cover image Associates of Sherlock Holmes

Associates of Sherlock Holmes

Edited by George Mann. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-78329-930-0

Mann (Further Encounters of Sherlock Holmes) spotlights supporting characters from the Holmes canon, many of them obscure, in this intriguing anthology. A baker’s dozen of clever short stories give readers a view of Holmes through non-Watsonian eyes. The leads range from Scotland Yarders such as Inspector Lestrade to Professor Moriarty’s chief of staff, Col. Sebastian Moran, who gets on the track of Bigfoot in Tim Pratt’s amusing “Heavy Game of the Pacific Northwest.” Female former clients are well represented, along with shady allies whom Holmes has utilized. James Lovegrove, author of several steampunk Holmes novels, fleshes out the character of private inquiry agent Barker, described by Holmes (canonically) as his “hated rival,” in “Pure Swank.” Andrew Lane makes good use of gossip Langdale Pike in “The Case of the Haphazard Marksman.” Finally, in this standout volume’s best entry, Jaine Fenn’s unsettling “A Dormitory Haunting,” Violet Hunter, the governess from “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches,” must consider whether to exorcise a ghost. Holmes fans looking for a refreshing new angle on the canon will be rewarded. (Aug.)