Friday, August 5, 2016
Sherlock Holmes Of Baker Street!
Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street by William S. Baring-Gould is a tome I've been wanting to get my mitts on for some time. It's constantly mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes lore and beyond as a template for how to take on a fictional character and treat him or her as if they were a real person. That's the conceit here, an entertaining romp through the life and times of Sherlock Holmes using clues from the text of the classic Doyle stories as well as the conclusions an speculations of other devoted Sherlockians.
It's difficult to say for sure, but many pastiches I've been reading over the last many years seem to rely on this chronology. Baring-Gould begins at the beginning, describing Sherlock's mum and dad as well as his siblings (two including Mycroft) and gives us insights into what Sherlock was up to during his relatively brief departure from this mortal coil after the Reichenbach Falls misadventure. Not only do we get to relive some of Sherlock's more famous cases, told in a brisk and involving manner but we find out how Sherlock also stopped Jack the Ripper as well as uncovering the mystery the Abominable Snowman.
I don't want to say much, so as not to ruin the surprises, but this book is filled up with Sherlock goodies and reminders of vintage events which warm the heart of any fan. And Watson is treated with significant respect, even elevated somewhat from a mere observer.
I stumbled across my copy in my new favorite store Half-Price Books and was giddy to make off with it. There do seem to be copies out there, but this is a book that needs to be republished and made a part of any serious Sherlock library.