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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, June 2019
by Graeme Davis

Pegasus Books
364 pages
ISBN: 1643130714
EAN: 9781643130712
Kindle: B07KGHBZTP
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Detectives of the past. . ."

Fresh Fiction Review

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes
Graeme Davis

Reviewed by Gabrielle Lee
Posted August 29, 2019

Mystery

"The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes" is an interesting collection of stories edited and collected by Graeme Davis. It encompasses multiple stories by famous and well-known authors Poe, Dickens, Leroux, etc. All of the stories revolve around mysteries and the detective genre, in similar stylings as some of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The anthology is both engaging and interesting and continues to compel readers who are interested in not only the detective type mysteries but also such classic and well-regarded authors.

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Personally, I quite enjoyed the ones written by Poe and Leroux. The stories contain well-written characters and dynamic plots that may keep you guessing while you unravel each of the mysteries. On the other hand, I felt that the anthology lacked some organizational and cohesive quality. It was an interesting idea in essence but ended up as a somewhat weird combination of classic mystery stories and actual information or backstory. While the information is educational and connects the reader to the author and story, it doesn't necessarily meld well and somewhat detracts from the organization of the whole anthology. Although, it is an interesting collection of how these mystery type stories both evolved and kept some elements over the years, through basically the 1800s, I also felt like this anthology doesn't really have that much to do with Sherlock Holmes either, other than that they are in the same genre and Doyle's stories are some of the more famous classical literature of that genre.

While it is an interesting anthology, if you are looking for something new and different, this might not be for you, especially seeing as the stories are written in such a specific way, which would be normal for the authors and time period, but may cause it to be slightly difficult to be easily understood by casual readers today.

Learn more about The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

SUMMARY

This masterful collection of seventeen classic mystery stories, dating from 1837 to 1914, traces the earliest history of popular detective fiction.

Today, the figure of Sherlock Holmes towers over detective fiction like a colossus—but it was not always so. Edgar Allan Poe\'s French detective Dupin, the hero of \"The Murders in the Rue Morgue,\" anticipated Holmes\' deductive reasoning by more than forty years with his \"tales of ratiocination.\" In A Study in Scarlet, the first of Holmes\' adventures, Doyle acknowledged his debt to Poe—and to Émile Gaboriau, whose thief-turned-detective Monsieur Lecoq debuted in France twenty years earlier.

If \"Rue Morgue\" was the first true detective story in English, the title of the first full-length detective novel is more hotly contested. Two books by Wilkie Collins—The Woman in White (1859) and The Moonstone (1868)—are often given that honor, with the latter showing many of the features that came to identify the genre: a locked-room murder in an English country house; bungling local detectives outmatched by a brilliant amateur detective; a large cast of suspects and a plethora of red herrings; and a final twist before the truth is revealed. Others point to Mary Elizabeth Braddon\'s The Trail of the Serpent (1861) or Aurora Floyd (1862), and others still to The Notting Hill Mystery (1862-3) by the pseudonymous \"Charles Felix.\"

As the early years of detective fiction gave way to two separate golden ages—of hard-boiled tales in America and intricately-plotted, so-called \"cozy\" murders in Britain—the legacy of Sherlock Holmes, with his fierce devotion to science and logic, gave way to street smarts on the one hand and social insight on the other—but even though these new sub-genres went their own ways, their detectives still required the intelligence and clear-sightedness that characterized the earliest works of detective fiction: the trademarks of Sherlock Holmes, and of all the detectives featured in these pages.


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