cover image Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Seven

Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Seven

Edited by Martin Rosenstock. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-785659-

This high-quality Sherlock Holmes pastiche anthology collects seven original novellas, most of which succeed in recreating the tone and personalities of Conan Doyle’s originals. The most memorable entry, Lyndsay Faye’s “Our Common Correspondent,” consists of a series of diary entries written by Inspector Lestrade, who emerges as a three-dimensional figure instead of a stereotyped Scotland Yarder either jealous of or amazed by the great detective. Lestrade must find a missing housemaid while dealing with an even ruder than usual Holmes, who’s unsettled by Watson’s impending nuptials. Faye blends an intriguing mystery with a plausible deepening of the relationships among Lestrade, Holmes, and Watson that could well have Sherlockians hoping for more cases recounted from the inspector’s viewpoint. Derrick Belanger offers the best straight pastiche, “The Adventure of the Heroic Tobacconist,” in which Holmes looks into the stabbing death of a Boer War veteran, despite a confession to the crime. Stuart Douglas, James Lovegrove, and David Stuart Davies also demonstrate their talents for traditional pastiche. Fans of the Baker Street sleuth won’t want to miss this one. (July)