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Presenting Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's latest anthology,The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, the largest collection of Sherlockian tales ever assembled—now in a deluxe hardcover edition, perfect for the collector and gift markets. Arguably no other character in history has been so enduringly popular as Sherlock Holmes. From his first appearance, in Arthur Presenting Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's latest anthology, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, the largest collection of Sherlockian tales ever assembled—now in a deluxe hardcover edition, perfect for the collector and gift markets. Arguably no other character in history has been so enduringly popular as Sherlock Holmes. From his first appearance, in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1887 novella A Study in Scarlet,readers have loved reading about him—and writers have loved writing about him. Here, Otto Penzler collects 83 wonderful stories about Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the majority of which will be new to readers. Among these pages are tales by acclaimed Sherlockians Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King, Lyndsay Faye and Daniel Stashower; pastiches by literary luminaries both classic (Kenneth Millar, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes) and current (Anne Perry, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman); and parodies by Conan Doyle's contemporaries James M. Barrie, O. Henry, and August Derleth. CONTENTS Introduction by Otto Penzler THE MASTER Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Field Bazaar” Arthur Conan Doyle, “How Watson Learned the Trick” FAMILIAR AS THE ROSE IN SPRING Vincent Starrett, “The Unique Hamlet” Bret Harte, “The Stolen Cigar-Case” Arthur Whitaker, “The Case of the Man Who Was Wanted” James M. Barrie, “The Adventure of the Two Collaborators” O. Henry, “The Sleuths” A. B. Cox, “Holmes and the Dasher” Stephen Leacock, “An Irreducible Detective Story” Stephen King, “The Doctor’s Case” THE LITERATURE OF CRIME Davis Grubb, “The Brown Recluse” Kingsley Amis, “The Darkwater Hall Mystery” J.C. Masterman, “The Case of the Gifted Amateur” James M. Barrie, “The Late Sherlock Holmes” Edmund Pearson, “Sherlock Holmes and the Drood Mystery” A.A. Milne, “The Rape of the Sherlock” P. G. Wodehouse, “From a Detective’s Note-Book” Hugh Kingsmill, “The Ruby of Khitmandu” August Derleth, “The Adventure of the Remarkable Worm” H. F. Heard, “The Enchanted Garden” Ring Lardner, “A Study in Handwriting” Neil Gaiman, “The Case of Death and Honey” Anthony Burgess, “Murder to Music” IN THE BEGINNING James M. Barrie, “An Evening with Sherlock Holmes” Robert Barr, “Detective Stories Gone Wrong: The Adventures of Sherlaw Kombs” Anonymous, “Sherlock Holmes vs. Conan Doyle” R. C. Lehmann, “The Duke’s Feather” Roy L. McCardell, “The Sign of the ‘400’” HOLMESLESS Christopher Morley, “Codeine (7 Per Cent)” Laurie R. King, “Mrs. Hudson’s Case” Bliss Austin, “The Final Problem” NOT OF THIS PLACE Anthony Boucher, “The Adventure of the Bogle-Wolf” Poul Anderson, “The Martian Crown Jewels” Anonymous, “Sherlock Among the Spirits” Logan Clendening, “The Case of the Missing Patriarchs” Loren D. Estleman, “The Devil and Sherlock Holmes” KEEPING THE MEMORY GREEN S. C. Roberts, “The Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts” Peter Cannon, “The Adventure of the Noble Husband” William O. Fuller, “A Night with Sherlock Holmes” Leslie S. Klinger, “The Adventure of the Wooden Box” Donald Thomas, “The Case of the Unseen Hand” Sam Benady, “The Abandoned Brigantine” Barry Day, “The Adventure of the Curious Canary” Frederic Dorr Steele, “The Adventure of the Murdered Art Editor” David Stuart Davies, “The Darlington Substitution Scandal” James C. Iraldi, “The Problem of the Purple Maculas” YOU THINK THAT’S FUNNY? Robert Barr, “The Adventure of the Second Swag” Stanley Rubinstein, “Sheer Luck Again” John Kendrick Bangs, “A Pragmatic Enigma” Anonymous, “Herlock Sholmes at It Again” Anthony Armstrong, “The Reigate Road Murder” William B. Kahn, “The Succored Beauty” Gregory Breitman, “The Marriage of Sherlock Holmes” E. F. Benson and Eustace H. Miles, “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” Arthur Chapman, “The Unmasking of Sherlock Holmes” George F. Forrest, “The Adventure of the Diamond Necklace” Robert L. Fish, “The Adventure of the Ascot Tie” CONTEMPORARY VICTORIANS Colin Dexter, “A Case of Mis-Identity” Thomas Perry, “Startling Events in the Electrified City” Lyndsay Faye, “The Case of Colonel Warburton’s Madness” John Lutz, “The Infernal Machine” Peter Tremayne, “The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey” Daniel Stashower, “The Adventure of the Agitated Actress” Michael Moorcock, “The Adventure of the Dorset Street Lodger” Bill Crider, “The Adventure of the Venomous Lizard” June Thomson, “The Case of the Friesland Outrage” Carol Buggé, “The Strange Case of the Tongue-Tied Tenor” Tanith Lee, “The Human Mystery” Anne Perry, “Hostage to Fortune” Jon Koons, “The Adventure of the Missing Countess” Rick Boyer, “The Adventure of Zolnay, The Aerialist” John Lescroart, “The Adventure of the Giant Rat of Sumatra” THE FOOTSTEPS OF A GIGANTIC AUTHOR Julian Symons, “Did Sherlock Holmes Meet Hercule…?” H. R. F. Keating, “A Trifling Affair” Barry Perowne, “Raffles: The Enigma of the Admiral’s Hat” Barry Perowne, “Raffles on the Trail of the Hound” Edward D. Hoch, “The Cipher in the Sand” Kenneth Millar, “The South Sea Soup Co.” Carolyn Wells, “The Adventure of the Clothes-Line” Dorothy B. Hughes, “Sherlock Holmes and the Muffin” Stuart M. Kaminsky, “The Man from Capetown” Manly Wade Wellman, “But Our Hero Was Not Dead” Stuart Palmer, “The Adventure of the Marked Man”


