This year marks the 125th anniversary of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s collection of the first twelve Sherlock stories. These short stories created a sensation among readers of the day. Holmes became so popular that Doyle was publically pressured for more stories, even though he killed off the character to write something different. Unlike Victorian readers, we will never have new Doyle stories, but that doesn’t mean the story has to end. These books give new life to the Holmes saga.
For over twenty years, Laurie R. King’s mystery series has followed the character of Mary Russell, a protégée turned partner turned husband of Sherlock Holmes. In King’s most recent novel, The Murder of Mary Russell, Holmes is faced with the murder of his wife at the hands of Mrs. Hudson’s son and must dig into his housekeeper’s past to finds answers. What’s there isn’t pretty. If you are looking to follow a great series, start with the first book, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
Fast-forward to the 21st century, Brittany Cavallaro’s A Study in Charlotte brings the Baker Street duo’s great-great-great grandchildren together at a Connecticut boarding school. However, this isn’t a natural friendship. Jamie Watson, a new athlete on campus keeps his distance from Charlotte Holmes, who is as odd and temperamental as her ancestor. Finding themselves framed for the murder of a fellow student, they must team up to catch the real killer. The latest installment, The Last of August, hit shelves last month.
Perhaps you would rather stick to a character closer to Holmes. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does just that in his novel Mycroft Holmes by imagining the beginnings of the civil servant career of Sherlock’s brother. Of course, Mycroft is no paper pusher. Working for the Secretary of State for War, Mycroft and his friend Cyrus Douglas are sent to Trinidad to investigate reported supernatural events and mysterious deaths. Is it really the work of a rougarou or something more sinister?
From the acclaimed writer of Jane Steele, Lyndsay Faye’s novel, Dust and Shadow, follows Holmes and Watson as they try to quickly find and stop Jack the Ripper. However, it is Holmes’ unconventional means to catch the killer that leads a tabloid journalist to accuse him of the murders. For more Sherlock, pick up Faye’s new collection of Holmes short stories, The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. Like Faye, author Anthony Horowitz tries to be as true to Doyle’s literary style as possible. His mystery novels, The House of Silk and Moriarty, are authorized by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
See, the game is still afoot.