Book Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Detective’s Life

Edited by Martin Rosenstock


The famous detective returns in a thrilling anthology of Sherlock short stories, all penned by masters of the genre, such as Peter Swanson, Cara Black and James Lovegrove.

A brand new collection of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories which spans Holmes’s entire career, from the early days in Baker Street to retirement on the South Downs.

These Sherlock stories feature a woman haunted by the ghost of a rival actress, Moriarty’s son looking for revenge, Oscar Wilde’s lost manuscript, a woman framing her husband for murder, Mycroft’s encounter with Moriarty and Colonel Moran, and many more!


Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous literary creations of all time. In his lifetime, Sherlock Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wrote four novels and 56 short stories featuring the esteemed detective. Since then, many authors have picked up the baton and added their own stories to the ever-expanding unofficial canon. This latest collection brings together stories from twelve authors, many of whom have already written Sherlock Holmes stories or detective stories.

The book opens, movingly, with a prologue which sets up Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the literary agent of Dr John Watson. Conan Doyle is charged with bringing Watson’s final collection of stories – his so-called ‘The Terminal Twelve’ – to print, and this book is the result.

The stories follow a chronological order, from the opening tale which takes place as Watson was first moving into 221B Baker Street, until the final adventure which features the ageing pair taking on one last case together.

The twelve stories are worthy additions to the world of Sherlock Holmes. Each author captures the spirit of the characters and the late Victorian/early 20th Century setting. Having different authors contributing to a collection such as this is a double-edged sword – it brings variety and fresh voices, but the subtly different writing styles create a contrast which makes it more obvious that they were not penned by Conan Doyle. Inevitably, some stories are better than others; while they all have the right tone, a few lack the originality and inventiveness which made the originals such classics.

Overall, however, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you will enjoy this collection of short stories.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to Titan Books for the finished copy. Opinions my own.

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