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Presenting Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's latest anthology,The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, the largest collection of Sherlockian tales ever assembled—now in a deluxe hardcover edition, perfect for the collector and gift markets. Arguably no other character in history has been so enduringly popular as Sherlock Holmes. From his first appearance, in Arthur Presenting Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's latest anthology, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, the largest collection of Sherlockian tales ever assembled—now in a deluxe hardcover edition, perfect for the collector and gift markets. Arguably no other character in history has been so enduringly popular as Sherlock Holmes. From his first appearance, in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1887 novella A Study in Scarlet,readers have loved reading about him—and writers have loved writing about him. Here, Otto Penzler collects 83 wonderful stories about Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the majority of which will be new to readers. Among these pages are tales by acclaimed Sherlockians Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King, Lyndsay Faye and Daniel Stashower; pastiches by literary luminaries both classic (Kenneth Millar, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes) and current (Anne Perry, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman); and parodies by Conan Doyle's contemporaries James M. Barrie, O. Henry, and August Derleth. CONTENTS Introduction by Otto Penzler THE MASTER Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Field Bazaar” Arthur Conan Doyle, “How Watson Learned the Trick” FAMILIAR AS THE ROSE IN SPRING Vincent Starrett, “The Unique Hamlet” Bret Harte, “The Stolen Cigar-Case” Arthur Whitaker, “The Case of the Man Who Was Wanted” James M. Barrie, “The Adventure of the Two Collaborators” O. Henry, “The Sleuths” A. B. Cox, “Holmes and the Dasher” Stephen Leacock, “An Irreducible Detective Story” Stephen King, “The Doctor’s Case” THE LITERATURE OF CRIME Davis Grubb, “The Brown Recluse” Kingsley Amis, “The Darkwater Hall Mystery” J.C. Masterman, “The Case of the Gifted Amateur” James M. Barrie, “The Late Sherlock Holmes” Edmund Pearson, “Sherlock Holmes and the Drood Mystery” A.A. Milne, “The Rape of the Sherlock” P. G. Wodehouse, “From a Detective’s Note-Book” Hugh Kingsmill, “The Ruby of Khitmandu” August Derleth, “The Adventure of the Remarkable Worm” H. F. Heard, “The Enchanted Garden” Ring Lardner, “A Study in Handwriting” Neil Gaiman, “The Case of Death and Honey” Anthony Burgess, “Murder to Music” IN THE BEGINNING James M. Barrie, “An Evening with Sherlock Holmes” Robert Barr, “Detective Stories Gone Wrong: The Adventures of Sherlaw Kombs” Anonymous, “Sherlock Holmes vs. Conan Doyle” R. C. Lehmann, “The Duke’s Feather” Roy L. McCardell, “The Sign of the ‘400’” HOLMESLESS Christopher Morley, “Codeine (7 Per Cent)” Laurie R. King, “Mrs. Hudson’s Case” Bliss Austin, “The Final Problem” NOT OF THIS PLACE Anthony Boucher, “The Adventure of the Bogle-Wolf” Poul Anderson, “The Martian Crown Jewels” Anonymous, “Sherlock Among the Spirits” Logan Clendening, “The Case of the Missing Patriarchs” Loren D. Estleman, “The Devil and Sherlock Holmes” KEEPING THE MEMORY GREEN S. C. Roberts, “The Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts” Peter Cannon, “The Adventure of the Noble Husband” William O. Fuller, “A Night with Sherlock Holmes” Leslie S. Klinger, “The Adventure of the Wooden Box” Donald Thomas, “The Case of the Unseen Hand” Sam Benady, “The Abandoned Brigantine” Barry Day, “The Adventure of the Curious Canary” Frederic Dorr Steele, “The Adventure of the Murdered Art Editor” David Stuart Davies, “The Darlington Substitution Scandal” James C. Iraldi, “The Problem of the Purple Maculas” YOU THINK THAT’S FUNNY? Robert Barr, “The Adventure of the Second Swag” Stanley Rubinstein, “Sheer Luck Again” John Kendrick Bangs, “A Pragmatic Enigma” Anonymous, “Herlock Sholmes at It Again” Anthony Armstrong, “The Reigate Road Murder” William B. Kahn, “The Succored Beauty” Gregory Breitman, “The Marriage of Sherlock Holmes” E. F. Benson and Eustace H. Miles, “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” Arthur Chapman, “The Unmasking of Sherlock Holmes” George F. Forrest, “The Adventure of the Diamond Necklace” Robert L. Fish, “The Adventure of the Ascot Tie” CONTEMPORARY VICTORIANS Colin Dexter, “A Case of Mis-Identity” Thomas Perry, “Startling Events in the Electrified City” Lyndsay Faye, “The Case of Colonel Warburton’s Madness” John Lutz, “The Infernal Machine” Peter Tremayne, “The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey” Daniel Stashower, “The Adventure of the Agitated Actress” Michael Moorcock, “The Adventure of the Dorset Street Lodger” Bill Crider, “The Adventure of the Venomous Lizard” June Thomson, “The Case of the Friesland Outrage” Carol Buggé, “The Strange Case of the Tongue-Tied Tenor” Tanith Lee, “The Human Mystery” Anne Perry, “Hostage to Fortune” Jon Koons, “The Adventure of the Missing Countess” Rick Boyer, “The Adventure of Zolnay, The Aerialist” John Lescroart, “The Adventure of the Giant Rat of Sumatra” THE FOOTSTEPS OF A GIGANTIC AUTHOR Julian Symons, “Did Sherlock Holmes Meet Hercule…?” H. R. F. Keating, “A Trifling Affair” Barry Perowne, “Raffles: The Enigma of the Admiral’s Hat” Barry Perowne, “Raffles on the Trail of the Hound” Edward D. Hoch, “The Cipher in the Sand” Kenneth Millar, “The South Sea Soup Co.” Carolyn Wells, “The Adventure of the Clothes-Line” Dorothy B. Hughes, “Sherlock Holmes and the Muffin” Stuart M. Kaminsky, “The Man from Capetown” Manly Wade Wellman, “But Our Hero Was Not Dead” Stuart Palmer, “The Adventure of the Marked Man”

