Book Review: A Dozen From Baker Street

The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of new short stories written by James Lovegrove featuring the most celebrated of fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, who was originally created by one Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  It is one one of the recent publications from Titan Books.

I have often expressed some exasperation at a great number of pastiche writers to keep having Holmes and Watson face supernatural threats or hoaxes or whatever as if they are doing something unique or original.  I still hold to that view and maintain my preference for stories to be written more in the manner Doyle depicted.  Saying that, this particular anthology is not bad.  Lovegrove does have a genuine affection for the world Doyle created centered around the lodgings of 221 B Baker Street in London that does come through in his works.

Many of the stories had already appeared in other collections in recent years, but there were a few new ones that were written for this particular volume.

Doyle’s other well-known creation, Professor Challenger from The Lost World  even makes an appearance in The Adventure of the Challenging Professor.

Toby, the dog that was enlisted in the novel The Sign of Four, gets to share his own story in The Adventure of the Noble Burglar.  That one was a bit self-indulgent and silly but not without some merit.

The Adventure of the Botanist’s Glove is probably one that I can more easily imagine Doyle writing himself.

Anyway, there are twelve stories to peruse in this collection, and the level of enjoyment and quality varies a bit, however I am pleased to note that none of the efforts I found uniquely terrible.

Lovegrove is a talented enough writer with some interesting ideas that occasionally veer way off the what I would recognize as something Doyle would pen, but he also does manage to at times capture some of the more essences of the original canon.

I like seeing what other writers come up with Holmes and Watson, even if I occasionally object to the direction they are often steered, but I think Lovegrove is one of the better contributors to the series, Manifestations is pretty solid evidence of that.

The next reading indulgence is going to be a brief reliving of my childhood when I first started getting into the vast universe of Doctor Who.  There are still some holes in my collection of Target novelizations of the earlier serials, and I recently procured Doctor Who and the Robots of Death by Terrance Dicks to help fill those in.

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