cover image Detective Stories from the Strand

Detective Stories from the Strand

Jack Adrian. Oxford University Press, USA, $22.95 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-19-212306-0

It flourished for well over half a century and was one of the most popular magazines of its time, but what will be forever remembered about the Strand magazine is that it published the very first Sherlock Holmes story--and many more thereafter. This well-balanced collection of detective fiction from its pages (a similar anthology, of weird and macabre stories, Strange Tales from the Strand Magazine , will appear simultaneously) accepts that identification gracefully, with Holmes represented by three adventures and Ronald Knox's famed pastiche ``The Adventure of the First Class Carriage.'' Nor are the bits of Sherlockiana standard stuff, including ``The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton,'' in which the Great Detective not only allows a murderer to escape punishment but commits a crime of his own, and the controversial ``The Adventure of the Lion's Mane,'' told by Holmes himself rather than by Dr. Watson. Other famous sleuths appeared in the pages of the Strand as well, and editor Adrian includes Agatha Christie's ``The Dream,'' a Hercule Poirot story (rather more obvious than most, unfortunately), and the only Father Brown tale to appear there, G. K. Chesteron's ``The Vampire of the Village.'' Ninteen additional stories, by authors famous (Somerset Maugham, Aldous Huxley, Edgar Wallace) and mostly forgotten (sic Seamark, Richard Keverne, Loel Yeo) round out an anthology of material not generally available elsewhere and thus of significant appeal to aficionados. (Feb.)