cover image The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

Lyndsay Faye. Mysterious, $25 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2592-7

Edgar-finalist Faye, whose debut, Dust and Shadow (2009), was one of the better novel-length pastiches pitting Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper, presents pitch-perfect Watsonian narration in 13 of the 15 tales in this outstanding collection; the other two are told from Holmes’s perspective. The stories are divided into four chronological sections: the first predates the Holmes-Watson partnership; the second covers the period before Reichenbach; the third dates to after Holmes’ resurrection; and the fourth treats the pair’s later years sleuthing together. Most take Conan Doyle’s tantalizing references to untold tales as their starting point, as in “Notes Regarding the Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore,” which deals with a man who vanished after returning home to retrieve his umbrella. All impressively add psychological depth to the friendship, plausibly exploring personal dynamics in the wake of traumas such as the loss of Watson’s wife and Holmes’s apparent return from the dead, in a way that will resonate especially with fans of the BBC’s Sherlock. Agent: Erin Malone, William Morris Endeavor. (Mar.)