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I’m a long time fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, read the originals and a great many pastiches. Loren D. Estleman wrote two Holmes novels years back that I grabbed up as soon as I found them: Sherlock Holmes VS Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr Holmes. THE PERILS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES collects short stories by the author previously published in various Holmes multi-author anthologies over the years, with the exception of one seeing print for the first time. There’s also a couple of essays on aspects of Holmes. A couple I’d read, the others were from collections I’d missed. Eight stories and two essays. In his introduction, the author speaks of his love for the originals and how he came to write them. Most have had a pruning from the original publication and an updating of one essay to include new material since it first appeared.

Some of my favorites:

THE ADVENTURE OF THE THREE GHOSTS: set during the Christmas season and from the title, it wasn’t hard to figure the direction of the tale. Still, the author has a few surprises.

THE RIDDLE OF THE GOLDEN MONKEYS: Watson is visiting a retired Holmes among his bees and meets a young author named Sax Rohmer with a life threatening problem.

While traveling into the American southwest aboard a train, Holmes and Watson meet an American lawman needing help to get his friend out a murder frame. The title, THE ADVENTURE OF THE COUGHING DENTIST, gives one the identity of those two men.

THE DEVIL AND SHERLOCK HOLMES finds Watson as Holmes’ client. Working a bit in an asylum to help out an alienist friend, there’s a patient claiming to be the Prince of Lies and he’s convinced a number of patients, not to mention a doctor and a couple of nurses, he’s the real deal.

THE SERPENT’S EGG is an interesting piece. It was to have been the opening chapter of a round robin novel and Ruth Rendall and Isaac Asimov, among others were recruited. But along the way, deadlines for other works got in the way and th years piled up until it was forgotten. Though an unfinished story, it showed great promise and I would loved to have seen the completed tale.

One of the essays I found amusing. WAS SHERLOCK HOLMES THE SHADOW?(A TRIFLE) posits that very thing, showing comparisons in the stories about the pair that such could be.

A nicely put together package, a hardcover, with each title page having a background of a map of London backing the edges.

Worth a look.

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