When I first saw this being advertised for pre-order on Amazon, I wasn't sure whether to buy it or not. But I'm very glad it did. Because, as it turns out, Sherlock: The Casebook is much more than a simple tie-in guide to episodes of the TV show.
The casebook is basically split in to three main categories: sections talking about the creation of the different episodes, their adaption from the original stories, and the illusions and references to original canon contained in them; sections talking about the casting and creation of the characters; and finally, John's own hand-written casebook, or 'scrapbook', as Sherlock scathingly calls it - punctuated with (often rather amusing) sticky-note conversations between Sherlock and John - detailing the cases he and Sherlock have covered over the course of the two series.
The main reason this casebook is so brilliant is because, like with John's website, rather than simply re-writing the events that occur on screen and within the actual TV series, it instead builds on them. Namely in that it answers some of the niggling little questions that never had the time or opportunity to be answered within the actual episodes, and provides us with a little more insight in to the (not so blissfull) domestic lives of Sherlock and John. Ever wondered exactly what it was that Sherlock said to the judge during Moriarty's trial that got him thrown out for contempt? Why he has a human skull on his mantelpiece? What's with the antelope skull stuck to the wall, and why on earth is it wearing headphones? What did John have to eat at Angelo's? How do I contact 'Jim from IT'? Is John aware of his fanbase? How old are the characters? What story inspired Moriarty's ringtone?
In addition to providing us with some answers for some of the niggling little questions that never quite got answered in the actual episodes, the casebook also examines these cases from all angles, including newspaper cuttings published at the time of the crimes, police reports (stolen by John, an impressed Sherlock notes), autopsy reports, photos of the crime scenes and bodies, diagrams and floor plans, print outs of emails and phone call transcripts, and snippets of press releases linked to Sherlock and John (including one published at the time of Sherlock and John going on the run following Sherlock's arrest). It also includes additional fun and interesting touches such as a look at 'Richard Brook''s CV, photos of Little Kirsty and Bluebell ('The Magical Glow in the Dark Rabbit' from Hounds of Baskerville), and even, amusingly, apparent facebook pictures tagged by John Watson at one point.
My favourite section has got to be one which talks about the interior of 221B, mainly the rather bizarre collection of items the clutter it. Another really interesting part was a section talking about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's life, which seemed surprisingly sad and difficult. The first section also talks about the shows conception, and how Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss came to create it.
All in all, this really is a truly brilliant tie-in guide, that I am extremely glad I brought, and would really recommend to any member of this fandom. Gorgeously illustrated, cleverly presented, funny, informative and interesting, this book is a brilliant accompianment to the BBC series, and one that I really would recommend fans check out.