Monday, February 1, 2016

The Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes

The Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes: A Penny Dreadful Review

            I am certain that we can all agree that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not write enough Sherlock Holmes stories. My personal favorite is “The Adventure of the Dying Detective.” Imagine my delight at discovering that someone has discovered (written, rather) several new stories and collected them in a series of paperbacks. The Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes came into my hands recently, and I’m glad to say that I enjoyed it very much.
            Presented as a series of cases that Dr. Watson could not publish while the subjects lived, The Secret Notebooks contains all the clever deductions and mystifying problems of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. June Thomson, of course the author, captures the feel of the characters so artfully that one really does believe that these are the lost works of Dr. Watson.
             I particularly enjoyed the clever method of hiding stolen jewelry employed in “The Case of the Aluminum Crutch,” a story in which Sherlock foils a trio of jewel thieves.
            One aspect of this book is quite educational. Included in each story are a series of footnotes, clarifying the identities of certain characters or relating some fact about the accepted Sherlock canon. I learned quite a bit about the original works by reading this book, and I must say that June Thomson must be quite a scholar. One of the adventures, “The Case of the Gustaffson Stone,” is taken from an allusion in a commonly read Sherlock Holmes mystery. It is the imagining of an adventure based on a line Sir Arthur wrote!
             I award this collection of short stories four gears out of five. It is one of several works, and I hope to track down the others!

Your Correspondent from the Bookstore,

Penny J. Merriweather

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