Holmes & Watson: A Miscellany (Otto Penzler's Sherlock Holmes Library) Paperback – 1 Dec 1994
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Roberts offers a few biographical sketches on Holmes and Watson. Roberts also included a short play set at Baker Street on Christmas Eve, and a pastiche, The Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts, which is very much in the Doylean style.
The first half of the book is broken into Holmesian themes: his creation, his life, his temperament, his attitude to women, his music and his kinship with Doctor Johnson. There are far more through pieces of Sherlockiana out there on these topics, as well as full-blown biographies and memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. But this slender volume offers an enjoyable look at each of the topics.
Roberts intersperses Canonical references with fiction of his own creation, such as fragments of a previously undiscovered manuscript relating to the death of Cardinal Tosca. The section on Holmes’ attitude towards the fairer sex is perhaps the best chapter of the book.
There is speculation on Watson’s youth (the goldfields of Australia are prominently mentioned) as well as a brief look at who might have been his second wife.
The Baker Street Scene is a charming piece written about the 1951 Sherlock Holmes exhibition and provides a nice description for those of us who did not see it.
The pastiches, though extremely short, feel ‘right.’ The emulation of Doyle is very solid.
I don’t know that the casual Holmes reader would make this a favorite. But the slightly more avid Sherlockian would do well to pick up a copy. And like all of the Penzler Library books, it features a nice color illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele (this one from The Three Students).