In the Bookcase


Book Review: The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories

The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories by Otto Penzler (5 star review)

The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories

collected & edited by Otto Penzler

816 pages // published in 2015 // short story mysteries


Presenting Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's latest anthology, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, the largest collection of Sherlockian tales ever assembled—now in a deluxe hardcover edition, perfect for the collector and gift markets.

Arguably no other character in history has been so enduringly popular as Sherlock Holmes. From his first appearance, in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1887 novella A Study in Scarlet,readers have loved reading about him—and writers have loved writing about him. Here, Otto Penzler collects 83 wonderful stories about Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the majority of which will be new to readers. Among these pages are tales by acclaimed Sherlockians Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King, Lyndsay Faye and Daniel Stashower; pastiches by literary luminaries both classic (Kenneth Millar, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes) and current (Anne Perry, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman); and parodies by Conan Doyle's contemporaries James M. Barrie, O. Henry, and August Derleth.

My Review...

5 Star Rating

This book took me on a WILD RIDE through the authentic character of Sherlock Holmes. (And I mean that in the most positive of ways.) By the time I finished, I felt that I learned about every facet of Sherlock's mind that is imaginable... and then some. In short, this book is awesome.

At over 800 pages long, it's definitely a big tome. Me? I read it on my Kindle, and yeah, I took my time reading it over the course of several months -- but only to savor each story, consider each new twist, and attempt to put my deduction skills to work before Sherlock would finalize the conclusion, of course.

I don't think I ever realized until now how much so that each of Doyle's stories follows a similar pattern. It wasn't until I saw dozens of these authors recreate Sherlock in their individual ways, yet usually always following the same pattern that I began to see some of the finer details of Doyle's original work. That makes this book enlightening to me. Not only did I discover more about my favorite fictional detective of all time, but also about the man who created him -- yes, through fiction based on his work. Honestly, I learned so much about the Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by reading about his writings through the eyes of his fellow authors and apparent fans.

This brings me to my next topic -- the variety of authors presented in this volume is unbelievable and completely mind-blowing! From writers contemporary to Doyle's time, such as P.G. Wodehouse, or J.M. Barrie, to much more modern-day writers such as Stephen King, and many, oh so very many others in between. Plus, since each story is accompanied with a short bio of each author in the book, I learned about so many new-to-me writers that I'm interested in now.

I found out that these authors like to induct Doyle himself into the fictional world, and it's fun. One or two like to have Watson solve a case and beat out everyone who ever stereotyped him as a bumbling fool. I found out that they also like to come up with tons of curious, off-brand names such as Shamrock Jolnes, etc., for their lead detective.

If you or a person you know is fond of mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, or detective work in any way... this is the volume you need to buy. For anyone interested in these topics, this book is priceless.

This is one of my favorite reads this year -- definitely! It took a long time to make it through this book... but it was worth it!! Having the opportunity to read The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories is like rediscovering Sherlock all over again for the first time.

Thanks to the author and Netgalley for the free review copy & for the opportunity to express my honest opinions.

The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories is available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, e-book, and audio format.

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1 comment:

  1. Melissa J.9/28/2016

    Wow!!!! This looks like a book that needs to go on my Christmas wishlist!!