30 review for The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    M.R. Graham

    Like all anthologies, this one is a mix bag. Unlike some I've read, though, it leans much more heavily toward gems than duds. I greatly enjoyed the strange, genre-hopping pastiches and serious "lost cases". Many of the parodies, though, relied far too heavily on slapstick for my taste.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Skjam!

    I have a fondness for Sherlock Holmes, as I am sure the majority of my readers do. Unsurprisingly, there has been a ton of Holmes fanfiction over the years. Pastiches that try to capture the feel of Arthur Conan Doyle’s prose, parodies that make fun of the detective’s odd habits, and weirder works. This is a collection of such, many done professionally by famous authors. Thus it might be better described as a big book of Sherlock Holmes-related stories. There’s an editorial introduction, and the I have a fondness for Sherlock Holmes, as I am sure the majority of my readers do. Unsurprisingly, there has been a ton of Holmes fanfiction over the years. Pastiches that try to capture the feel of Arthur Conan Doyle’s prose, parodies that make fun of the detective’s odd habits, and weirder works. This is a collection of such, many done professionally by famous authors. Thus it might be better described as a big book of Sherlock Holmes-related stories. There’s an editorial introduction, and the book proper begins with an essay by Arthur Conan Doyle regarding how and why he created Sherlock Holmes, and why he killed the character off. (The essay being written before he brought the detective back.) Interestingly, he mentions that the “arc” of a dozen individual stories designed to be collected into a book was an innovation at the time–most of the magazine authors aiming for book publication went with serialized stories. Then there are two short pieces by Doyle being silly with his own creations. There are over eighty stories all together, most quite short. They range in time from the very first Holmes parody “An Evening with Sherlock Holmes” by J.M. Barrie (an obnoxious know-it-all engages in dueling observation with Mr. Holmes) to the very recent “The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman (Holmes goes to China to solve one last mystery.) Several stories crossover with other fictional characters (three times with jewel thief Raffles) or real life people. Arthur Conan Doyle appears several times, but others range from U.S. President William McKinley to John Merrick, the “Elephant Man.” There are stories as well, about Sherlockians (fans of the stories)solving mysteries, the most unusual of which is “The Martian Crown Jewels” by Poul Anderson (a Martian detective investigates the theft of the title gems.) The selection process heavily favored stories that are historically important or are by famous writers; this means that several of the tales are not of good quality. “Sherlock Holmes and the Dasher” by the normally excellent A.B. Cox is particularly dreadful. Most of the bad stories are extremely short. Some of the stories are frequently reprinted (there’s a section of them towards the front), while others are rare. There’s period sexism and ethnic prejudice in some of the stories. “The Marriage of Sherlock Holmes” by Gregory Breitman is particularly bad on the sexism front for purposes of humor; it fell flat for me. Suicide appears more than once, although some of them are actually murders. The volume concludes with “The Adventure of the Marked Man”by Stuart Palmer (a Cornish man receives death threats, but he hasn’t an enemy in the world…right?) Most of the stories are good, but due to the uneven nature of this anthology, I recommend it primarily for dedicated Sherlock Holmes fans who will appreciate the rare tales. Others should use the library, and borrow the volume to read the stories by authors they like. (I especially recommend the “Modern Victorians” section for casual fans.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beyond the Pages

