"in the funny mood" [MAZA]
The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes by Liz Hedgecock, like many pastiches, starts with an introduction “verifying” the authenticity of the document. It goes on for a little longer than necessary, but it does set the tone — you know you’re in for lighthearted fare. This is a collection of short, humorous tales, more along the lines of Without a Clue or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother than it is reminiscent of the Canon.
That’s not to say that the Canon is ignored. The author makes good use of it, and the comedy is never derisive. The plots are just as often simple domestic troubles at 221B Baker Street as they are cases from clients, but those scenes are just as entertaining as the mysteries.
Whether witnessing Watson’s imagination run wild and suspecting Mrs. Hudson of poisoning Holmes, or watching Holmes track down Oscar Wilde’s notebook with anticlimactic results, these short tidbits from the lives of Holmes and Watson are a fun read. My personal favorite was “The Mystery of Mornington Crescent,” a post-retirement story that brings Holmes back to London to investigate an Underground station where no trains stop. The characters were well done, Holmes gets some great lines, and the solution was fitting.
If you’re looking for a quick lunch-break trip to Baker Street, with a laugh rather than a complex mystery, then this collection will serve you well. The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes is available for Kindle on Amazon.