Pursuing Sherlock Holmes by Bill E. Mason, JHWS “Billy”

Pursuing Sherlock Holmes

Written by Bill E. Mason, JHWS “Billy,” The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem. Published by Xlibris 2010. Available from Amazon.

From the back dust jacket:

In Pursuing Sherlock Holmes, Bill Mason uncovers seething sex in The Hound of the Baskervilles, observes Professor Moriarty through the eyes of Generation X, reveals a hidden “formula of death”, explains the mystic effects of colors on the mind of Sherlock Holmes, exposes Conan Doyle’s “theft” of the plot of Dracula, resurrects ten compelling characters from their graves, and visits the mind of Sherlock Holmes to find his true thoughts about romantic love. This collection of innovative essay, stories and even poetry approaches Sherlock Holmes from a thoroughly unique perspective that combines humor with literature and classic tales with familiar aspects of modern culture.


“In these essays, some appearing in print for the first time, others from The Holmes & Watson Report or delivered at symposia or scion meetings, Bill Mason explores the Canon Doylean (“A Tale from the Crypt: Unearthing Dracula in Sherlock Holmes”) and Sherlockian (“Deeper Shades: The Dressing-Gowns of Sherlock Holmes and the Psychology of Color”), in pastiche (“My Arrangement with Mr. Holmes by Mrs. Neville St. Clair”) and poetry (“Horror of the Hound”, “A Musical Toast to Nathan Garrideb”) and with tongue implanted firmly in cheek (“Doctor Sterndale, the African Explorer”). While I’m unable to judge the poetry, the essays are uniformly excellent. “A Chill on the Moor”, “The Rule of Three”, and “A Tale from the Crypt” are important contributions to the study of the Canon, while “Deeper Shades” is bound to be the “last word” on Holmes’ dressing-gowns for years to come. A line like’ “The possibility that Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Roundhay and Dr. Sterndale—even Dr. Moore Agar—were part of an undercover operation of international intrigue involving the race for empire in Africa is not at all farfetched” (“Doctor Sterndale, the African Explorer”) is the very definition of “farfetched” that it claims not to be; a laugh-out-loud line in an essay that claims Sterndale as one of England’s first “license to kill” secret agents under M (Mycroft, that is). This is a worthy addition to any Watsonian’s library.”

Irregular Stain:  BSI Manuscript Series


Irregular Stain

A Facsimile of the Original Manuscript of
“The Second Stain” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
with Annotations and Commentary on the Story

Edited & introduced by Andrew Solberg, BSI, JHWS “Herbie” and Robert Katz, MD, BSI, JHWS “Willow”

“The Adventure of the Second Stain” is one of the three Sherlockian adventures dealing with international espionage, and since its publication over a century ago, has engendered considerable speculation concerning the actual parties and nations involved. Irregular Stain, the ninth in the Baker Street Irregulars Manuscript Series, presents the story in a larger format than earlier Series offerings.  It’s the first color reproduction of a Holmes manuscript, and also features color facsimiles of proofs and of an original drawing by Sidney Paget.

Published by the BSI in cooperation with Haverford College, the volume reproduces the original manuscript of the story as well as the galley proofs of the original publication. Also included are an annotated typescript of the manuscript, along with commentary, a history of the manuscript, analyses by noted Sherlockians, and articles on topics related to the tale and its historical and political background.

200 pages, 10″ x 7″ hardcover, December 2013
With the manuscript reproduction plus 1 color and 7 b&w illustrations

Purchase from the Baker Street Journal by using this link:


Watson’s Biography by Molly Carr “Brenda”

1624930.jpgIn Search of Doctor Watson

Molly Carr, JHWS

Available from Amazon and MX Publishing   $13Fully revised and updated 2nd edition of this detailed biography of Doctor Watson. In her third book author Molly Carr has, for the moment, abandoned the Watson-Fanshaw Detective Agency in favour of discovering as much as possible about Doctor Watson. Radically different in style from her first two books, the investigation will nevertheless be of interest to students of military history, railways both Indian and British and of course all fans of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes is a household name. But where would he be without his Biographer? Beavering away in Baker Street, unknown to everyone except Scotland Yard and a few luckless criminals. It is time to put the loyal and much put upon man, Dr. John H. Watson M.D., centre stage.


Molly Carr’s New Book

6045459.jpgA Sherlock Holmes Who’s Who

Molly Carr, JHWS

Available from Amazon and MX publishing $18

Ever since A. C. Black & Co. brought out their first Whos Who? of the great and good in 1849 (followed in 1897 by Who Was Who after death intervened and removed their entries to a separate volume) people have been fascinated by the rich and famous. So there is, for example, a Whos Who in cricket, a Whos Who in Agatha Christie. And even a Whos Who in a famous cemetery. So if you have ever wanted to know where Watson bought his boots, or where (and when) Inspectors Lestrade, Bradstreet, Athelney Jones, Hopkins and MacDonald appear in the stories then this is the book for you. How many times is Moriarty mentioned, and what was his henchman, Colonel Moran, up to in an empty house? Who on earth was Acton and, more to the point, who could possibly have been called (by the Great Detective himself) a rival to Sherlock Holmes?