    This was a huge book with a collection of stories featuring a most beloved character, Sherlock Holmes. I confess that this was my first time reading Sherlock mysteries, but it certainly won't be my last. I loved having immediate access to his adventures. Although this book requires that one reads its content over time, it is not so overwhelming that the reader gets lost or burdened. Each story invites more and more engagement. I look forward to learning more from this amazing character. I believe This was a huge book with a collection of stories featuring a most beloved character, Sherlock Holmes. I confess that this was my first time reading Sherlock mysteries, but it certainly won't be my last. I loved having immediate access to his adventures. Although this book requires that one reads its content over time, it is not so overwhelming that the reader gets lost or burdened. Each story invites more and more engagement. I look forward to learning more from this amazing character. I believe that this book will hold much appeal for fans and collectors. Rating: 4.5/5 Recommend: Yes Audience: Lovers of mystery/suspense Source: NetGalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Monica Willyard Moen

    The stories collected in this very large book range from the silly to the serious, from very short two almost novelas in length. Some are quite good with strong clots and stay fairly close to the original style of Sherlock Holmes stories. Others are parities or almost complete reinventions, using Sherlock Holmes as a very small foundation pointPeriod I personally don’t like those particular stories and Wood have been quite happy to skip them. Fortunately, thry were in the minority, and there The stories collected in this very large book range from the silly to the serious, from very short two almost novelas in length. Some are quite good with strong clots and stay fairly close to the original style of Sherlock Holmes stories. Others are parities or almost complete reinventions, using Sherlock Holmes as a very small foundation pointPeriod I personally don’t like those particular stories and Wood have been quite happy to skip them. Fortunately, thry were in the minority, and there were many great stories to enjoy. I will probably read this again several years from now since I think it’s impossible to fully explore and appreciate every story when going through collection like this one time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    This thing was a BEAST! It took me 2.5 years to read. I quickly learned that you can only read so much Sherlock Holmes fan fiction in a row. Too many of the authors hit the same beats over and over. What I started doing was reading two short stories between each novel that I read. That made it a much more enjoyable way to digest everything. There's a lot more good than bad here and a few that rival the master himself. But please heed my warning, take many breaks reading this or you'll quickly get This thing was a BEAST! It took me 2.5 years to read. I quickly learned that you can only read so much Sherlock Holmes fan fiction in a row. Too many of the authors hit the same beats over and over. What I started doing was reading two short stories between each novel that I read. That made it a much more enjoyable way to digest everything. There's a lot more good than bad here and a few that rival the master himself. But please heed my warning, take many breaks reading this or you'll quickly get burned out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jaret

    This was a collection of short stories starring Sherlock Holmes or Holmes-like characters written by various authors. Like most anthologies, some stories were great and some were junk. But, most of these stories were enjoyable. Which was good considering how long the book was. My favorite stories involved a Martian version of Sherlock Holmes and a story where Watson outsmarted both Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. I enjoyed reading this collection.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yzabel Ginsberg

    [I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.] A huge collection of Sherlock Holmes-related short stories—as is made obvious from the title—written by various authors: some who were Doyle's contemporaries, some from the late 1990s or even 2000s, and some from the 20th century. Mostly two kinds of stories are represented: “serious” Holmes adventures, and humorous ones (the latter ranging from light pastiches to ridiculous ones). Breaking down this collection [I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.] A huge collection of Sherlock Holmes-related short stories—as is made obvious from the title—written by various authors: some who were Doyle's contemporaries, some from the late 1990s or even 2000s, and some from the 20th century. Mostly two kinds of stories are represented: “serious” Holmes adventures, and humorous ones (the latter ranging from light pastiches to ridiculous ones). Breaking down this collection into separate commentary for each story (there are 83!) would be too long and time-consuming, so I won't do this here, and keep to a more general commentary. As in every anthology, there are good things and less than interesting ones; as the editor himself wrote in the introduction, some of those are worth a shot because they were never reprinted, and were only published in obscure magazines in their time. In my case, I realised that I didn't really care about the comical Holmes stories: I guess I like my Sherlock somewhat “serious”, although I'm also known for liking heroic sociopath versions of him (see Thomas Day). Among the most memorable ones for me: * “The Case of the Unseen Hand”, which goes back on the Dreyfus affair. (And that was *quite* a big deal in late 19th France). *“The Martian Crown Jewels” — one the rare really different takes on Sherlock Holmes here (considering it's science fiction). * “A Case of Mis-Identity”, both quite amusing and clever, in presenting different points of view about the same situation. * “The Startling Events in the Electrified City” — a plot against President McKinley's life. While I still think a lot of these stories had an interest only as quirky little examples of what was once done regarding the Holmes & Watson corpus, this is a collection still worth borrowing, for want of actually buying the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories edited by Otto Penzler does not exaggerate. It is a big, heavy book. If you are Sherlock Holmes fanatic, you will love this. I am not a fanatic, but I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection. This collection groups the stories into different categories: “The Master,” “Familiar as the Rose in Spring,” “Not of this Place,” “You Think That’s Funny?” and others. In the table of contents, each section is introduced with a short explanatory paragraph. The The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories edited by Otto Penzler does not exaggerate. It is a big, heavy book. If you are Sherlock Holmes fanatic, you will love this. I am not a fanatic, but I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection. This collection groups the stories into different categories: “The Master,” “Familiar as the Rose in Spring,” “Not of this Place,” “You Think That’s Funny?” and others. In the table of contents, each section is introduced with a short explanatory paragraph. The brief section “The Master” includes parodies written by Arthur Conan Doyle and “Not of This Place” stories take Holmes and Watson out of their familiar Victorian London and place them in different eras—and sometimes different planets. One of my favorite stories in the collection is from this section. It is called “The Martian Crown Jewels” and it’s written by Poul Anderson, a well-known sci-fi author. Holmes has been transformed into a Martian named Syaloch; he looks something like a seven foot bird man who smokes tobacco and says “Elementary, my dear fellow.” The story itself is very interesting and l liked the sci-fi, alien-world setting. Another of my favorite stories is written by Neil Gaiman: “The Case of Death and Honey.” It takes place when Holmes is elderly and retired and the mystery is of a different kind. I loved it, which is usually how I respond to Gaiman’s writing—I either love it or hate it. Not a lot of in between. The satires are funny as well and I liked “The Adventure of the Ascot Tie” and “The South Sea Soup Co.” They managed to be original in their humor, which some of the stories could not. Overall, that is the biggest problem with this giant collection of stories—the stories contain so many of the same elements of SH (his tobacco, his amazing deductions, Watson’s cluelessness, his “7 percent solution,” etc.) that it becomes tedious reading the same kind of story many times over. Even the satire grew old because the same elements were satirized and often in similar ways. Because of this, I don’t recommend reading this collection like a novel. It took me over two years to read this book, and that’s because I read it in short bursts so as not to tire of the subject matter. I still did, but that doesn’t mean the stories aren’t worth reading. The majority of them are very good to excellent. I recommend this to all readers who enjoy detective fiction; even the casual Sherlock fan will enjoy these stories and find the satires amusing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Max

