[Peer Review] “The Papers of Sherlock Holmes,” Vol. 1 & 2, by David Marcum

First, a bit of housekeeping: I’ve been doing enough Peer Reviews and What I Learned reviews that I’m making a new category for them on the blog, creatively called “Reviews.” If you want my opinion on games and books and stuff, you’ll find it all there. Things like the Elementary canon stuff will still be in the “Sherlock Holmes” category, since they aren’t “reviews” per se.

Secondly, disclosure: This is another MX Publishing peer of mine. I don’t know Mr. Marcum personally, but I did get these for free as iBooks codes.

The Papers of Sherlock Holmes are nine pastiches spread across two books (eight short stories and one novella). They are all classic pastiches, and quite well done — the first volume is a very nice collection of short stories that are extremely well-written and very evocative of Doyle’s style. The second volume is a little more eclectic — two stories from Holmes’ later period (1921) in the US, and a novella going into the detail of Holmes’ family. Most of these stories make some assumptions about Holmes’ later period as well as the nature of his family. However, they’re all really well researched, and make efforts to fit not only within the original canon, but also with other pastiches! The novella was particularly entertaining for me, as it ties into the Wold Newton crossovers, particularly Nero Wolfe and Solar Pons.

If you like pastiches that are evocative of the original stories, I recommend Volume 1. If you are interested in some larger connections to other pastiches and references, I recommend Volume 2. They’re both good, but they are distinct, and worth considering separately.

Both books are available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

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