Truly good Sherlock Holmes books/stories not by Doyle

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
9,072
Are there any? What I'm asking after is

--stories and books in print (not TV, movies, etc.)
--stories you believe to be truly good, not merely passable

I'm not sure very many, if any, things will be named. It is long enough ago that I don't remember Heard's A Taste for Honey well enough to say whether I think it is truly a good Sherlock Holmes story. (I don't think the Holmes name is used, but it's obviously the great detective.) My impression is that it was at best okay, not worthy to sit on the shelf next to The Hound of the Baskervilles, etc. (Yes, I'm implying that some of Doyle's own Sherlock Holmes stories might not be all that good.)

I don't remember the two Nicholas Meyer novels, The Seven Percent Solution and The West End Horror at all well. My impression is that the second, at least, wasn't very good.

I'd have liked to like Miller's Great Detective at the Crucible of Life, which brings together Holmes and Rider Haggard's hunter Allan Quatermain. It didn't seem to be worth finishing, as it turned out.

It doesn't sound to me like A Study in Terror by Ellery Queen is really good. I assume Saberhagen's story/stories of Holmes and Dracula are no good. That sounds like pulp rubbish.

But are there some truly good Sherlock Holmes stories out there, not by Doyle?
 
I remember enjoying a book many years ago called Ten years beyond Baker Street. Holmes is called out of retirement to help Dr Petrie hunt for Nayland Smith, sadly Watson has died and so Holmes has retired alone to keep bees when he is called upon to match wits with Fu Manchu.
 
I'm not sure very many, if any, things will be named. It is long enough ago that I don't remember Heard's A Taste for Honey well enough to say whether I think it is truly a good Sherlock Holmes story. (I don't think the Holmes name is used, but it's obviously the great detective.) My impression is that it was at best okay, not worthy to sit on the shelf next to The Hound of the Baskervilles, etc. (Yes, I'm implying that some of Doyle's own Sherlock Holmes stories might not be all that good.)

It's, as you say, passable, but not really good. The earlier the Holmes pastiche, usually the clunkier it is.

I don't remember the two Nicholas Meyer novels, The Seven Percent Solution and The West End Horror at all well. My impression is that the second, at least, wasn't very good.

I remember the first as fun, the second as less fun.

[...]It doesn't sound to me like A Study in Terror by Ellery Queen is really good. I assume Saberhagen's story/stories of Holmes and Dracula are no good. That sounds like pulp rubbish.

I don't think either would satisfy you as a reader. I've only read one of the latter and it was a "beach read" -- you don't have to think, as long as the premise amuses you. I haven't tried Loren Estleman's Holmes stories, but they look interesting. (I'm not sure about "good" just interesting.) I also didn't care for House of Silk.

Michael Chabon's The Final Solution is a short novel and excellent. Part of its excellence is that Chabon doesn't try to mimic the Watsonian voice. As I recall it occurs just before WWI.

Esther Friesner's Druid's Blood is a good meld of mystery and fantasy. She didn't get permission to use the Holmes/Watson names, so created her own and managed to write an enjoyable fantasy novel.

Randy M.
 
I remember enjoying a book many years ago called Ten years beyond Baker Street. Holmes is called out of retirement to help Dr Petrie hunt for Nayland Smith, sadly Watson has died and so Holmes has retired alone to keep bees when he is called upon to match wits with Fu Manchu.

Sounds kinda dubious to me, but thanks!
 
Michael Chabon's The Final Solution is a short novel and excellent. Part of its excellence is that Chabon doesn't try to mimic the Watsonian voice. As I recall it occurs just before WWI.

I read that in 2005, but it doesn't seem to have made much of an impression on me -- perhaps to my discredit, not the book's.
 
I'm not sure very many, if any, things will be named. It is long enough ago that I don't remember Heard's A Taste for Honey well enough to say whether I think it is truly a good Sherlock Holmes story. (I don't think the Holmes name is used, but it's obviously the great detective.)
I actually enjoyed it, but wasn't it about Sherlock's brother Mycroft?
 
Could be, but here's an excerpt from the introduction by Stacy Gillis:
ATasteForHoney.jpg
 
I enjoyed Holmes' appearances in Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series; while he's not the main character, he is a fairly important side character.

Although I do have my usual complaint about the attitude of "magic is impossible, no matter what I've seen" that she gives Holmes. Too many scientist characters fall into that deucedly unscientific trap. Apart from that, though, she does a perfect job of portraying Holmes.

And there's a post-apocalyptic short story by H. Beam Piper called "The Return" (available on Project Gutenberg), where... let's just say that while Holmes isn't directly involved, a certain fellow by the name of Altamont is one of the main characters - it would give away too much of the plot to say more.
 
Two novels that all of you might of interest

The List of Seven
The Is Messiahs
both are by Mark Frost They are not specifically. about Holmes and Watson , In both books Sir Arthur Conan Doyle plays the Watson role and teams up with a man named Jack Sparks who is every way like Sherlock Holmes in the book they have stop a a mad genius Sparks murderous older Brother ( the stand in for James Moriarty ) from bringing a dark force into the world. These books came out back the 1990. They are both superb novels. :cool:
 
Michael Chabon's The Final Solution is a short novel and excellent. Part of its excellence is that Chabon doesn't try to mimic the Watsonian voice. As I recall it occurs just before WWI.

That was my first thought as well, but like Extollager I have read it before and don't remember much about it other than being impressed by Chabon's writing as usual and feeling like he at least tried to do something original with the character as opposed to just trying to copy/update the original unsuccessfully. I don't recall it working in the sense of being a classic Sherlock story.
 
No, not a classic Doyle story, but an excellent examination of an aging man wondering about his continued relevance and capabilities. For me, it's the best non-Doyle Holmes story I've read.
 
Neil Gaiman wrote a good story that involves Holmes and Watson in some kind of Lovecraftian setting. It's better and less gimmicky than it sounds. I can't remember the title, though. It's in the collection Fragile Things.

A Study in Emerald. It can also be downloaded from his website here!
 
Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell by Paul Kane It's set in Clive Barker's Hellraiser universe and it's quite good .:cool:(y)
 
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is a captivating medieval theological murder mystery. It is extremely good. I also saw the film for the first time not too long ago, and that too was exceptionally good.
 
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is a captivating medieval theological murder mystery. It is extremely good. I also saw the film for the first time not too long ago, and that too was exceptionally good.
I agree on both counts, but I must have missed the bit with the time travelling Holmes and Watson.
 

Back
Top