cover image Observations by Gaslight: Stories from the World of Sherlock Holmes

Observations by Gaslight: Stories from the World of Sherlock Holmes

Lyndsay Faye. Mysterious, $25.95 (296p) ISBN 978-1-61316-261-3

In this impressive collection of six stories depicting Sherlock Holmes from perspectives other than Watson’s from Edgar finalist Faye (The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes), Faye draws on not only obvious canonical supporting characters like Mrs. Hudson but also lesser-known ones, including Baker Street Irregular Henry Wiggins, Scotland Yarder Stanley Hopkins, and A. Davenport Lomax, a librarian given just the briefest mention by Conan Doyle. As with her traditional pastiches, Faye pushes the envelope judiciously, providing depth to the iconic sleuth without transforming him beyond recognition. For example, “The Adventure of the Stopped Clocks,” narrated by Irene Adler, the one woman who bested Holmes, fleshes out his admiration for her intellect, and explores the impact on the sleuth of Watson’s marriage and move out of Baker Street, all within the context of an ingenious take on an untold case centered on why all the clocks in a man’s home have stopped. And “Our Common Correspondent” gives Inspector Lestrade a moving backstory that also touches on the evolving Holmes-Watson dynamic. Nuance, wit, and clever plotting make this a superior version of George Mann’s Associates of Sherlock Holmes anthologies. Sherlockians will clamor for a sequel. Agent: Erin Malone, WME. (Dec.)