There can be many reasons to buy a book, especially a used one. The most recent example of that in my library is a copy of ResurrectedHolmes, an anthology of pastiches edited by Marvin Kaye.
I bought it at Mysterious Bookshop over the Baker Street Irregulars & Friends Weekend.
Kaye’s name on the binding was probably the initial attraction because he has bought a number of articles from me for Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, which he edits. Upon opening the book, I noticed that both Kaye and Otto Penzler, the owner of Mysterious Bookshop and one of the two people to whom the volume was dedicated, had both inscribed the book. And they had inscribed it to Jerry Margolin, a famous collector of Sherlockiana, particularly artwork.
So that gave me three great reasons to buy the book.
Only after I had it home and began to pursue it more carefully did I discover a fourth reason: One of the stories is by the late William L. DeAndrea, whom I met once, talked to on the phone once, and corresponded with a bit. He was about three months older than me and died in 1996 at the age of 44. I think he’s one of the most under-rated mystery writers of our time.
The gimmick of the anthology – and it is a gimmick, though a delightful one – is that each story is written not in the style of Dr. Watson but in that of another famous writer. DeAndrea’s entry, “The Adventure of the Cripple Parade,” for example, is told from the point of view of Holmes and in the style of Mickey Spillane.
Some of the contributors are better at pulling off the approach than others, but most of the stories are quite entertaining. I especially liked “The Adventure of Ricolleti of the Club Foot” in the style of P.G. Wodehouse (featuring a butler named Reeves) and “The Giant Rat of Sumatra” as if by H.P. Lovecraft. From humor to horror, it’s an interesting collection that I am glad to have on my shelves.