Thirteen authors, including Gail Z. Martin, David Gerrold, and Jonathan Maberry, come together to pen short stories innovating Sherlock Holmes, adapting and revolutionizing the iconic character.
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most iconic and lasting figures in literature. His feats of detection are legendary, and he continues to capture audiences today in stories, movies, and on TV. In this new anthology, Baker Street Irregulars, authors present the celebrated detective in more than a dozen wildly entertaining new ways. In Ryk Spoor’s thrilling "The Adventures of a Reluctant Detective,” Sherlock is a re-creation in a holodeck. In Hildy Silverman’s mesmerizing "A Scandal in the Bloodline,” Sherlock is a vampire. Heidi McLaughlin sends Sherlock back to college, while Beth Patterson, in the charming "Code Cracker,” turns him into a parrot. The settings range from Russia in the near-future to a reality show, from a dystopian world to an orchestra. Without losing the very qualities that make Sherlock so illustrious a character, these authors spin new webs of mystery around their own singular riff on one of fiction’s truly singular characters.
Stories In This Volume:
"’Locked!" by Mike Strauss
"Identity (An Adventure of Shirley Holmes and Jack Watson)" by Keith R. A. DeCandido
"The Scent of Truth" by Jody Lynn Nye
"The Adventure of the Reluctant Detective" by Ryk Spoor
"A Scandal in the Bloodline" by Hildy Silverman
"The Fabulous Marble" by David Gerrold
"The Scarlet Study" by Jim Avelli
"Delta Phi" by Heidi McLaughlin
"Beethoven’s Baton" by Austin Farmer
"The Adventure of the Melted Saint" by Gail Z. Martin
"Automatic Sherlock" by Martin Rose
"The Hammer of God" by Jonathan Maberry
"Code Cracker" by Beth W. Patterson
Ventrella and Maberry's second anthology to feature Sherlockian protagonists who are "not white British males in frock coats" is only slightly more successful than 2017's middling Baker Street Irregulars: Thirteen Authors with New Takes on Sherlock Holmes. Several of the 13 entries lose their punch by signaling the particular Conan Doyle adventures that they are inspired by. The table of contents' teaser descriptions (e.g., "Sherlock is a home security system," "Sherlock is a teenager on a Moon station," "Sherlock is Santa Claus") may indicate the originality of the contributors' concepts, but nearly all the stories fall short of making a non-white, non-British detective a plausible homage to the original. The one notable exception is Narrelle M. Harris's amusing "The Problem of the Three Journals," which features an "Australian hipster" Sherlock who becomes the "resident smartarse" at the Sign of Four coffee bar that he sets up with his new friend, barista John Watson. Readers looking for creative stories that aren't pastiches and yet capture the canon's spirit will be better served by the theme anthologies of Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger (Echoes of Sherlock Holmes, etc.).