    Given that there are 83 stories here, I'm not even going to attempt to go through and discuss them individually. For that matter, given how long it's taken me to finish this book - almost a year, on and off - I don't know that I want to try to remember all the high- and lowlights of the collection. I will say that I generally enjoyed this. There were definitely some stories that weren't very good, and to give an example I would've much rather had A Study in Emerald than the Neil Gaiman story Given that there are 83 stories here, I'm not even going to attempt to go through and discuss them individually. For that matter, given how long it's taken me to finish this book - almost a year, on and off - I don't know that I want to try to remember all the high- and lowlights of the collection. I will say that I generally enjoyed this. There were definitely some stories that weren't very good, and to give an example I would've much rather had A Study in Emerald than the Neil Gaiman story included here. The section of parodies especially was weak, and I honestly could have easily done without it. It was nice to see a wide variety of authors, including some I've read before like Stephen King, and many more that I've never heard of before. The biographical notes will be worth my looking over again at some point to find new mystery authors to explore. I do feel like the way the book was organized was a bit weird. Yes, it makes sense to have sections for stories without Holmes and for sci-fi and fantasy stories (which included a great one about a Martian Holmes), but the last two sections seem to be divided entirely on the basis of living versus dead authors which is just silly. I think Penzler's other anthologies tend to have somewhat better organization, but that's probably because they cover wider rangers whereas Sherlock Holmes stories are largely going to be fairly similar and difficult to cut into significant sections. Overall, I had a fairly fun time reading this, and while the fact that all of these stories are by necessity standalone meant it wasn't quite as fun as reading the original canon, I still enjoyed seeing a nice cross-section of Holmes fiction from the past century and a bit. Whenever I want to look for new mystery writers, this book will be an excellent reference, making it well worth the price of admission on that alone. I think it's definitely worth checking out if you're a Holmes fan - though unlike me, see if you can read it as an ebook rather than the bulky and awkward print version.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I should’ve read the description before I checked out this book. However I did enjoy it. It is a collection of Sherlock Holmes related stories, some quite good and most of which are very short. The beginning of the book is excessively boring so I fast forwarded to the first or second chapter and from there on it was interesting. I can’t imagine that anyone would enjoy this book unless they were a Sherlock Holmes fan.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lavender

    So many stories, despite my repertoire of Holmes books I only recognized a few from this collection. It covers from comedic parodies to full length mysteries, and gave me many authors to look up and continue reading.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    Probably the best statement from me for this book would be that I liked some of it, but by no means all. There are 83 short stories in this book with a brief biography of the author of each story preceding it. There are over 900 pages. Under normal reviewing conditions I like to list each story with its author but that would simply be too unwieldy for this collection. I am the type of reader who wanted this book to be made up of predominantly serious pastiches. I wanted to watch how other Probably the best statement from me for this book would be that I liked some of it, but by no means all. There are 83 short stories in this book with a brief biography of the author of each story preceding it. There are over 900 pages. Under normal reviewing conditions I like to list each story with its author but that would simply be too unwieldy for this collection. I am the type of reader who wanted this book to be made up of predominantly serious pastiches. I wanted to watch how other authors used the basic characters and methods of the Conan Doyle collection to show how they would and could entertain using the originals as examples to go by. The ingredients for the story should, naturally, be their own, but they should be serious mystery puzzles. This collection gave me very few of those types of stories. The vast majority of the 83 stories are spoofs and parodies and those just don't interest me at all. This collection will have great appeal to readers who are collectors of "Sherlock Holmes" stories written by someone other than Arthur Conan Doyle. There are obscure stories in here that appeared only in privately printed chapbooks. There are stories written by authors whose expertise normally rests with a completely different genre. There were only two stories of this entire collection which I have read before and I have quite a few Holmes anthologies. If you are looking for short stories you most likely have not read before, and if you don't mind that some are completely awful (even Penzler admits that), and if you aren't expecting all the stories to be serious problems you will enjoy watching Holmes and Watson solve, then this collection will be right up your alley. I received an e-ARC of this anthology through NetGalley.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Loraine Oliver

