THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES: Original Stories by Eminent Mystery Writers by Martin Harry & Carol-Lynn Rossel Waugh--Eds. Greenberg

THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES: Original Stories by Eminent Mystery Writers

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Eminent"" or not (mostly not), the contributors to this centenary anthology--commemorating the 1887 publication of A Study in Scarlet--offer little that's worthy of the occasion. The better entries are generally those that play it straight. John Lutz and Lillian de la Torre combine traditional Holmesian deduction with items of historico-technical interest--the Gatling gun and the emerging science of ballistics. Gary Alan Ruse and Barry Jones present tales in the Hound of the Baskervilles tradition, with Holmes providing the rational explanation for seemingly supernatural or delusional manifestations. And though Stephen King's ""The Doctor's Case"" is (like many other stories here) flat in its imitation of the Conan Doyle style, it delivers a neat little locked-room puzzle. Elsewhere, whimsy runs amok. Stuart M. Kaminsky's painfully contrived ""The Final Toast"" features wee Charlie Chaplin as a Baker St. Irregular. Jon L. Breen starts out cleverly--with a tale of early filmmakers sneakily trying to capture Holmes on celluloid--but ends up silly. Michael Harrison, in his familiar pseudo-scholarly style, laboriously reveals that Irene Adler was really Lillie Langtry. Joyce Harrington jokily posits Irene and Sherlock's great-granddaughter as an NYC sleuth, complete with boyfriend Watson, a med-school dropout--while droll, concise Peter Lovesey does better with a similar notion. Plus: puerile shtick from Loren D. Estleman (the kvetching of Mrs. Watson) and a dense morass of telepathy, word-games, and multiple-personality from Edward Wellen. Even by the un-rigorous standards of Holmesiana: a disappointing gathering.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1987
Publisher: Carroll & Graf