Sherlock Holmes pastiches

Sherlock Holmes has captivated generations of mystery aficionados. It isn’t just the stories that have fascinated us but also the larger-than-life characters of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Unfortunately for us, Arthur Conan Doyle only wrote four novels and 56 short stories – hardly enough to satiate us. However, over the past century, many authors have made a keen attempt to write stories and novels that feature some of our favourite Sherlock Holmes’ characters. Here are eight such books where Holmes solves government conspiracies, tracks Jack the Ripper, makes a deal with Saint Peter and even takes on an apprentice. The game’s afoot!

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

01

The House Of Silk

Anthony Horowitz

Notable for being the first Sherlock Holmes novel officially authorised by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate, The House Of Silk is a gripping mystery that heralds the return of Sherlock Holmes at his best. Edmund Carstairs, an art dealer, approaches Holmes and Watson for help and relays a fantastic story of being stalked by a strange man who has followed him from America. As Holmes and Watson investigate, they find themselves drawn into an international conspiracy featuring the mysterious ‘House of Silk’ that connects the highest echelons of the government to the criminal underbelly. This is a must-read for all fans of Sherlock Holmes. 

Buy it here.

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

02

Dust And Shadow

Lyndsay Faye

Dust And Shadow pits Sherlock Holmes against one of the most infamous serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper. In addition to Watson, Holmes is assisted by Mary Ann Monk, a friend of one of the Ripper’s earliest victims, who agrees to spy for him. Even as Holmes races against time to find the man known as ‘The Knife’, he comes under suspicion himself for being Jack the Ripper. However, when Holmes discovers the truth, it threatens to break down public order. Featuring other familiar characters like Inspector Gregson, Inspector Lestrade and Mycroft Holmes, Lyndsay Faye’s book is real homage to Holmes. Faye followed up her debut with The Whole Art Of Detection: Lost Mysteries Of Sherlock Holmes, which collects several of her most well-known short stories.

Buy it here.

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

03

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: Or, On The Segregation Of The Queen

Laurie R. King

In 1915, 54-year-old Sherlock Holmes is in retirement in Sussex Downs and busy with his bees until he meets 15-year-old Mary Russell, who has a penchant for detection and a quick mind. For the next two years, he teaches her everything he knows about detection, including the arts of disguise, deduction and tracking.  In 1918, when Holmes is asked to consult on the kidnapping of an American senator’s daughter, he involves Russell in the case. This sets of a chain of events, which tests their relationship to the limit. This worthy addition to the Sherlock Holmes’ canon introduces us to a new detective who has featured in 21 books by the same author.

Buy it here.

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

04

Art In The Blood

Bonnie MacBird

It is 1888 London and Sherlock Holmes is bored until he receives a coded message written in disappearing ink and reeking of perfume. The sender, Mlle Emmeline La Victoire, has requested Holmes’ presence in Paris to investigate the disappearance of her son, Emil. At the same time, Mycroft Holmes, asks Holmes to investigate the Earl of Pellingham who, as it turns out, is Emil’s father. Both the cases intersect as Holmes and Watson return to England to discover the Earl’s role in the theft of the Marseilles Nike as well as the death of four children. Bonnie MacBird’s depiction of Holmes is true to the canon, and her story gripping and fast-paced. If you enjoy this, you can also pick up two other Sherlock Holmes novels written by MacBird – Unquiet Spirits and The Devil’s Due.

Buy it here.

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

05

Shadows Over Baker Street

Michael Reeves (Ed.) & John Pelan (Ed.)

Shadows Over Baker Street is an anthology of stories featuring Sherlock Holmes set against the backdrop of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. In this book, 20 amazing writers have come together to pit Sherlock Holmes against mysteries whose solutions lay beyond sanity. In Neil Gaiman’s ‘A Study In Emerald’, a murder reveals a seditious conspiracy against the Crown that only one man can stop. In ‘Art In The Blood’, Holmes comes face to face with an ancient curse and in ‘A Case Of Royal Blood’, Holmes and H.G. Wells come together to protect a princess from a ghost. This anthology is perfect for fans of Doyle and Lovecraft and those who’ve always wondered what would happen if the two worlds were married. 

Buy it here.

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

06

The Exploits Of Sherlock Holmes

Adrian Conan Doyle & John Dickinson Carr

Written by Doyle’s son in collaboration with his biographer, John Dickinson Carr, these 12 short stories are based on cases that were never documented but mentioned in passing in the original work. In ‘The Adventure Of The Seven Clocks’, Sherlock Holmes solves the mystery of why a nobleman keeps on smashing clocks; in ‘The Adventure Of The Highgate Miracle’, Holmes tries to discover what happened to the man who went back home to get his umbrella and was never seen again; in ‘The Adventure Of The Sealed Room’, Holmes solves a locked room mystery that has been written off as suicide but is actually murder. This collection is original, fascinating and fills in many of the gaps from the original canon.

Buy it here.

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

07

MX Book Of New Sherlock Holmes Stories

David Marcum (Ed.)

Running into 21 volumes (so far), the MX Book Of New Sherlock Holmes Stories collects stories by over 60 authors like John Hall, Mike Hogan, Andrew Lane, Lyndsay Faye and Hugh Ashton. They feature hundreds of new stories where Sherlock Holmes continues to solve mysteries featuring everything from hauntings and curses to cults and mythical beasts. The stories are presented chronologically and span 4 decades – from 1881- 1923. Interestingly, all the royalties from these volumes are being donated for the preservation of Undershaw, a former home of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Buy it here.

Sherlock Holmes pastiches

08

Sherlock Holmes In Orbit

Mike Resnick (Ed.) & Martin H. Greenberg (Ed.)

All the stories in this collection were written for this anthology that is divided into four different sections: Holmes In The Past, Holmes In The Present, Holmes In The Future, and Holmes After Death. The stories all feature an element of science fiction. ‘Two Roads, No Choices’ by Dean Wesley Smith has elements of time travel and an alternate universe while ‘Holmes Ex Machina’ involves a holographic Sherlock Holmes helping a filmmaker solve a mystery. In ‘The Adventure Of The Russian Grave’, Moriarty uses an asteroid to exact revenge on Holmes while ‘The Musgrave Version’ is an interesting perspective on Holmes’ meeting with Fu Manchu. Meanwhile, in ‘The Adventure Of The Pearly Gate’, a bored Holmes in heaven makes a deal with Saint Peter to return to earth. This is a heady mix of science fiction and Sherlock Holmes.

Buy it here.

Devanshi Jain

Devanshi Jain

Devanshi has been reading ever since she can remember. What started off as an obsession with Enid Blyton, slowly morphed into a love for mystery and fantasy. Even her choice of career as a lawyer was heavily influenced by the works of Erle Stanley Gardner and John Grisham. After quitting law, and while backpacking around India, she read books on entrepreneurship, taught herself web design and delved into social media marketing. She doesn’t go anywhere without a book.

She is the founding editor of The Curious Reader. Read her articles here.