Monday, February 22, 2010

THE SHERLOCK SHELF 2: Exit Sherlock Holmes, Holmes of the Movies, The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man

EXIT SHERLOCK HOLMES by Robert Lee Hall (1977)
This one sports rave blurbs from Allen J. Hubin, P.D. James and Atlantic Monthly, so it’s probably not bad. I really can’t remember. According to the back cover, when Holmes disappears to deal for the final time with Moriarty, Dr. Watson travels “deep into Holmes’ mysterious past, until he must face that shocking discovery that his old friend has lied to him for years about who he really is and where he comes from.” Dang! That sounds pretty good. I see that Mr. Hall has since written a series of Benjamin Franklin mysteries, the latest published in 2001.

HOLMES OF THE MOVIES by David Stuart Davies (1966)
A nice overview of Sherlock flicks from the silent era to Gene Wilder's appearance as the smarter brother. Along the way there are chapters on Wm Gillette’s play, the first talkies, Arthur Wontner, Basil Rathbone, the Rathbone-Bruce series, Peter Cushing, and Holmes in the sixties, peppered with a good number of black and white photos. If the book has a flaw, it’s in giving Cushing slightly more than his due, dubbing him "The “Authentic Holmes”. But since Mr. Cushing was kind enough to write the Introduction, I suppose such flattery should be overlooked.

Instead of being discovered in one of Dr. Watson’s many hidden dispatch boxes, this manuscript surfaced in the papers of Mrs. Henry Houdini. Though the good doctor had no intention of publishing the story he and Holmes shared with her husband, he was kind enough to pen a novel length manuscript and mail it to her. What a guy. Holmes and Houdini joined forces, we are told, to foil crooks out to blackmail the Prince of Wales. In the course of the adventure, Houdini reduces his body to ectoplasm, and Holmes deduces how he does it. Hey, I’d like to know that, too.


Cap'n Bob said...

Apropos of nothing, I filled out a Bald-Faced Liar sheet and posted it on my blog. Since no one reads mine and everyone reads yours, I thought I'd trumpet it here. go to:

Anonymous said...

I like the artwork on EXIT S.H., have read and recall nothing about ECTOPLASMIC and the middle book looks interesting. Thanks!

I'll take a look, Cap'n.