Not your typical Sherlock Holmes adventures . . . .
Nick Dunn-Meynell's new collection, A Proofreader's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, contains twelve sequels - of sorts - to each of the original stories in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, which first appeared in The Strand from 1891 to 1892. Within this book, you'll find a series of conversations between Holmes and Watson, each immediately taking place at the conclusion of one of the Adventures.
These aren't typical Sherlockian pastiches - the reader won't find new investigations in the traditional manner. Rather, these stories take the inconsistencies and contradictions to be found in those original twelve Canonical Adventures and pull them apart, twist them, double back on them, and construct them into something that's sly and new and thoroughly thought-provoking.
These efforts are dense with material and are filled with Easter Eggs for the perceptive Sherlockian. The author's subtle sense of humour and affection for Holmes and Watson peeks through at every turn, and there are references in each of the individual stories that refer to the others within this collection, giving hints of a bigger narrative at play. Reading these cannot and should not be hurried. They must be pondered.
And in addition to the Sherlockian aspects, Mr. Dunn-Meynell has managed to weave references to works of art from London's National Gallery into each story, pointing out their own hidden or ignored aspects, symbols, and meanings.
There's much to enjoy and ponder about these stories. Some will catch you by surprise and make you laugh out loud, while others will leave you painfully aware of contradictions and mistakes that have been previously ignored in The Canon.
These aren't typical Holmes adventures, but they are worth the time to savour and explore. Enjoy . . . .