Sherlock Holmes Society of London
This book contains eleven traditional pastiches. Rather neatly, two are told from the perspective of canonical characters other than Holmes and Watson: “Larceny in the Sky with Diamonds” is narrated by Professor Moriarty, while “You Only Live Thrice” is presented by the very capable Inspector Baynes of the Surrey County Constabulary (who we first came across in “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”). The stories are true to the style and character of the originals. Each plot is carefully crafted, and the tone and pace of each story makes this a fine read. The best of the bunch is “Dr Agar and the Dinosaur”, which introduces us to a character alluded to in “The Devil’s Foot”, namely Dr Moore Agar of Harley Street. He enlists Holmes and Watson in locating the whereabouts of a stolen fossil — the impressive and newly-unearthed head of a Triceratops. This is a lively tale which also features a villain from Dr Watson’s military past.
Stapleton clearly writes from the heart, for these are tales told with great skill and deep affection for the canon. Let’s hope there are lots more to come.
Sherlock Holmes: A Yorkshireman in Baker Street is available on this site with a share of proceeds to our good causes, and also available from:
Sherlock Holmes is a Yorkshireman, born and brought up on the North York Moors, but he spent much of his life at 221B Baker Street in London. He is more than a character from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's imagination. For many thousands of followers, he still lives in their minds through films, television, stage and radio plays, and written stories. Ever since Holmes first appeared in print, people have used the stories, together with knowledge of the culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to speculate about his life. They wanted more than the 60 stories in the Canon. This speculation is known as The Game, and has included the writing of pastiches, tales which his friend Doctor Watson, and others, might have written, but never quite got around to publishing. Until now.
Born and brought up in Leeds, Robert Stapleton is now retired and lives with his wife in North Yorkshire. In early 2015, David Marcum invited him to send him a story he had written, to be included in a new book of Sherlock Holmes stories, to be published by Steve Emecz, in support of the Stepping Stones school project. Over the following few years, he has written further pastiches, including some published by Derrick and Brian Belanger. A selection from all of these publications has been included in this collection.
"Come, Watson, come!" cries Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Abbey Grange, "The game is afoot."