This book gives pretty much any listing you might want from the stories. It is divided into 3 sections: 1) People (characters in the stories & even some only mentioned in passing), 2) Places (countries, regions, landmarks, addresses,  etc.), & 3) Props (companies, businesses, societies, objects, animals, etc.)  I have read the entire Canon & didn’t recall quite a number of these  listings. For the Holmes fanatic who wants to know everything.
-Karen Haynes

New From JHWS Members Dan Andriacco and Kieran McMullen


Our members, Dan Andriacco “Dutch” and Kieran McMullen “Raleigh,” have written another great book.

Available from Amazon and from MX Publishing   $12


It’s a fast-paced and immersive read, barely allowing the reader to take a breath from page to page. But it’s also a remarkable and masterful undertaking – suggestive of something new and fresh, while remaining true to the source that shaped it.
Better Holmes and Gardens

Above all, the novel is enjoyable. It’s a quick read that can be digested in a few sittings, and the ending leaves the reader hoping for more. Andriacco and McMullen have done a masterful job of blending history, fiction, and Sherlock Holmes in a way that entices and delights.
Girl Meets Sherlock

In contrast to most tales involving Holmes, The Amateur Executioner takes us into an ambiguous and murky world where right and wrong aren’t always distinguishable. I look forward to reading more about Enoch Hale.
-The Sherlock Holmes Society of London

In telling the story, the authors have done a masterful job in melding actual historic figures with famous fictional characters.
Kings River Life Magazine

The blending of real characters, real history with fictional characters and fictional history is very well accomplished and at no time does the insertion of these ‘guest stars’ overshadow the very well thought out and exciting plot. There may not be  a major part for Holmes to play, but his ‘fingerprints’ are all over the plot and you do gain the impression that this novel could only have been written by a Holmesian, or in this case, two Holmesians. It is a very enjoyable read, fast paced and undoubtedly fun. You see, collaborations can work. And work well.
David Ruffle

Dean Turnbloom, JHWS “Stoker”: The Whitechapel Vampire


Victorian England’s most famous consulting detective is hot on the trail of London’s most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper. But in Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire, Jack is a vampire and Holmes refusal to believe it could be his undoing as the two match wits in this delightfully original first novel.

Available from Amazon and MX Publishing. $17


Sherlock Holmes. Vampires. Watson. Jack the Ripper. Vincent van Gogh? All come together in this excellent pastiche- Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire. Throw in some Italian immigrants, murders in Paris and London and lovely music- enchanting music that will soothe and mesmerize the soul. I really enjoyed Whitechapel the TV series with Rupert Penry-Jones and Phil Smith-  so I was set to dig into another Ripper tale, this time with Holmes for added body.

I found this to be a suspense story with just the right amount of clues  and bloody gore. Will the vampire be able to be cured? Will he marry his love  before she finds out about his dubious past? Will Holmes and Watson find the  Ripper before he strikes again? Or leaves for the Big Apple? If you like  vampires or are a fan of the ripper, don’t miss this one.

Having a title like “Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire,” it sounds hard to pass up the opportunity to read this book. The idea of having the world’s greatest detective face the forces of the un-dead is hardly a new one, as is Sherlock Holmes vs, Jack the Ripper. Author Dean P. Turnbloom does an expert job of weaving a story with a number of diverse plot points. The novel reads more like a thriller than an actual mystery and features Baron Barlucci, a centuries-old vampire who comes to London in order to cure his vampirism. However, the Baron’s thirst for blood drives him to committing the notorious murders attributed to Jack the Ripper, and soon the world’s greatest sleuth is on his trail.

Labyrinths by Luis Borges, edited by Donald A. Yates, JHWS “Pal,” and James E. Irby


By Jorge Luis Borges and Translated and Edited by Donald A. Yates, JHWS Chair and “Pal” and James E. Irby

Published by New Directions.

Available at Amazon    $12.00

Donald A. Yates, JHWS, BSI is a life-long devotee of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson, and the detective fiction and mystery genres. During his years as Professor of Romance Languages at Michigan State and the University of Michigan, Dr Yates emerged as a foremost translator and scholar of the writing of Jorge Luis Borges and, unlike Borges’s subsequent biographers, came to know the writer personally during frequent stays in Argentina. Dr Yates is currently at work on his definitive biography of the great Argentine writer written from this uniquely personal relationship and first-hand observation of the writer and his family.

