Review: The Collected Endeavours of Sherlock Holmes

I helped to crowd fund this book of short stories. So, it is only appropriate to see if my investment was worth it.

As I believe I have said before, we Sherlockians are a greedy bunch. The canon simply is not enough on its own. We crave more adventures, and many brave souls attempt to provide them. I tip my hat to anyone who sticks their head above the parapet to try.

We all have an image of Holmes in our heads. This image could have many influences, so, when we read a non-Doyle work, we tend to be extra judgmental. If the Holmes in the book strays too far from our own mental image, we will be harsh - irrespective of the quality of the story.

I am pleased to say that the Holmes featured in S.F. Bennett's book chimes very much with my own. So, that's a good start.

The book contains eight short-stories. All of them are of a length comparable to those in the canon and each sticks to the Doylean format. Bennett is not one of those writers who thinks they know better than Doyle.

Two highlights for me were "The Case of the Enthusiastic Amateur," where Watson tries to turn his hand to detection in Holmes's absence, and "The Case of the Fragrant Blackmailer," which is set during the great hiatus.

Just like the canon, some of the stories are more outlandish than others. This did not affect my enjoyment of them at all. I reached then end wishing there were more - which is the highest praise I can give.

I only have one criticism. I wish some energy had been devoted to giving the internals some style.  I think it could have been made to look better inside. The page numbers are a different font to the main text and I don't get a Victorian feel from the book. It feels a little too contemporary. That said, it is more of a niggle than anything more worrying.

This book of short-stories was crowd-funded alongside a novel by the same author. I will be moving onto reading it directly.

Written by Alistair Duncan Buy my books here