Hardwick, who concocted The Private Life of Dr. Watson last year, now offers a memoir supposedly written (in old age) by Sherlock himself. The first 50 pages sketch in Holmes' early days, occasionally correcting Watson. (""If he had lavished as much care on accuracy as he did on striving for romantic and sensational effects, his narratives would be worthy of elevation from mere stories to histories."") Holmes briefly recalls his Pinkerton clays in America; he sets the record straight on his attitude toward women (""I am neither a homosexual nor a misogynist""); he refers to a few cases--including The Speckled Band, which was actually solved, he says, by ""guesswork"" rather than deduction. The rest of the book is devoted, however, to the true story of one episode in Holmes' life: the apparent death at Reichenbach Falls, followed by the resurrection in The Empty House. And what really happened? Well, as told in leisurely, uninspired chapters, the Reichenbach Falls incident was a hoax staged by Holmes together with Moriarty! Why? Because the two men were on a secret spying assignment for the Queen in Germany--stealing the latest data on electromagnetic waves (i.e., radio and radar), with Moriarty's scientific expertise required for the mission. There's one nice touch here: Holmes' growing affection for Moriarty--who's ultimately killed by henchman Moran. Otherwise, however, it's a rather bland whimsy, narrated by Holmes without much style--and likely to please only the Irregulars and other intense aficionados.