Borges embodied the cultural and intellectual sophistication of Argentina in the pre- and post-WWII years, a sophistication reflecting its heavily European influence and its focus of the arts, science, and intellectual pursuits. Borges wrote in both a fantastical genre and a detective/mystery genre. His early years, spent living throughout Europe, gave him a great appreciation for the English language and he was a devoted fan of Poe and other writers of mystery/detective stories.

Labyrinths, among his greatest works, contains stories that can only be described as “Sherlockian Intellectual” as well as “Watsonian Descriptive Action Narrative.” Here, Sherlockians and Watsonians will find the qualities of Holmes that we so admire: his intense intellectual concentration and the ability to perceive realities in different ways and with outcomes other than the norm. Borges, like Holmes, thought deeply, intensely, and long about reality and, as a result of his profound insights into the nature of reality, produced a fantastical and wholly unique vision of reality, meta-reality, and unreality that has never been equalled. We can learn much about Holmes through a study of the writing of Luis Borges, especially with the advantage of the superb translations by our Society’s Chair, Donald A. Yates.


This is a book that will change forever your entire perception of reality. One of the two or three most significant reading and intellectual experiences of my lifetime.

-Don Libey, Author and former Publisher

The classic by Latin America’s finest writer of the twentieth century—a true literary sensation—with an introduction by cyber-author William Gibson.

The groundbreaking trans-genre work of Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) has been insinuating itself into the structure, stance, and very breath of world literature for well over half a century. Multi-layered, self-referential, elusive, and allusive writing is now frequently labeled Borgesian. Umberto Eco’s international bestseller, The Name of the Rose, is, on one level, an elaborate improvisation on Borges’ fiction “The Library,” which American readers first encountered in the original 1962 New Directions publication of Labyrinths.

This new edition of Labyrinths, the classic representative selection of Borges’ writing edited by Donald A. Yates and James E. Irby (in translations by themselves and others), includes the text of the original edition (as augmented in 1964) as well as Irby’s biographical and critical essay, a poignant tribute by André Maurois, and a chronology of the author’s life. Borges enthusiast William Gibson has contributed a new introduction bringing Borges’ influence and importance into the twenty-first century.

The Biography and Autobiography of Sherlock Holmes by Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock Holmes

7003364.jpgThe Biography and Autobiography of Sherlock Holmes

By Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock Holmes.

Published by Campbell & Lewis
Publishers Since 1855

Available from Amazon and all Bookstores. Released 12 September 2013 $17.00

A one volume, two book edition of My Brother, Sherlock, the biography of Sherlock Holmes written by his brother, Mycroft Holmes, and Montague Notations, the autobiography by Sherlock Holmes written by the Master himself, edited by Don Libey, JHWS “Buttons.”

Discovered in England in 2008 and  2012 by a rare book scout and subsequently purchased by an American antiquarian book dealer, these two manuscripts are among the most astounding literary finds of all time.  Now, edited and published for the first time in print together, here are the incredible revelations of the timeless questions surrounding the life of Sherlock Holmes and his brother, Mycroft, in their own words. Revealed also are the essential missing insights into the life of Dr John H. Watson. Within these pages are the answers to so many questions of the past one hundred years and more.

This new book, released 12 September 2013, is the First Edition, First State of My Brother, Mycroft and the Second (re-edited) Edition, First State of Montague Notations, previously published in a single volume as The Autobiography of Sherlock Holmes.  The publisher believes having these two seminal works by the Master and his brother together in one volume will prove them essential over the years as reference works for all Sherlockians, Holmesians and Watsonians interested in research, scholarship and The Historical Game.

On Conan Doyle by Michael Dirda, JHWS “Alex”

8655875.jpgOn Conan Doyle

by Michael Dirda, JHWS “Alex”

Published by Princeton University Press

Available from Amazon $12.50

A passionate lifelong fan of the Sherlock Holmes adventures, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda is a member of The Baker Street Irregulars. Combining  memoir and appreciation, On Conan Doyle is a highly engaging personal introduction to Holmes’s creator, as well as a rare insider’s account of the curiously delightful activities and playful scholarship of The Baker Street Irregulars.

Because Arthur Conan Doyle wrote far more than the mysteries involving Holmes, this book  also introduces readers to the author’s lesser-known but fascinating writings in an astounding range of other genres. A prolific professional writer, Conan Doyle was among the most important Victorian masters of the supernatural short story, an early practitioner of science fiction, a major exponent of historical fiction, a charming essayist and memoirist, and an outspoken public figure who attacked racial injustice in the Congo, campaigned for more liberal divorce laws, and defended wrongly convicted prisoners. He also wrote novels about both domestic life and contemporary events (including one set in the Middle East during an Islamic uprising), as well as a history of World War I, and, in his final years, controversial tracts in defense of spiritualism.

On Conan Doyle describes all of these achievements and activities, uniquely combining skillful criticism with the story of Dirda’s deep and enduring affection for Conan Doyle and his work. This is a book for everyone who already loves Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and the world of 221B Baker Street, or for anyone who would like to know more about them, but it is also a much-needed celebration of Arthur Conan Doyle’s genius for every kind of storytelling.


