cover image The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes

The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes

James Lovegrove. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-789092-00-4

Lovegrove, the author of Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon, a superior novel-length pastiche, is just as adept at conveying the spirit of the Holmes canon in short form, as shown in this solid collection of 12 original and reprinted stories. The loss of a family heirloom, a dagger, appears to trigger a series of calamities in the strongest tale, “The Adventure of the Marchindale Stiletto.” After the knife was deliberately dropped in a pond, “illness, injury, and financial disaster follow.” Two untraditional, creative contributions focus on secondary canonical characters: Barker, a private detective who provides his own perspective on “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”; and Toby, the dog Holmes employed in The Sign of Four. Professor Challenger is convincingly portrayed in “The Adventure of the Challenging Professor,” a sequel to the character’s best-known appearance, The Lost World; his assistant is mauled to death by a pterodactyl whose cage was suspiciously left unlocked, and the byplay between Holmes and Challenger suggests Lovegrove could expand on their relationship in a future work. Crossovers with the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Louis Stevenson fall flat, but there are more hits than misses. Sherlockians will welcome Lovegrove’s further efforts to emulate Conan Doyle. (Jan.)