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Observations by gaslight : stories from the world of Sherlock Holmes
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Library Journal Review
In the tradition of other Sherlock Holmes anthologies, "editor" Faye (The King of Infinite Space) reports the discovery of a cache of letters and papers found in a long-abandoned safety deposit box. She claims to have put them in order as they seemed fitting, in a time frame that extends from 1878 to 1903. Six acquaintances of Holmes and Watson relate stories that reveal more about the personalities of the detecting pair. One letter is from Henry Wiggins, now a young solicitor in London. Wiggins led the group of street urchins who made up the Baker Street Irregulars; he writes of his first meeting with a disguised Sherlock Holmes, and their search for Henry's missing best friend. Irene Adler tells of one more adventure with Holmes, whom she now considers a friend. Chief Inspector Geoffrey Lestrade formed a reluctant friendship with the independent consulting detective, after revealing the reason he joined the police force. Even Mrs. Hudson, the landlady at 221B Baker Street, has a chance to reveal her fondness for "the boys." VERDICT Told in epistolary style, through letters and diary entries, this engaging anthology offers a sympathetic view of Sherlock Holmes. Faye's voice and knowledge of the original stories will appeal to fans.--Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
Publishers Weekly Review
In this impressive collection of six stories depicting Sherlock Holmes from perspectives other than Watson's from Edgar finalist Faye (The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes), Faye draws on not only obvious canonical supporting characters like Mrs. Hudson but also lesser-known ones, including Baker Street Irregular Henry Wiggins, Scotland Yarder Stanley Hopkins, and A. Davenport Lomax, a librarian given just the briefest mention by Conan Doyle. As with her traditional pastiches, Faye pushes the envelope judiciously, providing depth to the iconic sleuth without transforming him beyond recognition. For example, "The Adventure of the Stopped Clocks," narrated by Irene Adler, the one woman who bested Holmes, fleshes out his admiration for her intellect, and explores the impact on the sleuth of Watson's marriage and move out of Baker Street, all within the context of an ingenious take on an untold case centered on why all the clocks in a man's home have stopped. And "Our Common Correspondent" gives Inspector Lestrade a moving backstory that also touches on the evolving Holmes-Watson dynamic. Nuance, wit, and clever plotting make this a superior version of George Mann's Associates of Sherlock Holmes anthologies. Sherlockians will clamor for a sequel. Agent: Erin Malone, WME. (Dec.)
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