Michael Dirda is a bookman in the tradition of Christopher Morley and Vincent Starrett: highly intelligent, well educated, widely read, and entirely unpretentious. All this is gratifyingly evident in his latest book “On Conan Doyle, or, The Whole Art of Storytelling”, which concentrates largely on Sherlock Holmes but finds space in its 220-odd pages for perceptive discussion of Brigadier Gerard, Professor Challenger, Nigel Loring and pretty much all of Conan Doyle’s important fiction – which is to say, most of it. As the subtitle indicates, Mr Dirda doesn’t disagree with Greenhough Smith’s claim in “The Strand Magazine” that Arthur Conan Doyle was `the greatest natural storyteller of his age’, but he knows that there was far more to it than natural talent. He knows too, that the telling of tales is not to be despised, and that Conan Doyle was actually one of the most important observers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Mr Dirda is, enviably, able to tell you just why he loves Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, so that you realise, yes, that’s why you love them too.
-Roger Johnson, JHWS “Count” and Editor the Sherlock Holmes Journal

Dead Man’s Land by Robert Ryan, JHWS “Caesar”

3748244.jpgDead Man’s Land

by Robert Ryan, JHWS “Caesar”

Published by Simon & Schuster

Available from Amazon UK     12 pounds

Deep in the trenches of Flanders Fields, men are dying in their thousands every day. So one more death shouldn’t be a surprise. But then a body turns up with bizarre injuries, and Sherlock Holmes’ former sidekick Dr John Watson – unable to fight for his country due to injury but able to serve it through his medical expertise – finds his suspicions raised. The face has a blue-ish tinge, the jaw is clamped shut in a terrible rictus and the eyes are almost popping out of his head, as if the man had seen unimaginable horror. Something is terribly wrong. But this is just the beginning. Soon more bodies appear, and Watson must discover who is the killer in the trenches. Who can he trust? Who is the enemy? And can he find the perpetrator before he kills again? Surrounded by unimaginable carnage, amidst a conflict that’s ripping the world apart, Watson must for once step out of the shadows and into the limelight if he’s to solve the mystery behind the inexplicable deaths.


As author Robert Ryan explained in a short essay for Crime Time, “Dead Man’s Land” was not originally his idea. His publisher was shopping around for “a work of fiction featuring a ‘detective in the trenches of World War I,’” and Ryan came up with a splendid solution: Why not send Dr. John H. Watson, of Sherlock Holmes fame, to the front lines in France, where he’d find himself involved in a homicide investigation? Of course, Watson would’ve been fairly old in 1918, when the action here takes place (in his mid-60s, by most reckonings).

That, however, proved to be a surmountable problem. In “Dead Man’s Land,” we find Watson – who, after all, was a battlefield surgeon before becoming the chronicler of a crime-solver’s escapades–in Flanders Fields as a major with the Royal Army Medical Corps, and “an expert in the new techniques of blood transfusion.”

He becomes grudgingly accustomed to the quotidian deaths of thousands of soldiers, the persistent bomb barrages, the pressures that weigh heavily upon physicians and nurses under such circumstances, and the appalling atmosphere of the trenches (“black tar from lamp wicks, the constant cigarettes, not to mention the tang of rat piss and the sour smell of unwashed clothes”).

Yet, when a sergeant suddenly perishes of an elusive ailment that turns his skin blue and his hands into claws, the horrific routines of war are upset. Blame is cast initially upon Watson’s blood transfusions; but when other, similar deaths are discovered, the old man’s sublimated sleuthing sensitivities are aroused, and his pursuit of a murderer with old grudges to exercise draws him into a deadly confrontation that must finally be settled in the worst possible place: the bleak no-man’s-land between the opposing armies.

Ryan’s portrayal of battlefield conditions is thorough and captivating, his cast of suspects sufficiently well drawn to have fooled me, and his capturing of Holmes’ associate faithful enough to have won the backing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate. The author has left himself room to write a sequel. I hope he will do just that.
-J. Kingston Pierce

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: ABout Type by Bruce Harris, JHWS “Scottie”

1967347.jpgSherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: ABout Type

By Bruce Harris, JHWS “Scottie”

Published by and available from The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: ABout Type is a psychological study of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John H. Watson. The book examines typical Type A and Type B personalities. It compares and contrasts the behaviors of Holmes and Watson in an attempt to classify the two along the Type A continuum. Numerous examples from the Canon and Sherlockian scholarship are cited. The monograph contains 115 footnotes.

Tales From the Deed Box by Hugh Ashton, JHWS “Clancy”

2817638.jpgTales From the Deed Box

by Hugh Ashton, JHWS “Clancy”

Published by Inknbeans Press

Available at Amazon $9.00

Three previously unknown accounts in the case files of Sherlock Holmes, discovered and transcribed by Hugh Ashton: The Odessa Business, the Case of the Missing Matchbox and The Case of the Cormorant.

