Books by Daniel Stashower

Daniel Stashower is the author of two mystery novels and a winner of the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing. His research for Teller of Tales was carried out in Oxford, Edinburgh and London. He lives in


SHERLOCK HOLMES IN AMERICA by Martin H. Greenberg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2009

"The volume closes with Walsh's irrelevant essay on Doyle's anti-Irish streak; Christopher Redmond's account of the author's first visit to America; and Doyle's own speech 'The Romance of America,' which sets a stylistic standard no other contribution can match."
Think the Great Detective never set foot in the United States? Think again. Read full book review >
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE by Jon Lellenberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"No major revelations or strong stylistic appeal, but an affecting self-portrait of a plainspoken, good-natured Englishman whose type has passed into history."
A triple-decker helping of hitherto unpublished letters, mostly to his mother, by the man who hated to be known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 5, 2006

"A bold attempt to understand a tormented genius, to examine a grisly crime and to explain the latter's effects both on Gotham's system of law enforcement and on abortion legislation."
An informative, swift-moving account of how Edgar Allan Poe transformed a sensational 1841 New York City murder into "The Mystery of Marie Roget" (published in three installments in the winter of 1842-3). Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

"The cleverest stories are by Breen and Wheat, the edgiest by Estleman. A prize should be reserved for the anthologist who comes up with a higher concept than this one."
Finally, a collection of new Sherlock Holmes pastiches based on a promising idea: conflicts between the great detective's super-rational nature and hints of the supernatural. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 9, 2002

"Intensive research renders this technological history fascinating even to readers with Luddite tendencies. (14 b&w photos and illustrations)"
The history of the early 20th-century race between independent young inventor Philo T. Farnsworth and industrialist David Sarnoff to develop and market a functional television system. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

Now that he's survived 60 stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, countless parodies and pastiches, and even two Christmases (Greenberg and Lellenberg's More Holmes for the Holidays, 1999, etc.), what new worlds are left for Sherlock Holmes to conquer? Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 1999

An elementary life of the writer, historian, and activist who wanted to be remembered as more than "just" the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Novelist Stashower (Elephants in the Distance, 1989, etc.), like many fans of the Great Detective, is somewhat disappointed that Holmes's creator tried so hard to live him down. Still, Conan Doyle's latest biographer has immersed himself in all his works, from Professor Challenger's proto-sci-fi adventures, Brigadier Gerard's Napoleonic exploits, and assorted historical novels, to his detailed nonfiction and obsessive Spiritualist output—not to mention, also, the author's phenomenally active life. The origins of Holmes are well enough known: for example, how the young Edinburgh-trained doctor, languishing in a Portsmouth practice, decided to write a detective story, basing his hero on his old medical school lecturer, Dr. Joseph Bell. Stashower offers no revelations about this or other aspects of Conan Doyle's early life, though by keeping a clear sense of context, he does scour the self-deprecation that Conan Doyle cast over them later. Indeed, if Conan Doyle had not made the serious career error of trying to start an ophthalmology practice in London, Stashower argues, he might well have remained a general practitioner with a literary sideline. Even as Sherlock Holmes took off in the Strand magazine, the author valued other projects more, such as his historical novels. And as he turned his prodigious energies to other interests—for instance, skiing in the Swiss Alps, running for a seat in Parliament, enlisting as a medical officer in the Boer War, campaigning against wrongful convictions (notably the cases of George Edalji and Oscar Slater), and finally, Spiritualism—Stashower can suggest only that Conan Doyle's crusading zeal served as a replacement for his early, lost Catholic faith and that his belief in the Cottingley fairy hoax could be rooted in his institutionalized father's own fancies. A doggedly thorough investigation, though missing a few psychological clues. (b&w photos, not seen) Read full book review >
ELEPHANTS IN THE DISTANCE by Daniel Stashower
Released: April 14, 1989

Deft hocus-pocus from Stashower (The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man), who is so charming with his illusions that the reader will forgive the bit of a nonsensical mess his plot gets itself into. Bar-tricks-for-bucks illusionist Paul, who is following in the family business (the elder Galliard was a world-class magician until he died while attempting the "caught bullet" trick on TV), inherits one of his dad's chum's trunk of tricks when the old-timer dies blowing up balloons. Soon Paul's almost killed by them too (poisoned nozzles); another of his pop's cronies is murdered (a dove trick gone amok); and yet another old pro, who also appeared on TV that fateful night, thinks he might be next. With the help of Clara, a tart but sympathetic newswoman who finds an old kinescope; hostile interviews with NYPD Lt. Chasfield; WW II folderol from the lips of the remaining old-timer (they all served as magician spies in a traveling circus); and a reenactment of the "caught bullet" trick again on TV, Paul unmasks the murderer while uncovering the corpse who wasn't. Messy and overcomplicated war set-up, and an undermotivated killer; but the pace is breezy, the magic entrancing. A repeat performance for Paul would be welcome. Read full book review >