This is a follow-up volume to A Study in Sherlock. When King and Klinger sent word to writer friends and fellow Sherlockians that they wanted to publish a collection of Holmes-inspired stories, they got too many for one book, so they planned to publish two volumes not far apart. But then the A. Conan Doyle estate put up this huge court battle claiming that because they owned the copyright to the last few Holmes stories (most are in the public domain), they owned the rights to the characters therein and should get royalties any time Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, or any others from the canon were used anywhere. The Doyle estate eventually lost, and so here we have the second volume at last.
Here are the five stories I liked especially well in this collection:
"Dr. Watson's Casebook" by Andrew Grant cleverly rewrites The Hound of the Baskervilles as if it was being posted about on a social media website like Facebook. You have to suspend a little disbelief over the idea that people would post to Facebook that they're about to be mauled by a gigantic hound, but whatevs. It's a funny concept and amused me a lot.
"The Adventure of the Laughing Fisherman" by Jeffery Deaver is set in modern times and involves a man who uses what he's learned by studying the Sherlock Holmes canon to create a new job for himself -- he assists the police in a murder investigation and makes some surprising new friends.
"Dunkirk" by John Lescroart is hands-down my favorite story in the whole book. It made me tear up several times, though partly that's because everything involved with the Dunkirk rescue makes me cry -- I once had to hold back tears while I read a picture book about it to my kids. In this story, an aging Sherlock Holmes (though he's never named) assists with the heroic rescue of Allied troops. Although it veers from quietly heroic to a little more action-movie than I was expecting, I still liked it oh-so-well by the end.
"Lost Boys" by Cornelia Funke has Watson gleaning some information about Holmes' childhood by observing his friend's interaction with a worried boy.
"By Any Other Name" by Michael Dirda made me laugh several times over the idea that A. Conan Doyle was a pseudonym used by lots and lots of authors, rather like F. W. Dixon or Carolyn Keene. It's imaginative and clever.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for themes about murder, abused children, violence, etc. Some of the stories also contained bad language.