The Odessa Business. Holmes’ wits are put to the test in a battle for diplomatic secrets; a previously unknown member of the Holmes family is introduced.

The Case of the Missing Matchbox describes a bizarre crime of passion, and chronicles “Isadora Persano, the well-known journalist and duellist, who was found stark staring mad with a match box in front of him which contained a remarkable worm said to be unknown to science” (Thor Bridge).

The Case of the Cormorant, where the the whole story concerning the politician, the lighthouse, and the trained cormorant will be given to the public for the first time, as threatened by Dr Watson in The Veiled Lodger 

Three other titles in the “Deed Box” series by Hugh Ashton are also available on Amazon. These adventures of Sherlock Holmes are approved by The Conan Doyle Estate Ltd.

“The Book of Tobit” by Carla Coupe, JHWS “Lily”

“The Book of Tobit”

by Carla Coupe, JHWS “Lily”

Published by Wildside Press

Available from Amazon     $9.00

The sixth issue of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine features another stellar lineup of Holmes-themed non-fiction and Holmes-inspired mystery fiction. Included are: NON-FICTION: “The Rare Mexican Sherlock Holmes Series,” by Gary Lovisi; Remembering Edward D. Hoch and His Sherlock Holmes Stories,” by Len Moffatt; “Screen of the Crime: Baker Street on a Budget,” by Lenny Picker; and “The Autumn of Terror: Sherlock Holmes Investigates Jack the Ripper,” by M. J. Elliott. FICTION: “A Memo from Inspector Lestrade,” “The Curse of Bridges Falls,” by William E. Chambers; “Let Them Eat Cake,” by Jean Paiva; “The Little Blue Dog,” by Marc Bilgrey; “The Bank Job,” by Steve Hagood; “Silent Victim” (novel excerpt), by C.E. Lawrence; and “The Book of Tobit,” by Carla Coupe. CLASSIC REPRINT: “The Reigate Squires,” by Arthur Conan Doyle. POETRY: “The Shadow Train,” by Mike Allen.

Two Books by Kieran McMullen, JHWS “Raleigh”

5256352.jpgThe Many Watsons

by Kieran McMullen, JHWS “Raleigh”

Published by MX Publishing

Available from Amazon     $11.00

There is always a healthy interest in the actors who have played the role of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also created the world’s best known sidekick, Dr. John H. Watson. The men and women who played the role of stalwart ally is quite an eclectic gathering. Here is compiled a listing and discussion of some of the best known people who have played the part of Watson from the earliest days of silent film to the action heroes of the 21st century. All royalties from this book go towards the Undershaw Preservation Trust.

3695551.jpgHolmes and Watson: The War Years

by Kiernan McMullen, JHWS “Raleigh”

Published by MX Publishing

Available from Amazon     $31.50

It was the time of Queen Victoria’s “Little Wars” and the “War to End All Wars”. It was also the time of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson. Watson, the man, would be formed by his experiences in the British “Second Afghan War”, before he ever met Sherlock Holmes in an adventure, he would record this experience as Watson’s Afghan Adventure, a tale of war and mystery. Later, Holmes and Watson would go on to not only share the problems of crime solving, Watson’s three marriages, a purported tragedy at Reichenbach, and Holmes’s return from the dead; they would also share two more wartime experiences.

In Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Boer Wagon, they are called on by Mycroft Holmes and the British government to go to the battleground of South Africa. Their mission is to stop the flow of army secrets to the Boers and try to recover a King’s ransom in gold. By the time of their third great wrtime adventure the two friends are retired, but Mycroft, and the government, need them once more as they are called on in Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels.

Holmes and Watson had already foiled the plans of a German espionage ring at the start of the Great War in the tale Watson called “His Last Bow.” But it was not, in reality, Holmes’s last bow. Holmes and Watson are sent now to the little war within a war, the killing fields of Dublin in 1916 and the Irish Rebellion. Can they stop it? And can they stop the plans of a renegade member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police?  A special hardback edition including all three bestselling Sherlock Holmes novels from Kieran McMullen.


I just love Kieran McMullen’s books. I have read them all. Everything is so detailed oriented. I can’t believe the wealth of historical background he interjects in all his books. Mr. McMullen is truly an up & coming writer. Can’t wait for his next book.”
-Anne M

I have read all of Kieran’s books and can not wait to get the hardbound edition of
my 3 favorites! This is a MUST HAVE for my library!

