Sherlock Holmes Society of London
Vincent Starrett called August Derleth’s tales of Solar Pons “the best substitutes for Sherlock Holmes known to this reviewer”. A particular pleasure for me is that, although Pons deliberately models himself on Holmes, he doesn’t pretend to be Holmes. However, the two detectives certainly knew each other, and we can hardly doubt that they worked together — several times, as this latest collection bears witness. We learn that Pons played an essential part in the breaking of Von Bork’s spy ring, and that Holmes, along with Dr Thorndyke and Nayland Smith, had a hand in “The Bizarre Adventure of the Octagon House”, a case briefly mentioned by Dr Parker in “The Frightened Baronet”, published in 1945. In “The Serpentine Angel”, ex-DCI Lestrade tells the up-and-coming Inspector Jamison about one of his own experiences with Pons and Holmes. All eight stories are ingenious and exciting, and they capture the slightly theatrical touch of Derleth’s original narratives, without parodying Conan Doyle’s; it’s a clever trick, very neatly done. I’m looking forward to Part II.
Edited by David Marcum