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on 10 January 2012
They say that variety is the spice of life and this collection provides that.

I'm only half way through the book and have enjoyed every offering so far (up to and including the graphic novella) even though I was sold on the opportunity to read another Neil Gaiman story.
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on 24 December 2011
One of the finest collection of pastiches and other (Sherlock Holmes-inspired) pieces, this book should be lapped up by those who are in love with the Great Detective, and esp. by those who have cherished his present day reincarnation via BBC. The contents are:

(*) An Introduction by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger

1) YOU'D BETTER GO IN DISGUISE by Alan Bradley: a superb cat & mouse piece enacted by a killer and the Great Detective, with a darker tone that might have upset Sir Arthur.

2) AS TO "AN EXACT KNOWLEDGE OF LONDON": was it just reproduction of dialogues between one retired Army Doctor and a very-very knowledgable London Cabby, or something more profound? Enjoyable and refreshing.

3) THE MEN WITH THE TWISTED LIPS by S.J. Rozan: one of the most famous canonical cases, recounted by the invisible players who might have been behind the curtains all along.

4) THE ADVENTURE OF THE PURLOINED PAGET by Philip & Jerry Margolin: an adventure involving collectors of Sherlockiana (whose names are bound to ring many-a-bells the moment you read them), a mysterious canonical story (& the drawing accompanying it), and murder.

5) THE BONE-HEADED LEAGUE by Lee Child: an FBI agent getting a chance to "play" Holmes, and its consequences.

6) THE STARTLING EVENTS IN THE ELECTRIFIED CITY by Thomas Perry: a very good pastiche, taking place in Buffalo, U.S.A, with hints of lots of "what if" and "really?" thrown in.

7) THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE UNWRITTEN SHORT STORY by Colin Cotterill: this "graphic" story was a brilliant piece all along, with a rather novel ending.

8) THE CASE OF DEATH AND HONEY by Neil Gaiman: after the astonighing "A Study in Emarald" published many moons ago, the author returns to the arena of Sherlockiana with a cracking read.

9) A TRIUMPH OF LOGIC by Gayle Lynds and John Sheldon: a Judge and a a Lawyer solves a mystery, where the murderer is wiry, "astonishingly" smart, and has a profile like Basil Rathbone!

10) THE LAST OF SHEILA-LOCKE HOLMES by Laura Lippman: a short poignant piece about the truths that may be uncovered by following the path of Holmes, and how they might turn out to be more painful than one can handle.

11) THE ADVENTURE OF THE CONCERT PIANIST by Margaret Maron: a superlative piece, told from the perspective of Mrs. Hudson, and a prequel to the adventure of "The Empty House".

12) THE SHADOW NOT CAST by Lionel Chetwynd: a taut & grim piece, wher Sherlockian methods are applied by an investigator to unravel the complexities of twin murders and a web of potential ramifications.

13) THE EYAK INTERPRETER by Dana Stabenow: a reworking of the canonical case that it resembles phonetically, but with a lot of 'modern'-embellishments, that made it more enterttaining than its grim nature would have commanded.

14) THE CASE THAT HOLMES LOST by Charles Todd: no, Holmes dod not lose a case in this dark & disturbing mystery, but Sir Arthur DID seem to lose his faith & belief about someone whom he had used to consider as an eminently honourable friend.

15) THE IMITATOR by Jan Burke: an avid follower of Sherlock Holmes and his companions solving a mystery, with hints of many more adventures to come.

16) A SPOT OF DETECTION by Jacqueline Winspear: a failed case of a youngs Sherlockian, beginning of a long journey towards dabbling in "The Simple Art of Murder".

17) A STUDY IN SHERLOCK: AFTERWORD by the two editors of this anthology: an enjoyabler "twinterview" that concludes this anthology on a humorous note.

Overall, very highly recommended, esp. in this season of Christmas, Guy Ritchie, and Sherlock: Season 2.
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on 13 November 2011
This collection is the first by this pair of editors and it looks to be a winner. The stories are not necessarily about Holmes, but rather are all inspired by the sixty tales of the Canon. This has resulted in a complex mixture of tales. Properly speaking, none of these tales are pastiches, although some are about Holmes or Watson or other Canonical characters. They are not imitations of the Canonical tales written in the style of Doyle but instead are stories inspired by the sixty tales written by Doyle about Holmes.

"You'd Better Go in Disguise" is an intriguing short story by Alan Bradley that presents several odd twists and confused identities. "As to `an exact knowledge of London'" is a novella by Tony Broadbent. It is set in modern times and it tells of a wounded Army Doctor returning from service in Afghanistan who takes a long cab ride around London with a very knowledgeable cabbie. "The Men with the Twisted Lips" is a short story by S. J. Rozan. It presents an alternative and very interesting but not contradictory view of events in "The Man with the Twisted Lip." "The Adventure of the Purloined Paget" is a novella by Phillip and Jerry Margolin that relates the offer for auction of a Paget drawing created for a lost, 61st Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle. The owner's murder sparks serious Sherlockian analysis and deduction.

