Harrison, who's produced other collections of Sherlockian scholarship, promises that this one will extend beyond the arcane lore and textual exegeses beloved by the flock--which has formed chapters in Sweden and Japan, Chile and Holland. And, in fits and starts, he does reach out for a wider audience. Isaac Asimov gets right into the spirit of things with an overdue explication of Professor Moriarty's famous work on the Dynamics of the Asteroid, propounding for the layman the core of the brilliant fiend's theorem. Martin Gardner argues heatedly that Conan Doyle merely chanced upon Watson's Holmesian memoirs, just as Cervantes cribbed his Don Quixote from Sancho Panza. Holmes, after all, was the consummate rationalist and man of science whereas Conan Doyle, poor chap, was a gullible and incompetent psychic who once claimed to have photographed fairies. Peter Cooper, British authority on poisons, outlines Holmesian chemistry; but it is Colin Wilson who is on the most dubious terrain: he broods over the ""Sherlockian fascination"" and situates the Baker Street Master in the European Literary Tradition from Richardson's Pamela to Walter Mitty. Other contributors include two lawyers, a pharmacist, Nicholas Meyer of The Seven-Percent Solution and The West End Horror (see p. 344), a member of Scotland Yard, and the editor--who has the temerity to claim that Irene Adler (""A Scandal in Bohemia"") was nothing but a high-class tart--Lily Langtry, in fact.