Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bill Crider, Eight Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Bill Crider, Eight Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
A Gordian Knot Production/Crossroads Press
(c) 2017 Bill Crider


Bill Crider is probably best known for his Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, 25 or so books about a contemporary law officer in a small Texas town, a series which I recommend without reservation.  But beyond that he is a versatile author of mystery (a PI series, among other books; 2 series of "academic" mysteries), western, and horror novels.  He has also written numerous short stories, also in several genres.   This book consists of 8 Sherlock Holmes mysteries, published between 1987 and 2009 and offered here as a collection for the first time.  It takes considerable nerve to write a "traditional" Holmes story, with the setting at 221B Baker Street, narrated by Watson, and involving a Victorian world that Conan Doyle presented with extraordinary panache.  What we have here are 8 stories that succeed in taking us into that world almost seamlessly.  Crider has nailed Watson's narrative voice (as many have failed to do) and the setting extraordinarily well.  While several of the stories have aspects of the supernatural, rest assured that this is Holmes at work, and he deftly brings us back to reality.  I have read a lot of attempts at Holmes stories, and these come as close as it is possible to come to the originals, in tone and in execution.  I'm not going to discuss the individual stories, but will note that in four we have appearances by real people used for fictional purposes and that one is an off-shoot of a famous tale  by Dickens.  If you are a fan of Holmes and Watson, you should take this opportunity to re-visit their world.

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