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More Sherlock Holmes New Adventures.
The True Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Terence Faherty

As all the world knows, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes gathered together the first of The Great Detective's was as published in The Strand Magazine. For over a hundred years, it was thought that these tales represented the true and unadulterated record of Holmes's triumphs. Then, in 2010, a collection of notebooks was discovered containing earlier drafts of these same stories, written in Dr. Watson's own hand. These offer a tantalizing glimpse of the true facts behind eleven cases. Seven of the talks appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, four others appear here for the first time.

"Obscenely Funny!" —Leslie S. Klinger

157 pp., $19.95

What the critics are saying about The THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES:

We're all familiar with Sherlock Holmes and very few are more familiar with him than Terence Faherty. He is the editor of this slim collection of what purports to be the recently discovered notebooks of none other than Dr. John H. Watson containing the very first drafts of eleven of the earliest Holmes stories. The startling revelation here is that these original drafts differ significantly from the stories as published in The Strand between July 1891 and June 1892. So this volume contains what the editor refers to as "a tantalizing glimpse of the true facts behind eleven cases Watson did write up as well as insights into his writing methods."

Among the previously little known facts we learn from these early drafts are that originally Holmes didn't play the violin, but rather the banjo. He drank beer instead of taking cocaine. He cheats at cards. These stories present more of a blue-collar version of Holmes, who was later gentrified by Watson for publication in the magazine. As just one example of the complete change of thrust of a story, the Beryl Coronet, of the story of the same name, was actually a horse rather than a gem. In fact it is in that draft that Holmes first inquired about the incident of the dog in the nighttime, although with a totally different response than we are accustomed to from Silver Blaze, where Watson chose to later place it. We also are treated to Watson’s personal notes on the choices he made for his later revisions. This is accompanied by Editor Faherty’s helpful historical and informative annotations putting everything into context.

All of this is played very straight, but Faherty's incredibly dry sense of humor shows through in every story here. Seven of these tales originally appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and four are new here. Even if you read those stories there, this volume contains the annotations which were not in EQMM. Each tale is a little gem (and not of the Beryl Coronet or Blue Carbuncle variety!). The best way to read these "drafts" is first to re-read the stories as published over 125 years ago (you have read them before, haven't you? If not, do so immediately!). Then settle down with this book and prepare to be thoroughly entertained by their cleverness and flat out fun. As Holmes says, "[in] the interests of a lively tale, there's no disbelief [Watson] is not willing to suspend." Apparently the same holds true for Faherty, who promises more to come "with the same scholarly dignity and respect we lavished on this initial series." Looking forward to it.