|Dan Andriacco, left, and Steve Winter at 221 B Baker Street (Sherlock Holmes Museum)|
Richard Mansel recently wrote on his excellent Facebook Fan Page, Richard's Reading Room:
Raymond Chandler is one of the greatest American writers. The first time I read one of his books, I was speechless. However, I have put off reading "The Long Goodbye" for years because it's too depressing to not have any more of his books to read. Weird, I know. Can you imagine being that way about anyone?Well, yes, I can. My friend and fellow Tankerville Club member Steve Winter once confided that he had held off reading some of the later Holmes stories in the Canon so that he would always have something to look forward to. Paul Herbert, founder and Official Secretary of the Club, was aghast when I told him this. "Egad!" he exclaimed. "The man could die tonight!"
But that was long ago, and Steve is fortunately still with us. I suspect that by this time he has finally read all the later stories. And a good thing, too! I have long believed that the post-Reichenbach tales get a bum rap when they are accused of being subpar.
Consider, for example, "The Adventure of the Retired Colourman" and "The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place," the last two stories published. Both are excellent traditional mysteries, with Holmes in fine form.
True, the plots of the some of the other stories in the last three books of short stories are strongly reminiscent of earlier adventures, but that doesn't make them weak on their own merits.
And "His Last Bow" is still my favorite of all 60 Holmes stories. It's perfect for what its subtitle proclaims it to be "An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes."