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I love Sherlock Holmes-my dog is even named Sherlock! So I've read a lot of Sherlock Holmes books outside of the original canon (those penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). Here are ten of my favorites to check out if you really enjoyed Doyle's original stories.
1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
I tend to struggle with books about Sherlock Holmes that take too much liberty with the canon and change it too much-i.e. minimize Watson's role. But King won me over with this far-outside-the-box idea that really works. My blog's name is even a takeoff on the title of this book. The series loses steam after the first few entries or so, and I've actually stopped reading it now, but those first few books are magic.
2. Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of The Hound of the Baskervilles by Pierre Bayard
Bayard takes the case of The Hound of the Baskervilles and does a deep and fascinating analysis of it, developing his hypothesis that Holmes accused the wrong person. Bayard also wrote a book analyzing The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, in which he offers his proof that Hercule Poirot accused an innocent person. Bayard's books are absolutely fascinating for fans of the original stories he is breaking apart, and I have read each multiple times.
3. The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr
I discussed how much I love this book in a previous post, but needless to say, Carr is an incredible author, and the weaving together of a real historical mystery with the beloved characters of Holmes and Watson results in a book you can't put down.
4. The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession by David Grann
This is a collection of non-fiction stories centered around the mysterious, a topic Holmes himself loved to investigate. One of the true tales is specifically linked to Sherlock Holmes, surrounding the bizarre death of a Holmes scholar.
5. Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
While this is not a non-fiction novel, it is based closely off a true story involving an unjustly accused man whose case catches the attention of the famous creator of Sherlock Holmes.
6. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
The Sherlockian contains two parallel tales. In one, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has just killed off his beloved character Sherlock Holmes, and, along with Bram Stoker, is hunting for a murderer. In the present day, a dedicated fan of Holmes attempts to solve the mysterious death of a Sherlockian scholar who had claimed to have found the long-missing diary of Doyle himself.
7. The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King
King is the author of the previously mentioned Mary Russell series. But here, she combines her other series, the Kate Martinelli mysteries, with the great Sherlock Holmes. A Sherlock Holmes collector has been murdered, and a previously undiscovered Sherlock Holmes story may just hold all the clues.
8. Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas
The main characters of Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn reminded me immediately of Holmes and Watson when I first read this book. Barker is a brilliant private detective who cannot be bothered with the trivialities of polite society, while Llewelyn is his devoted assistant who has quite a bit of fight in him as well.
9. A Life in Letters by Jon L. Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower, and Charles Foley
10. Teller of Tales by Daniel Stashower
Both of these reads are biographies of the creator of Sherlock Holmes himself. They offer fascinating insight into the man who is responsible for one of the most famous literary creations of all time.