originals.

Title: Sherlock Holmes: My Life and Crimes
Author: Michael Hardwick
Year: 1986
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Purchase: Amazon (U.S.) | Amazon (UK).

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Secret Files of Sherlock Holmes (1994)

More untold tales from Watson's inexhaustible battered tin dispatch box. This is the first of several collections by June Thomson.

Out of the blue - in 1939, in rooms at All Saints College, Oxford - a certain Miss Adelina McWhirter paid a visit to another Dr. John Watson, leaving behind, after an exchange of money, a beat-up metal box full of old papers. But the volatile political circumstances of the day (the bombing of Britain, etc.) kept this second Watson, himself a Sherlockian scholar, from then publishing what he had fortuitously acquired. There are no such obstacles in the present day. And thanks to Aubrey B. Watson, heir to the precious cache, seven heretofore untold cases investigated by Sherlock Holmes with the assistance of the always estimable Watson can be laid before the expectant public.

Title: The Secret Files of Sherlock Holmes
Author: June Thomson
Year: 1994
Publisher: Otto Penzler Books
Purchase: Amazon (U.S.) | Amazon (UK).

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