The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • by John Joseph Adams (editor), Robert J. Sawyer, Christopher Roden, Michael Moorcock, Anne Perry, Neil Gaiman, Anthony Burgess, Laurie R. King
  • Narrated by Simon Vance, Anne Flosnik
  • 21 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A modern short-story collection featuring the great detective. Stories included:
"A Sherlockiana Primer", © 2009 by Christopher Roden
"The Horror of the Many Faces", © 2003 by Tim Lebbon
"The Case of the Bloodless Sock", © 2001 by Anne Perry
"The Adventure of the Other Detective", © 2003 by Bradley H. Sinor
"A Scandal in Montreal", © 2008 by Edward D. Hoch
"The Adventure of the Field Theorems"; © 1995 Vonda N. McIntyre
"The Adventure of the Death-Fetch", © 1994 by Darrell Schweitzer
"The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland", © 2005 by Mary Robinette Kowal
"The Adventure of the Mummy's Curse", © 2006 by H. Paul Jeffers
"The Things That Shall Come Upon Them", © 2008 by Barbara Roden
"Murder to Music", © 1989 by Anthony Burgess
"The Adventure of the Inertial Adjustor", © 1997 Stephen Baxter
"Mrs. Hudson's Case", © 1997 Laurie R. King
"The Singular Habits of Wasps", © 1994 by Geoffrey A. Landis
"The Affair of the 46th Birthday"; © 2009 by Amy Myers
"The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey", © 2001 by Peter Tremayne
"The Vale of the White Horse"; © 2003 by Sharyn McCrumb
"The Adventure of the Dorset Street Lodger", © 1993 by Michael Moorcock
"The Adventure of the Lost World", © 2004 by Dominic Green
"The Adventure of the Antiquarian's Niece"; © 2003 by Barbara Hambly
"Dynamics of a Hanging", © 2005 by Tony Pi
"Merridew of Abominable Memory" © 2008 by Monkeybrain, Inc.
"Commonplaces" © 2008-2009 by Naomi Novik
"The Adventure of the Pirates of Devil's Cape", © 2009 by Rob Rogers
"The Adventure of the Green Skull", © 2008 by Mark Valentine
"The Human Mystery", © 1999 by Tanith Lee
"A Study in Emerald", © 2003 by Neil Gaiman
"You See But You Do Not Observe", © 1995 by Robert J. Sawyer.


What the Critics Say

"For the most part, this volume of short Sherlock Holmes pastiches - a mix of straightforward imitations and parodies - delivers on its goal of presenting the best of such work from the last 30 years....Barbara Roden's "The Things That Shall Come Upon Them" riffs cleverly on M.R. James's "Casting the Runes". Perhaps the highlight is Peter Tremayne's "The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey", which offers a plausible explanation for a classic untold tale in which a man disappears from the face of the earth after returning home to fetch an umbrella." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Improbable and Incredible.

If you're precious about Doyle's works, I probably wouldn't recommend this. It does tend to lean more towards the speculative than the detective side. Then again it's a little strange in my opinion to be a staunch defender of the Holmesian canon when the author himself said to another writer "You may marry [Holmes], or murder or do what you like with him."

And these authors do. If you allow yourself more than your usual helping of willing suspension of disbelieve you will encounter terror, hilarity, shock, excitement and suspense. You will also discover (and this is an official spoiler alert) dinosaurs, pirates, Siamese twins, mummy's curses, Jack the Ripper, alien abductions, Lovecraftian horrors (a lot of these actually), alternate dimensions, ghost, ghouls, strange contraptions and some brilliant interpretations of the world's greatest consulting detective. We also get a slew of cameos from Doyle's work as well as the appearance of actual historical figures (including Doyle himself. Twice.)

I tended to dislike Anne Flosnik narrations but that could be because they pale in comparison to Simon Vance's renditions. His are genius.

The quality varies from author to author as you would expect, but there has to be at least one tale here that tickles your fancy. For all the ones I hated there were two I adored. I highly recommend this collection.
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- Shannyn Campbell

Very Enjoyable

First, I must point out that I am not a die-hard Sherlock Holmes aficionado. I’ve read some of the stories, but not all, watched the TV series with Jeremy Brett, seen some other adaptations. I fall into that category of Holmes’s fans who can enjoy departures from the canon. (I even enjoyed the recent movie featuring Holmes.)

About the book, Simon Vance is (as I anticipated) brilliant. The other narrator was fine, but the reader who introduces the stories has an annoying voice; fortunately the introductions are short. The stories themselves are very respectful of Doyle’s characters. Frankly, given the number SF and fantasy writers, I expected to find Holmes in some very unusual territory. This was not the case. While there were a few stories I just couldn’t make it through, they were few and far between. (The notable stand-out for truly horrible story which did not respect the Holmes canon was the one by Sharyn McCrumb, who made her story about her characters and her themes with little respect for Holmes; I did not finish that one.)
Overall, I found that the number of stories I really enjoyed far outweighed the ones I just couldn’t endure. As a final thought, most of the “chapter” breaks are between stories, so it is easy to find the beginning of a new story.
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- Tracey Rains

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-11-2010
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio