I’m on my quest to read classic mystery and suspense novels, the ones that have withstood the test of time. I’ve always been hesitant to read “spin-offs” of the great Sherlock Holmes. Seriously, no one can write a classic mystery better than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But here are a few I’ve read, and I’m surprised I enjoyed them so much. These two novels written in the spirit of Conan Doyle keep the mystery and intrigue of Holmes alive, without taking anything away from the originals.
The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes
By Leonard Goldberg
For fans of the original Sherlock Holmes series, The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes gives readers new adventures from Sherlock and Watson through the next generation. John Watson Jr. gets pulled into a mystery with his father. John discovers his father has been keeping a secret, that Sherlock had a daughter, and she has inherited her father’s unique skill set.
The story is written in the same thread as the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle series. The case unwinds as Joanna Blalock works with the two Watson’s to solve a series of murders, before the murderer strikes again. So many of the characters from the original series make an appearance. Lestrade has a son, plus we meet Toby 2, the prodigy of the famous bloodhound from The Sign of Four. I enjoyed the whole concept of “history repeating itself” by seeing the next generation of characters find themselves taking after their parents. The story is fast-paced and enjoyable.
By Graham Moore
The Sherlockian is quite an enjoyable tale. Set in two time periods, the readers get two mysteries to solve. First you follow Arthur Conan Doyle as he tries to escape from his own creation. He’s killed off Sherlock Holmes, but the character follows him wherever he goes. Arthur finds himself in the middle of a mystery only the great Sherlock himself could solve. But the reader also follows a modern day, Sherlock Holmes-style mystery as there is a murder at a Sherlockian convention just before the long lost diary of Arthur Conan Doyle is released.
This fast-paced novel takes on many interesting twists and turns. I liked the historical part of it. While fiction, many elements from the novel were based on speculation of the times, such as what did Arthur Conan Doyle do during the years he killed off Sherlock Holmes? I also liked that Arthur and Bram Stoker were friends and teamed up to solve a series of murders. This is definitely the kind of rag-tag detective team I want to see in action!
There were a few curse words which threw me for a loop as it didn’t seem to fit the time period of the early 1900’s (one word in particular), but I’d have to do some research, as maybe the slang was common in that time period.