Sunday, December 10, 2017

You Will Find Some Books Over There

Last week's post centered around a Sherlockian book that didn't click with me.  I'm going in the complete opposite direction for the next two weeks and highlighting some Sherlockian books that I've really enjoyed over the years.  This week's post will focus solely on books from MX Publishing, the publisher of The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street.  Next week, my best Sherlockian books of 2017.  In no particular order, here are some of my favorite titles from MX:

This is a whirlwind tour through the canon's short stories.  The title says it all.  Charlotte Anne Walters set the goal for herself to read a story a day for almost 2 months straight.  Sounds easy, right?  Well, life has other obligations.  So whether she's trying to keep her eyes open at night or fitting a story in on her subway ride to work, Walters charges ahead.  The result of her efforts is a concise and pleasant synopsis of each story with just enough personal details to relate to us all.  This is a book I find myself dipping back into repeatedly if I just need a quick refresher on a certain story.  It's a great resource and a fun read for anyone out there.

Sherlock Holmes on the Roof of the World by Thomas Kent Miller

After dispatching Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes disappeared, spending two years traveling in Tibet. Thomas Kent Miller's "Sherlock Holmes on the Roof of the World" is the first in a series filling in those missing years in the great detective's life. This is a quick and very enjoyable read. In the book, we find Holmes under the guise of Sigerson, a Norwegian explorer, meeting up with Horace Holly and Leo Vincey from H. Rider Haggard's novel "She" in a protected Buddhist library. From there, our three characters are the focal point of a fast paced mystery. Because Dr. Watson was not around during this point in Holmes' life, this story is narrated by Leo Vincey, and the narration style is more in the way of Haggard's adventures than Doyle's mysteries. This book was a delight to read, and if you are a Holmes fan, H. Rider Haggard adventure fan, or just a fan of a well told tale, you should give "Sherlock Holmes on the Roof of the World" a shot.

A Professor Reflects on Sherlock Holmes by Marino Alvarez

I've had the chance to work with Marino Alvarez on a writing project this year and have been very impressed with his canonical knowledge and professional demeanor.  So when I saw he had a book, it immediately jumped to the top of my TBR list.  I read his book this summer and the variety of essays in this collection were all a delight in their own different ways.  One essay may delve into the educational importance of the Sherlock Holmes stories while another analyzes Ronald Knox's influence on our hobby.  No matter the topic addressed, each essay is an insightful look into a facet of the Sherlockian world, and one that leaves the reader more informed after having read it.

A Scandal in Bohemia: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel by Petr Kopl

Now, for something completely different!  Petr Kopl's colorful take on one of the best Holmes stories is one that will leave you wanting more.  That's good, because there's more in the series!  This graphic novel merges A Scandal in Bohemia with The Speckled Band, and inserts just enough new plot elements to make even an old school Sherlockian wonder what's coming next.  For a quick, fun read, this is the book for you.

Baker Street Beat by Dan Andriacco

Probably more well-known for his McCabe & Cody mystery series, Dan Andriacco's book "Baker Street Beat" is a true delight to read.  The contents of this book vary greatly.  From scholarly essays to scripts for radio plays to short pastiches, Andriacco does it all.  I read this on a car ride down to Texas this summer, and it made the time fly!

The Macdougall Twins Series by Derrick Belanger

Full disclosure: I've only read one of these books.  But to my credit, that's because my fifth graders keep snatching them up!  Derrick Belanger's series is aimed at young readers and introduces Sherlock Holmes to a new generation by using him as a character in a fun series with ten year old twin detectives.  They are a high interest series and although they are targeted to kids, they will bring a smile to the face of Sherlockians of any age.

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