As you know, the Edgar nominees are out and I am eager to begin reading, reviewing, and ranking, but first I have a number of other books to address, Lunchbox-wise.
One that caught my eye in the New York Times book review section was In the Company of Sherlock Holmes. This book of short stories is edited by Laurie King, who writes the Mary Russell series, and Leslie Klinger, a Holmes expert.
The stories are inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and were written by some mighty familiar names, including Sara Paretsky, Jeffrey Deaver, Denise Hamilton, John Lescroat, and Michael Connelly, among others. Andrew Grant contributed “Dr. Watson’s Casebook,” a story told social media-style, including thumbs up and thumbs down, invitations to events, and chat rooms. There’s a story told in graphic novel style, by Leah Moore and John Reppion, with illustrations by Chris Doherty and Adam Caldwell. I will admit that neither of these two genre-benders were my favorite!
That honor goes to Sara Paretsky, whose twist on Holmes (in “The Curious Affair of the Italian Art Dealer”) pits the acknowledged expert against the even more clever American detective, Amelia Butterworth. Holmes underestimates Miss Butterworth, who handily outsmarts him. The Butterworth character was created by American crime novelist Anna Katherine Green ten years or so before Holmes made his appearance, so this clever pairing of dueling detectives works on two levels!
Sherlock Holmes is clearly enjoying a resurgence of popularity – I love both the Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman and the Jonny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu versions on TV – and both casual and committed fans should enjoy this book!