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The Execution of Sherlock Holmes: And Other New Adventures of the Great Detective

The Execution of Sherlock Holmes: And Other New Adventures of the Great Detective - Donald Thomas, John Telfer Donald Thomas did an excellent job of continuing on the deeds of Holmes and Watson in this collection of 5 short stories. Thomas caught the flavor of the times in speech, setting, and social inequities. The author also added an unexpected aspect in that not all mysteries were solved completely.

This collection starts with The Execution of Sherlock Holmes in which several of Holmes enemies join forces, capture him, enact a parody of a lengthy trial, and then plan to end his life. Sherlock, of course, is on his own to escape from this wayward vengeance. I found this to be an interesting story in the collection, but not my favorite. This tale cast Sherlock as something of a Superman, able to memorize, recall, and analyze minutiae without flaw, fight off nightly drugging, and eventually accomplish a physical feat for which I doubt he had much training. Sometimes Holmes is just too good at everything; I like my main characters flawed.

That said, I still found this collection to be engaging. These 5 tales occur in the late 1890s/early 1900s. My favorite involved Holmes sleuthing around to prevent an innocent man from being hanged for the death of a pregnant, unwed lady. I especially enjoyed the comments about how country folk arrange their lives over the rising and setting of the sun (which is so true). Of course, Holmes and Watson had other cases closer to home, such as the charismatic magician, his accomplice, and a sly use of poison. Holmes also gets his chance to match wits with some masters of espionage involving classified info on Britain’s mighty battleships. The final installment in this collection has Holmes going up against a Moriarty in a complicated case of jewelry theft.