"The Bone-headed League" is a short story by Lee Child set in modern day London with an ardent student of The Canon being caught up in an investigation that echoes with the tone of "The Red-Headed League." "The Startling Events in the Electrified City" is a novella that relates Holmes' and Watson's involvement in the assassination of President McKinley at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. It provides an excellent explanation of the political effects of this event. "The Mysterious Case of the Unwritten Short Story" is an illustrated `commentary' of uncertain length and content by Colin Cotterill. It does mention Sherlock Holmes and Baker Street several times (at least twice!) and is almost surely related to some sort of Sherlockian narrative, I think! "The Case of Death and Honey" is a short novella by Neil Gaiman that once more displays his true mastery of Sherlockian fiction. It mingles the story of old Gao's mean and lazy bees and the old white ghost man with that of Professor Presbury and his experiments.

"A Triumph of Logic" is a short novella by Gayle Lynds and John Sheldon. It relates an unofficial investigation by a Maine lawyer and judge into the suicide of a court recorder. "The Last of Sheila-Locke Holmes" is a short story by Laura Lippman that relates a Holmesian episode in growing up for an eleven-year-old girl. "The Adventure of the Concert Pianist" is a short story by Margaret Maron that describes a joint investigation by Dr. Watson and Mrs. Hudson just prior to "The Adventure of the Empty House." It also contains several interesting comments of one sort or another by Mrs. Hudson.. "The Shadow Not Cast" is a novella by Lionel Chetwynd about a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. It is brimming over with interesting characters, ideas and situations, topped off by a true Holmes sound-alike.

"The Eyak Interpreter" is a short story by Dana Stabenow that features her native Alaskan private detective, Kate Shugak, in a story reminiscent of "The Greek Interpreter." "The Case That Holmes Lost" is a short story by Charles Todd. It tells of an instance where Doyle's publication of a new Holmes story is snarled by a frivolous lawsuit brought against Holmes. The details are a bit confusing, but intriguing. "The Imitator" is a novella by Jan Burke that tells of the tribulations of a number of American veterans, including a Holmes imitator, just after WW-I. The characters are well-drawn and believable, as is their common understanding of one another across the decades. "A Spot of Detection" is a novella by Jacqueline Winsper that describes the first foray into detection by an American boy at school in England in the early 1900s. He is fortunate that he encounters a sympathetic police inspector.

This collection features efforts by a number of very talented authors. They take the tales and characters and the ideas of the Canon into new worlds and times and, in doing so, they demonstrate the truly timeless nature of the Canon and the Great Detective. Their detectives are the offspring of Doyle's creation. The single problem I see with this collection seems to be that only the illustrated story and a few others present hopeful or pleasant endings. There doesn't seem to be much humor, hope or happiness in this group of Sherlock-inspired tales, not even a comfortable seat by the fire with a glass.

Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, November 2011
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on 14 December 2011
For "A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon" Laurie R King and Leslie S Klinger have collected seventeen new, original, and very different tales from authors as diverse as Lee Child, Jacqueline Winspear and Neil Gaiman. All the contributors are highly successful writers, mostly of crime fiction - apart from Jerry Margolin BSI, who collaborates with his brother Phillip in a story about rabid collectors of Sherlockian artwork, which is Jerry's own specialism. Actually, that gives an indication of what makes this collection different - and successful. These are not, for the most part, stories about Sherlock Holmes: as the subtitle says, they're stories inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Lee Child and S J Rozan each reinvent a classic case. Colin Cotterill provides a very funny comic strip explaining why he's not qualified to contribute. Tony Broadbent rather brilliantly brings Holmes and Watson to present-day London, in a quite different way from Sherlock. Equally dazzling is Neil Gaiman's tale of Holmes and bees in China. There isn't a dud here.
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on 28 December 2011
Quickly put, whether you embrace or deride the more-modern takes on the Holmes canon that present themselves in a small way in this collection, even the more traditional tales here strike a average note. Sometimes a good average, but more often lacklustre efforts abound. "A Study in Sherlock" presents a series of new Sherlock tales which range from the serviceable, but on this occassion, sadly unremarkable Alan Bradley's effort, to a passable Lee Child short, an authentic but dull effort by Thomas Perry and the sheerly brown-nosing affair by Tony Broadbent. The most ingenious story here, so far, is the 'Men with the Twisted Lips', which is a re-telling from the other protagonists point of view, of the classic Conan Doyle story. I've still half the book to read and only can hope it generally improves overall, but at the end of page 168, an atrociously drawn cartoon by Colin Cotterill, I'm not sanguine at all.
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on 20 November 2011
Completely in love with this already, can't wait to get to Neil Gaiman's contribution.
I had this on pre-order, but it never arrived. I contacted Amazon and they sent me another, free of charge and first class delivery. I haven't been able to put it down since.
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on 28 November 2011
The quality varies from very good to very poor, some stories are not even about Holmes. Some are clearly writers devoted to the Holmes genre, others are not. I was disappointed with this book, it is one of the poorest collections on offer.
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