THE EXPLOITS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Sherlock Holmes (1887---)
Adrian Conan Doyle (1910-1970)
John Dickson Carr (1906-1977)
This is a collection of pastiches about Sherlock. Twelve stories in the traditional assemblage. Carr and Doyle wrote the first six and Doyle alone was responsible for the rest:
The Adventure of the Seven Clocks: Celia Forsythe is traveling is Switzerland with her employer, Lady Mayo, when they meet Charles Hendon, a suave gentleman of leisure traveling by train through the Alps. Celia is interested in him, but doesn't understand why he hates clocks, destroying them with his stick or burying them in the snow...
The Adventure of the Gold Hunter: What does the death of Squire Trelawney have to do with a gold watch (a hunter) and a jar of vaseline?
The Adventure of the Wax Gamblers: Sherlock engaged in fisticuffs with Bully Boy Rasher and knocked him out, receiving a sprained ankle in the melee. Watson is pressured into touring a wax museum in order to get the goods on Sir Gervase Darlington, a loud-mouth braggart with too much money.
The Adventure of the Highgate Miracle: Mr. Cabpleasure worships an umbrella and his wife is upset. What has this to do with the misplacement of a bottle of milk?
The Adventure of the Black Baronet: Colonel Jocelyn Dalcy has been fatally stabbed while drinking a cup of port. How is the Battle of Bosworth Field between the York and Lancaster adherents relevant to his death?
The Adventure of the Sealed Room: Colonel Warburton has been shot and killed in a locked room. A game of bezique and a fireplace poker almost end Homes's career.
The Adventure of Foulkes Rath: Is Squire Addleton's nephew implicated in his uncle's death? And what has a medieval executioner's axe have to do with it? Holmes, meanwhile, collects samples of dust...
The Adventure of the Abbas Ruby: Black thumbs, red camellias, and the NonPareil Club all lead Holmes and Watson to Oxford Street when Holmes accuses himself of idiocy.
The Adventure of the Dark Angels: Joshua Ferrers lives in the country and never mows his lawn or weeds his garden. Dark nights and seraphic post cards spell his doom..
The Adventure of the Two Women: Blackmail and secret documents lead Holmes and Watson into the world of crime...
The Adventure of the Deptford Horror: not for the faint of heart unless interested in arachnology.
The Adventure of the Red Widow: Watson marries, but leaves his bride in the lurch when Lord Jocelyn Cope is slain in Arnsworth Castle. Rug fibers tell Holmes that the perp is fifty years of age, has a malformed left foot and smokes Turkish tobacco in a cigarette holder. Holmes gets a chance to practice his pyromania.
These stories were a lot of fun, taking me back to when i first read the originals. The first six were quite in the style of Arthur Doyle; the last ones were very slightly different in aura, perhaps using a bit more detail than Adrian's father would have employed. i've noticed in the past, and in reading these stories, that too much detail can interfere with the reader's mental conception of the action. Arthur Doyle was a master at providing entrancing descriptions that drew in the reader but didn't hamper his/her imaginative facilities. Pastiches in general, the ones i've read anyway, usually are couched in the author's habitual style, with not much attempt at duplicating that of Arthur. The first six included in this volume come very close to imitating to perfection the atmosphere of the originals, and are very well done. The last six are also good, but not quite possessing the genuine ambience of Arthur's descriptions, even though they are just as enjoyable as the first six. If you're interested at all in re-visiting Holmes and Watson, these stories would be a great place in which to do that.