By Selby G.
Now that fall is here, the icy fingers of winter will soon be sliding down our necks and forcing us inside to stay warm and dry. This time of year makes me want to curl up with a good mystery.
So with that thought in mind, I am issuing another reading challenge. Much like the romance reading challenge issued this summer, this challenge will break down mysteries into subgenres. Each blog post will be about a different subgenre and include an overview and recommendations. I’ve even made another list that you can print out and check off as you go.
Are you ready for the challenge?
The first mystery subgenre on the list is Sherlockian. Arthur Conan Doyle originally based the detective on his mentor at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Dr. Bell. It was said that Bell could diagnose a patient just by looking at him. Combining this prowess of deduction with the burgeoning new science of forensics, Doyle created a fascinating character who we are still obsessed with to this day.
For this reading challenge I suggest you read a couple of Doyle’s original stories featuring the eccentric detective and then move on to some of the many reincarnations of Sherlock. The Sherlock stories originally ran in the Strand Magazine of London and are therefore shorter than a typical novel. Pick up a compilation volume to satisfy the mystery itch. The Hound of The Baskervilles is my favorite.
Once you are well versed in the original Sherlock mysteries you can then move on to the myriad of other books that feature the consulting detective in one form or another. Short story compliations such as the one titled The Lost Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes will give you a taste of what a couple authors have done with this famous character. Other authors such as Theodore Riccardi try to account for Sherlock’s whereabouts after his “death”. In The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes we find him traipsing through Asia. Still other books address Sherlock’s youth. In The Dark Water by David Pirie we also get to know Sherlock’s mentor, Dr. Joseph Bell.
And don’t think the kids have been left out of the Sherlock fun. Sherlock Bones searches for the missing cheese, Enola Holmes, sister to Sherlock, solves her own mysteries and a teenage Sherlock uncovers his first murder in Death Cloud. You don’t have to read these for the challenge but they are entertaining.
Download and print out the checklist here and read along with our winter mystery series.