Dangerous Work: A Diary of an Arctic Adventure by A. Conan Doyle and Jon Lellenberg, JHWS “Towser”

9395313.jpgDangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure

by A. Conan Doyle and John Lellenberg, JHWS “Towser”

Published by University of Chicago Press   $23.50

Available from Amazon

In 1880 a young medical student named Arthur Conan Doyle embarked upon the “first real outstanding adventure” of his life, taking a berth as ship’s surgeon on an Arctic whaler, the Hope. The voyage took him to unknown regions, showered him with dramatic and unexpected experiences, and plunged him into dangerous work on the ice floes of the Arctic seas. He tested himself, overcame the hardships, and, as he wrote later, “came of age at 80 degrees north latitude.”

Conan Doyle’s time in the Arctic provided powerful fuel for his growing ambitions as a writer. With a ghost story set in the Arctic wastes that he wrote shortly after his return, he established himself as a promising young writer. A subsequent magazine article laying out possible routes to the North Pole won him the respect of Arctic explorers. And he would call upon his shipboard experiences many times in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, who was introduced in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet.


A twenty year old medical student hired as a ship’s surgeon would become the author of the inimitable super-sleuth probably because in small part of this high adventure discourse.

The glamour of the Arctic as expounded by Conan Doyle is a dazzling account. He writes, “amid all the excitement-and no one who has not held an oar in such a scene can tell how exciting it is-one’s sympathies lie with the poor hunted creature.” One should remember the time when Arthur Conan Doyle set sail on this adventure. The raison d’etre of the six month voyage being the culling of whales foremost (as it turned out only two were made redundant) in other words it was a disaster in commercial terms. Also, unfortunately seals, polar bears, narwhals and seabirds were killed too! Terrible for the environment (thinking today) but, accepted then.

A magazine article suggesting routes to the North Pole gave him the respect of Arctic explorers.

This current publication is unbelievably fine!

-Dag Stomberg, St. Andrews, Scotland

I bought this as a Christmas gift for a smart, engaging 15 year old whose ambition is to become an Arctic scientist and whose favorite author is Conan Doyle. But I cheated and read it through before I wrapped it. It’s a beautiful edition at a more than reasonable price, and it’s a rollicking read, as well, as you would expect from even the youthful Conan Doyle–even then a close observer of the world around him and the people who populate it. The recipient was suitably wowed, just as I was.

-Pat in Colorado

As a devout Sherlockian and a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle in general, I was thrilled with this book. FIrst, it shows printed graphics of Doyle’s sea diaries so you can see the wonderful originals. But the total text is also in 21st century print. The editors include comentary very pertinent to understanding how a 20 year old medical student became the man the world knew. I have been fortunate to have seen Dan Stashower give a presentation on the book. A must present for any Arthur Conan Doyle fan.

-Holmesnut, (and JHWS member)

Having been a fan of Conan Doyle most of my life, I thought I had seen all of his writings. What a surprise to see something completely new and completely riveting! I was absolutely delighted.

-Elizabeth (and JHWS member)

Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: Sherlock Holmes by Nicholas Utechin, JHWS “Rex”

8303670.jpgAmazing & Extraordinary Facts: Sherlock Holmes

by Nicholas Utechin, JHWS “Rex”

Published by David & Charles, 2012. Available from Amazon   $11.00

Amazing & Extraordinary Facts – Sherlock Holmes brings to life the most celebrated fictional character in history, through all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s 60 stories, to his transition onto stage, radio, television and the big screen that continues today, along with the actors who have played him. Every aspect of the pipe-smoking, deer stalked character is explored, including his relationships with Dr. Watson, his long-suffering landlady Mrs. Hudson, Scotland Yard detectives, and his nemesis Professor Moriarty, as well as Holmes’ literary and musical tastes, bad habits, and his preferred disguises.Whether you enjoy the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle or the television shows and films that they have inspired, this latest title in the Amazing & Extraordinary Facts series celebrates the timeless detective who continues to be a firm part of popular culture for generations to come.


At about the same time as Jean Upton and I were commissioned to write The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany, Nick Utechin was signing a contract for this volume in the Amazing & Extraordinary Facts series. Inevitably the two books cover much of the same ground, but the treatment and the emphasis in each case are individual. Nick’s approach is broadly chronological, beginning with “The Doyle Family” and concluding with “Holmes in the 21st Century”, and no passage (they aren’t called chapters) is longer than three pages — but nothing is rushed and nothing is too condensed. Among the passages are illuminating snippets about, for instance, the Langham Hotel, portrayals of Mycroft Holmes, and Basil Rathbone’s frustration at being typecast. The very brief observations on each of the sixty stories are pithy, pertinent and sometimes debatable — was the theft of part of the Beryl Coronet not a real crime? And how about the forced marriage of Violet Smith? The writing throughout is, of course, exemplary. I’d never really thought deeply about the effect that the first short story must have had on its readers when it appeared in The Strand Magazine, but Nick Utechin has, and his assessment is masterly. (Watson tells us, though, that Irene Adler was a contralto, not a  soprano. And, on a different matter, I’d love to know Nick’s authority for giving Lestrade the first name George.) The illustrations, sadly, don’t match the quality of the text. Otherwise this is as attractive a pocket volume as you could wish — an excellent introduction for the novice with plenty to engage and inform the experienced aficionado.

