Was there a dark side to Holmes and Watson? An erotic encounter? Surely not! And yet the idea is somehow fun to play around with -- and that is exactly what M.Christian has done in "My Love of All That is Bizarre: The Erotic Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"
I don't know what, or why it is, but Victorian writers continue to inspire us, they have the knack of making us ask "what happens next?" and "just supposing!" Sizzler asked us an intriguing question; "did Sherlock Holmes have an erotic life?" And as writers, we responded with tales of our own.
The anthology opens with Angela Caperton's story; "The Adventure of the Gentlemen Travellers." Angela draws on the devices common to Victorian literature. A letter; and within the letter a story. During a visit to her cousin, it is clear that Elizabeth has misbehaved. Exactly what she has done, we never know; we are titillated and that makes us read on. And then Elizabeth tells her story. There is death, a mystery and corruption. Elizabeth's narrator is a voyeur and what she describes concerning Sherlock Holmes and a certain gentleman is astonishing, and very arousing.
In "The Case of the Unnatural Instinct," PM White has Holmes doing some very unique research. The story is opened by Watson, telling of a visit he made to Holmes at his house in Sussex. Holmes has retired to the country in this tale and now keeps bees. Holmes ask Watson if he recalls the case of Lana Chress, which he and Watson worked on in February of 1886. Miss Chress, was a prostitute, and has had a series of highly erotic encounters with a mysterious visitor. The visitor leaves no name, she does not see his face, but the quality of the sex that she has with him, is so profound that she wants to know the identity of the man. Holmes declines the case.
Michael Kurland's contribution to the anthology, is "The Picture of Oscar Wilde." Benjamin Barnett is a newspaper proprietor and he narrates the story. He tells of a visit he received from a very flustered, agitated Oscar Wilde. Oscar requires Benjamin to arrange a visit with Professor Moriarty. A damning photograph has been taken of Oscar and a young man. Oscar is being blackmailed. Sherlock Holmes has declined the case, citing Oscar's depravity as the reason; Oscar turns to Moriarty for help.
"The Adventure of the Empty Box." by Essemoh Teepee opens with Holmes injecting himself with cocaine. Holmes is bored and the drug makes the world a more interesting place. The story is about a secret, a mathematical formula and the Victorian obsession with invention. There has been a robbery and the box and its contents have been stolen.
There is intrigue, a mystery that will shake Holmes from his ennui. In this story we have Holmes' enemies, Moriarty and Irene Adler. Holmes outwits them both.
My own story, "Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of the Moonstone, is laced with the mysterious theft of a precious stone. Heavily influenced not only by Conan Doyle's sleuth, but by Wilkie Collins,' "The Moonstone", Holmes and Watson are drawn into an erotic encounter that fulfils every fantasy that Watson has ever dreamed up. There is also the Victorian fascination with the treatment of "female hysteria", of which Doctor Watson is of course, an authority.
And where would an anthology be, without a story by the great M.Christian? His contribution, is "The Curious Incident." A tale told through the intelligent, elegant dialogue of Irene Adler and Moriarty. The two circle each other, as each tries to outwit the other in a dual with words. There is deep intellect here, as Moriarty draws the information he requires, from Irene Adler. Finally, she tells him of an unexpected world of debauchery and turpitude.
There are twelve stories in this anthology. The writers have risen to the challenge; their joy of playing with the ideas, presented through the originality of Conan Doyle's stories, is evident. Writers are at their best, when there is both pleasure and a challenge in the task and their response to Sizzler's call for tales of the great detective, offers the reader a book that will delight. Curl up in the big, soft armchair in front of a roaring fire. Read by candlelight, tales of abduction and explicit multi faceted sex. There are voyeurs in these pages; exhibitionists too. Step into the foggy world of the Victorian London streets and treat yourself to a night of blissful erotica, crafted around the most enigmatic character to step onto the stage of world literature.