Everyone’s heard of Sherlock Holmes. He’s one of the most famous fictional detectives ever created. However, once you’ve read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s entire Holmes canon of 56 short stories and four novels, what do you do? One option is to read books by other authors that use Holmes as their protagonist – which is their right seeing as Holmes is now out of copyright. The other is to explore stories written by Conan Doyle’s contemporaries and admirers. You might just discover alternatives you enjoy just as much.
That’s part of the logic followed by editor Nick Rennison and No Exit Press, which is releasing More Rivals of Sherlock Holmes this week. The other part goes a bit like this: if all the Sherlock Holmes short stories were published in The Strand Magazine between 1891 and 1927, what was its other content like? Rennison has combed antique publications dated between 1890 and 1914 to find interesting detectives who competed for eyeballs with the great Sherlock Holmes and brought them back for fans to enjoy.
Inside, you’ll meet the following:
Mr Booth, created by Herbert Keen in The Missing Heir
Max Carrados, created by Ernest Bramah in The Tragedy at Brookend Cottage
Miss Florence Cussack, created by LT Meade and Robert Eustace in The Arrest of Captain Vandaleur
John Dollar, the Crime Doctor, created by EW Hornung in One Possessed
Dick Donovan, created by JE Preston Muddock in The Jewelled Skull
Horrace Dorrington, created by Arthur Morrison in The Case of the Mirror Portugal
Martin Hewitt, created by Arthur Morrison in The Ivy Cottage Mystery
Judith Lee, created by Richard Marsh in Conscience
Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, created by Baroness Orczy in The Man in the Inverness Cap
Madelyn Mack, created by Hugh Cosgro Weir in The Missing Bridegroom
Addington Peace, created by B Fletcher Robinson in The Vanished Millionaire
Mark Poignand and Kala Persad, created by Headon Hill in The Divination of the Kodak Films
John Pym, created by David Christie Murray in The Case of Muelvos Y Sagra
Christopher Quarles, created by Percy James Brebner in The Search for the Missing Fortune
John Thorndyke, created by R Austin Freeman in The Mandarin’s Pearl
Each of the 15 is introduced by Nick Rennison to give you a bit of context, and then you can read a complete mystery. Although diversity was probably not on the mind of The Strand’s editor, Herbert Greenhough Smith, it’s good to see they’re not all men.
We think it’s a great idea and the publications follows The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes in 2015, which included in its pages characters like Carnacki the Ghost Hunter, Professor Augustus SFX Van Dusen, Eugene Valmont and November Joe.
You can order both books below and have a look at a couple of pages from them too.