    The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes was a huge book with 83 stories, two by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but along with these stories there were also stories by 81 other authors, some of them parodies and some of them pastiches, which I did not know the meaning of until I picked up this book which means-an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period. This anthology was put together by Otto Penzler, and it is a huge work, and the largest of its kind ever! In this book The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes was a huge book with 83 stories, two by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but along with these stories there were also stories by 81 other authors, some of them parodies and some of them pastiches, which I did not know the meaning of until I picked up this book which means-an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period. This anthology was put together by Otto Penzler, and it is a huge work, and the largest of its kind ever! In this book there are other tales of Sherlock Holmes told by some very well known authors as well; Anne Perry, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lyndsay Faye, and Laurie R. King to name a few, as well as earlier authors, P.G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes, and even O'Henry. There are far too many authors to name, but one thing is certain there are 83 tales, 2 by by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, and at the beginning of these stories, Otto Penzler gives a brief description of each and interesting facts about the tales. This book is over 800 pages so took a while for me to get through, but the main reason I wanted to read it was that although I had read some of the stories in school, I never read 83 of them so I wanted to go back and read them again. I am glad that I did, and I also found Otto Penzler's words before each story interesting and so I walked away with a better understanding of not only his tales, but also several things by other authors, using his characters. Also a lot of the stories it was mentioned a lot of people had not heard of before, me included. I really enjoyed this anthology and look forward to looking into more anthologies Otto Penzler has put together as well! I gave this anthology 5***** stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peter Ackerman

    "The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories" is another winning tome from editor Otto Penzler. Herein is collected a plethora of Holmes stories, mostly pastiches with some exceptions. The good news is that one does not need to dig deep to find the good entries...they all are top notch and deserving of their place in this collection. The work opens up with the newly discovered short Holmes story called "The Field Bazaar" which was apparently written to be auctioned off at such an event. It is very "The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories" is another winning tome from editor Otto Penzler. Herein is collected a plethora of Holmes stories, mostly pastiches with some exceptions. The good news is that one does not need to dig deep to find the good entries...they all are top notch and deserving of their place in this collection. The work opens up with the newly discovered short Holmes story called "The Field Bazaar" which was apparently written to be auctioned off at such an event. It is very short, but new and thus worth enjoying. Next is another slightly odd story, in which I found some similarity with the first but written by Adrian Conan Doyle entitled "How Watson Learned the Trick." And if these are not delightful to the Holmes reader enough (and I was delighted with the first two) the next offering in the collection is "The Unique Hamlet" by Vincent Starrett which is apparently considered by some to be one of the most authentic non ACD Holmes stories and I found it so myself. The stories continue from there and they do not let the reader down whether they be faithful pastiches, or parodies, or ones that only just remain connected to the subject. If you have read the original series and want something more that includes many stories that remain faithful to the originals, then I highly recommend this collection. Even people new to reading Holmes will enjoy this and not be led astray but I would still recommend going to the original canon first.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Pastiche, literary references, many different takes on a classic character, as a whole, fun to read but still can't quite compare with the original stories themselves, though some of the individual stories are quite good.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Okay first, full disclosure - I actually haven't finished the book. That being said I have read about 1/2 of the 80 some stories in it. Some stories are only a page in length, others much longer. This is collection of stories done over decades by a number of famous authors using Sherlock Holmes (or variant thereof) as one of the key characters. As pastiches go this is one of the better collections out there. Authors include P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes, Anne Perry, Stephen King (yes you Okay first, full disclosure - I actually haven't finished the book. That being said I have read about 1/2 of the 80 some stories in it. Some stories are only a page in length, others much longer. This is collection of stories done over decades by a number of famous authors using Sherlock Holmes (or variant thereof) as one of the key characters. As pastiches go this is one of the better collections out there. Authors include P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes, Anne Perry, Stephen King (yes you read right), Colin Dexter amongst others. Included are parodies by Conan Doyle’s contemporaries A. A. Milne (of Winnie the Pooh fame), James M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan), and O. Henry. Penzler has done a good job of introducing each story and providing background on the authors so if there is a story or two in there from an author you don't recognize but like at least you can followup with some of their other works. As with any compilation there will be misses along with the hits. But what I've seen so far is that there are WAY more hits than misses. Sherlockians would enjoy this book. Be warned - it's big and heavy (my copy came in at just over 2 pounds) so it's not one that you can take on the bus and read. But it's worth the time investment - whether it be just one story or several. So curl up with that cup of tea, put the feet up and enjoy! High recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    K.

