Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sherlock Holmes Pastiches

(In yesterday's post, Julia praised Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk: a Sherlock Holmes novel. Today she continues the theme, offering up a few interesting Sherlock Holmes read-a-likes)

The fictional character of Sherlock Holmes has been inspiring writers for years. If you like stories in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle or mysteries using the characters of Sherlock Holmes you can try some of the following pastiches* of Sherlock Holmes adventures:

1. I am very fond of Laurie King's Mary Russell series (M). The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the first book in the series:

"Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes' pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test". - Book cover

2. I definitely would suggest The Final Solution: a story of detection (M) by Michael Chabon. The story is fascinating, moving and with a twist ending.

"Set in sleepy southern England in 1944, the story introduces a nine-year-old refugee, clearly intelligent but mute, and his constant companion, an African Gray parrot who spouts strings of numbers in German..."- From Barnes & Noble Review.

3. A strange but serious pastiche is Mitch Cullin's A Slight Trick of the Mind (M).

"It is 1947, and the long-retired Holmes, now 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse, where his memories and intellect begin to go adrift. He lives with a housekeeper and her young son, Roger, whose patient, respectful demeanor stirs paternal affection in Holmes. Holmes has settled into the routine of tending his apiary, writing in journals, and grappling with the diminishing powers of his razor-sharp mind, when Roger comes upon a case hitherto unknown. It is that of a Mrs. Keller, the long-ago object of Holmes's deep-and never acknowledged-infatuation." - Book cover.

4. A Study in Sherlock: stories inspired by the Holmes canon (M) edited by Laurie King and Leslie Klinger.

"These stories take place around the edges of the Canon and make small feints of obeisance in its direction. Holmes, Watson, and the Baker Street lodgings all make their appearance, but quite often with a twist... This is a collection of Sherlockian crime stories to savor". - Baker Street Journal Review.

5. The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: tales of mystery and imagination detailing the adventures of the world's most famous detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes (M) by John Adams. This anthology features Sherlock Holmes stories by Stephen King, Stephen Baxter, Anne Perry, Neil Gaiman, Anthony Burgess, and many others.

Dear readers, these are some of my picks? What are yours?

* Pastiche: a literary, artistic, musical, or architectural work that imitates the style of previous work. - From Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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