Book Review: ‘Encounters of Sherlock Holmes’

Author: Various

Publisher: Titan

Plot: A collection of short stories by different authors exploring the trails and tribulations of Sherlock Holmes.

encounterssherlockReview: Reviewing a book like this is a complete pain in the arse. Why? Simple – it’s a bunch of short stories all about the same person, all written in a similar style but each by a different author. Let’s look at why this thing exists. The character of Sherlock Holmes and the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle captured the minds of readers and writers everywhere and have remained popular for decades since. The best thing about them is how the format can be replicated with any mystery an author can imagine. And that’s what this collection celebrates.

Some of these stories are pretty grounded Holmes tales, with a mystery that appears so completely obvious after it’s been explained to you. These stories capture the delight of Sherlock, turning the pages until you get to the ‘ooohhhhhhh…’ moment of clarity. Other stories feature Holmes mixing it up with other famous literary characters and historical figures such as A.J. Raffles and H.G. Wells. Mark Hodder throws a couple of his own characters into his story, which has got to be a secret dream of most modern authors. It works well whether or not you’re familiar with Hodder’s work because that particular story has a great hook.

Recommending a collection of short stories is a tricky prospect, especially when you have different authors involved, because you inevitably get a mixed bag of quality. Somehow this volume has dodged that bullet with each story tapping into the joy of a good Holmes mystery. Whether you’re a long time Doyle fan or caught up in the new wave of fandom this is worth picking up.