    The preface is the most interesting of the collection, particularly because it notes that some stories will overlap in categories, so don't take it to heart; and that funny stories may not necessarily be funny, but they were included for historical significance. Eighty-three short stories in total, averaging 2.71 stars. I rounded up as a whole for the book. Definitely some standouts, not as many as I'd hoped. Highlights: - How Watson Learned the Trick - Arthur Conan Doyle - 4 stars (Watson The preface is the most interesting of the collection, particularly because it notes that some stories will overlap in categories, so don't take it to heart; and that funny stories may not necessarily be funny, but they were included for historical significance. Eighty-three short stories in total, averaging 2.71 stars. I rounded up as a whole for the book. Definitely some standouts, not as many as I'd hoped. Highlights: - How Watson Learned the Trick - Arthur Conan Doyle - 4 stars (Watson learning some of Sherlock's tricks of the trade, (view spoiler)[but also proving that sometimes there's such a thing as a simple (and easier) answer (hide spoiler)] ). - The Late Sherlock Holmes - James M. Barrie -4.5 stars (My strongest rating of the collection, it was a particularly fun read -- (view spoiler)[particularly when Watson is accused to have killed Sherlock! (hide spoiler)] ) -The Case of the Unseen Hand - Donald Thomas - 4 stars (This short study makes use of the (view spoiler)[Dreyfus Affair (hide spoiler)] , and examines the evidence proof against belief; which was an interesting read.) -A Case of Mis-Identity - Colin Dexter -4 stars ((view spoiler)[That there's always another perspective to the crime. (hide spoiler)] ) Ratings for individual stories, for reference: (view spoiler)[ THE MASTER 1. The Field Bazaar - Arthur Conan Doyle -3 2. How Watson Learned the Trick - Arthur Conan Doyle -4 FAMILIAR (OFTEN REPRINTED) 1. The Unique 'Hamlet' - Vincent Starrett -4 2. The Stolen Cigar-Case - Bret Harte -3 3. The Case of the Man who was Wanted - Arthur Whitaker -3 4. The Adventure of the Two Collaborators - James M. Barrie -2 5. The Sleuths - O. Henry -4 6. Holmes and the Dasher - A.B. Cox -2 7. An Irreducible Detective Story - Stephen Leacock -2 8. The Doctor's Case - Stephen King -4 THE LITERATURE OF CRIME 1. The Brown Recluse - Davis Grubb -3 2. The Darkwater Hall Mystery - Kingsley Amis -3 3. The Case of the Gifted Amateur - J.C. Masterman -3 4. The Late Sherlock Holmes - James M. Barrie -4.5 5. Sherlock Holmes and the Drood Mystery - Edmund Pearson -2 6. The Rape of the Sherlock - A.A. Milne -2 7. From a Detective's Notebook - P.G. Wodehouse -3 8. The Ruby of Khitmandu - Hugh Kingsmill -3 9. The Adventure of the Remarkable Worm - August Derleth -2 10. The Enchanted Garden - H.F. Heard -3 11. A Study in Handwriting - Ring W. Lardner -3 12. The Case of Death and Honey - Neil Gaiman- 3 13. Murder to Music - Anthony Burgess -3 IN THE BEGINNING 1. An Evening with Sherlock Holmes - James M. Barrie -3 2. Detective Stories Gone Wrong: The Adventures of Sherlaw Kombs - Robert Barr -2 3. Sherlock Holmes vs. Conan Doyle - Anonymous -4 4. The Duke's Feather - R.C. Lehmann -2 5. The Sign of the '400' - Roy L. McCardell -3 HOLMESLESS 1. Codeine (7 per cent) - Christopher Morley -4 2. Mrs. Hudson's Case - Laurie R. King -4 3. The Final Problem - Bliss Austin -4 NOT OF THIS PLACE 1. The Adventure of the Bogle-Wolf - Anthony Boucher -3 2. The Martian Crown Jewels - Poul Anderson -4 3. Sherlock Among the Spirits - Anonymous -2 4. The Case of the Missing Partriarchs - Logan Clendening -3 5. The Devil and Sherlock Holmes - Loren D. Estleman -2 KEEPING THE MEMORY GREEN 1. The Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts - S.C. Roberts -3 2. The Adventure of the Noble Husband - Peter Cannon -2 3. A Night with Sherlock Holmes - William O. Fueller -4 4. The Adventure of the Wooden Box - Leslie S. Klinger -2 5. The Case of the Unseen Hand - Donald Thomas -4 6. The Abandoned Brigantine - Sam Benady - 3 7. The Adventure of the Curious Canary - Barry Day -4 8. The Adventure of the Murdered Art Editor - Frederic Dorr Steele -2 9. The Darlington Substitution Scandal - David Stuart Davies -3 10. The Problem of the Purple Maculas - James C. Iraldi -4 YOU THINK THAT'S FUNNY? 1. The Adventure of the Second Swag - Robert Barr -4 2. Sheer Luck Again - Stanley Rubinstein -2 3. A Pragmatic Enigma - John Kendrick Bangs -3 4. Herlock Shomes At It Again - Anonymous -1 5. The Reigate Road Murder - Anthony Armstrong -1 6. The Succored Beauty - William B. Kahn -1 7. The Marriage of Sherlock Holmes - Gregory Breitman -1 8. The Return of Sherlock Holmes - E.F. Benson and Eustace H. Miles -1 9. The Unmasking of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Chapman -2 10. The Adventure of the Diamond Necklace - George F. Forrest -3 11. The Adventure of the Ascot Tie - Robert L. Fish -2 CONTEMPORARY VICTORIANS 1. A Case of Mis-Identity - Colin Dexter -4 2. The Startling Events in the Electrified City - Thomas Perry -4 3. The Case of the Colonel Warburton's Madness - Lyndsay Faye -3 4. The Infernal Machine - John Lutz - 2 5. The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey - Peter Tremayne -2 6. The Adventure of the Agitated Actress - Daniel Stashower -3 7. The Adventure of the Dorset Street Lodge - Michael Moorcock -3 8. The Adventure of the Venomous Lizard - Bill Crider -2 9. The Case of the Friesland Outrage - June Thomson -3 10. The Strange Case of the Tongue-Tied Tenor - Carol Bugge -2 11. The Human Mystery - Tanith Lee -3 12. Hostage to Fortune - Anne Perry -3 13. The Adventure of the Missing Countess - Jon Koons -3 14. The Adventure of Zolnay, the Aerialist - Rick Boyer -2 15. The Adventure of the Giant Rat of Sumatra - John T. Lescroart -3 THE FOOTSTEPS OF A GIGANTIC AUTHOR 1. Did Sherlock Holmes meet Hercule? - Julian Symons -2 2. A Trifling Affair - H.R.F. Keating -2 3. Raffles: The Engima of the Admiral's Hat - Barry Perowne -3 4. Raffles on the Trail of the Hound - Barry Porowne -3 5. The Adventure of the Cipher in the Sand - Edward D. Hoch -2 6. The South Sea Soup Co. - Kenneth Millar -1 7. The Adventure of the Clothes-Line - Carolyn Wells -2 8. Sherlock Holmes and the Muffin - Dorothy B. Hughes -2 9. The Man from Capetown - Stuart M. Kaminsky -3 10. But Our Hero Was Not Dead - Manly Wade Wellman -2 11. The Adventure of the Marked Man - Stuart Palmer -2 (hide spoiler)]

