REVIEW: Echoes of Sherlock Holmes edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger

Series: King & Klinger Sherlock Holmes Anthologies

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: a wide variety of short stories, a range of tones, styles and time periods, Sherlock Holmes – in character and in reference

Quick Review: A brilliant and diverse collection reaching far beyond the typical Holmes pastiche, and a must-read for anyone who loves Holmes stories.

Release Date: October 4, 2016

***

What happens when great writers and creators who are not necessarily known as Holmes devotees are inspired by the Conan Doyle stories? This anthology of brand-new stories showcase the vast range of ways that the stories can drive new creations.

ECHOES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES is the second anthology of Holmes stories edited by Laurie King and Les Klinger (the first is titled IN THE COMPANY OF SHERLOCK HOLMES).

First, a note about King and Klinger: these two know their Holmes! Leslie Klinger is the creator of the massive and definitive annotated Holmes editions, and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Sherlock Holmes. Laurie King is the author of the Mary Russell series of novels which features Sherlock Holmes, and has long been (one of, if not) my favourite series of novels – partly due to her absolutely perfect portrayal of Holmes’ character, without any of the caricature that so often happens.

Knowing this, I eagerly looked forward to reading this collection, and was not disappointed! However, the huge range of stories that were “inspired by” Holmes pleasantly surprised me.

Without giving away too much, the stories range from the short and fun, to a few episodes that are a bit darker. They are situated in time from the 1890s to the present and very modern age. Some delve into fantasy, while some stick to the standard Watson-written format. There’s even a comic!

Many of the stories don’t really include Holmes at all; a few revolve around Conan Doyle himself, occasionally he is reincarnated: as a young girl, an American woman, a boy who has read the stories and believes he is the incarnation of Holmes, a maid, Holmes’ goddaughter… the variations are brilliant.

The main thing that makes this anthology so refreshing is that it’s not a tired refrain of deerstalkers and hansom cabs in the fog. The scope is so broad – and each story is so different – the reader gets to see the spirit of Holmes born anew in so many different ways. And throughout there are enough references to the Conan Doyle stories, including a few tongue-in-cheek references, that the stories will make even the most critical canon fans smile.

Absolutely pick up this anthology when it is released in October! Even if you only have read a few stories, or watched any of the current modern TV adaptations, you will find stories here that will entertain you.

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