Roger Johnson, JHWS “Count”

What a beautiful and very useful book! I had a lot of fun reading it and it is indeed a very useful reference work, both for Sherlockians and newcomers to the universe of Conan Doyle.

I enjoyed all of it, I must say. Although I knew most of the facts (I must confess that I’ve learned some important facts reading this book, which was truly illuminating), it’s great to read a book from beginning to end, like a story in itself, that tell us so much about the Sherlock Holmes Holmes universe and its creator. I particularly enjoyed the references to Conan Doyle’s life and experiences, Utechin’s highly enjoyable one-sentence resumes on the Canon stories and the Sherlock Holmes audio and video Media information.

There are a lot of Sherlock Holmes reference books. Some good, some not so good. This one is great! I’ll keep it close by. I strongly recommend it. Nick Utechin is a truly great sherlockian and his knowledge is an inspiration.

Nuno Robles, JHWS “Oakley” (Portugal)

Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Ann Margaret Lewis, JHWS “Cameo.”


Murder in the Vatican: The
Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

by Ann Margaret Lewis

Published by Wessex Press

Follow the great detective as he investigates three baffling cases at the “express desire of his Holiness, the Pope.” Stories include “The Death of Cardinal Tosca,” “The Vatican Cameos,” and “The Second Coptic Patriarch.” You’ll encounter baffling crimes, rich, historical settings, and a fateful encounter with Father Brown! These thrilling tales of murder and intrigue vividly bring to life three of Watson’s “untold tales!”  152 pp., illustrated,  soft-cover, $18.95

Ann Margaret Lewis is a member of The John H Watson Society, The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis, and the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes.


“A lot of fun. The best book I read in 2010”
– Mark Brumley, CEO of Ignatius Press

“Even the casual reader of the Canon comes away noting that several of Holmes’s unpublished cases have to do with the Catholic Church. Lewis runs with this ecclesiastical hook, giving us a decent dose of Baker Street and three good mysteries, and even throws in a meeting with G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown. In addition, Rikki Niehaus illustrates the book with delightful period-style pen-and-inks.”
– The Baker Street Journal

“From page one I was instantly immersed in the stories and, even better, I was never thrown out of the story because of some inconsistency. I felt these were truly Sherlock Holmes stories and I got the same enjoyable feeling from these as I did originally from the stories.”
– Jeff Miller, The Curt Jester

“Sherlock Holmes: The Church Mysteries would be perfect for reading aloud at night by a roaring fire. I recommend it for all ages, especially for those who can never get enough of the one and only Sherlock Holmes.”
– Elena Marie Vidal, Tea at Trianon

“A collection of three stories, it is a delightful, enjoyable read from start to finish, beautifully written with characters who are familiar yet unique in the setting of this book. Lewis captures well the essence of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books.”
– Ellen Hrkach, CatholicFiction.net

“What I enjoyed about it were the stories themselves – three new mysteries, lots of comraderie and excitement and an interesting peek at international politics and religion of that age. Ann Lewis has a wonderful feel for the characters; you can tell she’s a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Holmes pastiches – and to the casual mystery reader who enjoys Holmes’& Watson’s adventures.”
– Karina Fabian, Fabianspace

“Rich in detail but not bogging down the action, Murder in the Vatican has its reader on their toes from the get-go. We set off on an adventure of three mysteries, all in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but from the hand of Ann Lewis. Authentically-styled illustrations also take the reader back to the times of Victorian England, the setting for Sherlockian literature. This is a very enjoyable set of mysteries.”
–  Litland.com

All three of the stories are amazing. I have to say I have never really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes stories that were not written by Conan Doyle. But this set of stories has changed my mind. The cases are interesting, engaging, and exciting. Any Sherlockian fan will enjoy these. This book is awesome, and is definitely a treat that any true Sherlock Holmes fan will enjoy over and over again.”
– The Detective Eye

The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany


Prominent Sherlockians and Watsonians, Roger Johnson and Jean Upton, both members of our Society, have collected all of the facts, trivia, and quotes that remind readers why Sherlock Holmes is such an important literary creation. An essential reference work.

Exploring the fascinating and enigmatic world of Sherlock Holmes, this miscellany examines his place in literary history, his popularity, and how he has become the iconic, timeless character who is loved by millions. Along with facts, trivia, and quotes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary stories and the subsequent film and television adaptations, it also explores the often weird and wonderful characters who graced Conan Doyle’s pages, and explains the terms used in the original stories that might cause musing confusion to the modern reader. For example, “knocked up” had a considerably different meaning in the 19th century, and if you think a “life preserver” is a flotation device, how does Wilson Kemp fit one into the sleeve of his jacket? And, would you try to warm your hands with a Gasogene? All of these mysteries and more are included in this lighthearted and highly informative miscellany, offering something to both the dedicated Sherlockian and Watsonian and those new to the world of 221b Baker Street. Available from Amazon.


