The eleven stories gathered together in these two volumes share their own common feature. All have connections to the world of belles lettres, the world of literature—some to celebrated authors in particular, others to themes or stories associated with specific writers . . . . Let others plumb this collection for more subtle themes. From Maupassant to Stevenson to Fitzgerald, the authorial giants who populate these pages are explanation enough for its title. As interesting as such literary associations may be, of course, one can never forget that in the finest tradition of all the other adventures of Sherlock Holmes, these sketches depict a series of heartless criminal acts—some more gruesome than others.