Myles combines fresh plots with convincing recreations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s style and characterizations in this sturdy debut collection of seven Holmes short stories. In “The Adventure of the Feuding Baronets,” Holmes and Watson attend a performance at the Royal Opera House, where an affluent shipping magnate passes out near the cloakroom after emptying his pockets, a seemingly mundane occurrence that becomes more suspicious when a dead pickpocket turns up a short time later.
“The Adventure of the Sinister Correspondent” focuses on a young woman’s suspicions that all is not right with her father, who’s been preparing “piping hot” pots of coffee immediately after receiving certain cryptic letters in the mail. Myles is especially good at giving Watson his due—in “The Problem of Hazlewood Grange,” the doctor is tapped to investigate a murder in Surrey while Holmes is busy in London, and he acquits himself impressively. Myles nails all the necessary components of good Holmes pastiche, adeptly hiding meaningful clues in plain sight and working in small character details—such as Watson’s brief, humorous interaction with a child on a train in “The Adventure of the Naval Architect”—that lend the tales verisimilitude.
Sherlockians will hope Myles returns to 221B Baker Street again soon.
A lovely and enjoyable collection of Sherlock Holmes stories bursts upon the scene by debut writer Caiden Cooper Myles. His familiarity with the characters is deep, and he manages to convey the tone and distinct Watsonian voice with crisp accuracy. The mysteries are solid, and even the touches of humor are dead on, as in “My friend was buried in a chemistry book and lifted his head from its pages much like a person forced to get out of bed.”
We can never get too much Holmes and Watson, and stories written with the respect, affection, and expertise that Caiden has for this evergreen pair will please even the most discerning Sherlockian. Highly recommended.