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hamish Crawford

    An indispensable collection of Holmes stories, speculations, and oddities. Kinglsey Amis' 'Dr. Watson and the Darkwater Hall Mystery' was excellent, hinting at the propriety and censorship that lurk at the back of all Sherlockian scholarship. Neil Gaiman's Holmes in retirement story is also a mystical highlight. Inevitably there are some weak patches--the parodies in particular plumb some depths--but the variety is surely part of the appeal of such a mammoth collection. Well put together by Otto An indispensable collection of Holmes stories, speculations, and oddities. Kinglsey Amis' 'Dr. Watson and the Darkwater Hall Mystery' was excellent, hinting at the propriety and censorship that lurk at the back of all Sherlockian scholarship. Neil Gaiman's Holmes in retirement story is also a mystical highlight. Inevitably there are some weak patches--the parodies in particular plumb some depths--but the variety is surely part of the appeal of such a mammoth collection. Well put together by Otto Penzler.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert Cole

    What fun! I've adored Holmes and Watson since I was a boy. I've read and, many times, re-read Conan Doyle's creations. I've read the efforts--- some far more successful than others--- of the countless authors who have tried their hand at Holmesian tales. So what's not to like about this collection, especially curated as it was by someone who certainly knows his way around this particular universe. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Some contributions much more than others, of course. My favorite? "The What fun! I've adored Holmes and Watson since I was a boy. I've read and, many times, re-read Conan Doyle's creations. I've read the efforts--- some far more successful than others--- of the countless authors who have tried their hand at Holmesian tales. So what's not to like about this collection, especially curated as it was by someone who certainly knows his way around this particular universe. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Some contributions much more than others, of course. My favorite? "The Case of Death and Honey," by Neil Gaiman, who can do ANYthing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Tam

    I definitely have not read enough Sherlock Holmes, and I need to rectify that stat. This was a great anthology of new stories about the famed detective character by new authors, a great anthology of fanfic basically. Packed with tons of gems, some serious, some lighthearted. Great book overall! Really liked: Manly Wade Wellman, Ann Perry; Stephen King (Of course!); Neil Gaiman (also, of course!); Poul Anderson; etc.

  21. 4 out of 5

    LGandT

    I understand now that I prefer the original canon. I don't need the same details rewritten a thousand times by different authors. I would highly recommend it to any other fan looking for variety past Doyle. I read most of it and those stories I did enjoy. Though upon borrowing it from the library, I learned I prefer the originals or single stories in a single book form, just not so many all in one place.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Conrad

    A huge book; you're not going to like everything; but the breadth of coverage is amazing. The editor seems to have thrown in one (or more) of everything he could find, and that's a lot. Some stories are delicious, some strange, some should have been left out, but any Sherlock fan will enjoy this, even if they never finish it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Grisham

    It’s hard to review an anthology- I’m giving this only three stars because I felt that in an attempt to showcase a wide range of “sherlockian” attempts, the quality of some of the included stories was poor to unreadably bad. I’m a fan of a the few compilations I’ve read edited by Otto Penzler, but this one just didn’t quite have the same quality.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I've made it about half way through the book so far. It is a very large book of Sherlock Holmes inspired short stories. It makes it hard to judge the overall book because some stories are good and others are not great. I do enjoy the author bios before each story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Moaiad

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The best book

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Lind

    A wonderful collection of short stories by some of the best writers who ever put pen to paper

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela Smith

    Finally!! Really liked some of the stories though.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Xandi

    Phew this was a long read. They're not kidding about the "big book" part. I loved many of the stories, but in future would just pick and choose some rather than slogging through the whole anthology.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Really liked it. Definitely preferred the stories that take Holmes and Watson seriously over the parodies.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Readtolead1

    Please note that this book is a collection of parodies and short stories by famous authors like Neil Gaiman. Only one of them is actually written by Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes. If you want to read genuine Sherlock Holmes stories, then you should find another book.

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