As a Sherlockian since the age of 7, and as a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, I enthusiastically recommend The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany by Roger Johnson and Jean Upton. Although small in size, this volume packs an encyclopedia of handy and fascinating knowledge. It will appeal equally to
veteran Sherlockians and those new to the genre.

The authors cover Sherlockian movies, books, radio shows, TV shows, plays, societies and more. They lay out the history of the whole Sherlockian fandom phenomenon. The book is replete with websites that provide more source material and contact with Sherlock Holmes “scions” (clubs). The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany is written with a light touch which makes for an easy and joyful read. It is just the kind of book to curl up with on a cold and dark night while fortifying oneself with a favorite libation. It is equally a book that the reader will turn to time and again to check on some obscure point of Sherlockian lore.

No self-respecting Sherlockian book collection should be without this invaluable volume.
-Alexian Gregory, JHWS “Byron,” BSI

This a great reference book. This volume brings together vast amounts of Sherlockian information that took me years to gather. It is presented in a easy to read user friendly style that kept me reading long after I was going to stop. I highly recommend this work.
-The Game is Afoot

This book is a real prize. It’s unusually informative, very well written, and amusing. No Holmes aficionado can afford not to read it and to keep it handy for reference. Also, it simplifies Christmas shopping and makes it more meaningful.
-Fred Edmiston.

The Disappearance of Mr James Phillimore by Dan Andriacco, JHWS “Dutch”


Andriacco’s writing, as always, is witty and assured. Jeff, Lynda and Sebastian are people you’d truly want to meet.
The District Messenger, newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

The pacing is formidable, the dialogue sparkling with one liners abounding and wisecracks that Philip Marlowe would have admired. This is a very entertaining book indeed and throws into the mix a vast array of Holmesian insights and trivia. This series of novels by Dan Andriacco is becoming a byword for action-packed thrillers laced with a love of all things Sherlockian. The bottom line is….search them out…..and enjoy them.
Author David Ruffle

2554275.jpgNo Police Like Holmes

By Dan Andriacco, JHWS “Dutch”

Published by MX Publishing $16.00

Available from Amazon.

The Investigating Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Colloquium and donation of the third largest private collection of Sherlockiana in the world were supposed to produce a weekend of great publicity for tiny St. Benignus college in Erin, Ohio. But when theft and murder come to campus, college public relations director Jeff Cody finds himself knee-deep in Sherlockian suspects, besieged by an aggressive reporter he loves but no longer dates, and competing with his eccentric brother-in-law, Sebastian McCabe, to solve the crimes first. The mess worsens when Jeff and his ex-girlfriend, Lynda Teal, themselves fall under suspicion of murder – and with good reason, for they have something to hide. This satirical romp takes Sherlock Holmes seriously, but not Holmesians. A witty and engaging spoof sure to delight not only the deerstalker set but mystery fans in general.


Roger Johnson, the reviewer for The District Messenger, newsletter of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, calls No Police Like Holmes “an exciting and witty romp – not about Holmes but about his fans” and concludes “I like it!”

A review by Sue Magee of The Bookbag, a British online review service says in part: “It’s a satirical look at Holmes and the industry he’s spawned, but it’s affectionate and neatly constructed . . . There are plenty of twists, a good few red herrings and an ending which surprised me as I had someone entirely different chalked in as the murderer.”

“No Police Like Holmes is a chocolate bar of a novel—delicious, addictive, and leaves a craving for more,” says the blog Girl Meets Sherlock.

“Holmesians of all tastes and ages will recognize themselves in Andriacco’s characters and enjoy his fast-paced plot. Thankfully, the series continues, and fans can satiate their desire for more with Andriacco’s next novel, Holmes Sweet Holmes.”

No Police Like Holmes is a fun, literary read. In the hands of Andriacco, the above statement is not an oxymoron. Get this book, dive into a comfy chair, pour yourself a couple of fingers of scotch and enjoy this, sweetheart.” So says Felicia Carparelli’s Sherlock Holmes Murder Blog. But read the whole review! Felicia is no slouch at mystery writing herself, by the way.

British video reviewer Ross K calls No Police Like Holmes “very, very funny.”

To Publisher’s Weekly, the book is an “entertaining whodunit” and “Cody is engaging enough to make further books in the series welcome.”

“Andriacco’s characters and their lives are so very normal and untormented, his writing style so light, and his observations so witty that No Police Like Holmes is an enjoyable, palate-cleansing romp of a mystery with a little Sherlockian education thrown in,” advises The Well-Read Sherlockian. “Take it with you to the park or the beach and see if you can catch the culprit first.”