If you’ve been seeing pictures of your Sherlockian friends posed with the new Life magazine publication “Sherlock Holmes: The Story Behind the World’s Greatest Detective,” you may wonder whether it’s worth picking up a copy. In my opinion, it is.
For veteran admirers of the supersleuth, or even well-read neophytes, there’s little new in the five-chapter, 96-page magazine. But the story of the detective who never lived and so can never die is told in a very engaging fashion with no more than the usual number of minor errors. The writers may not be experts in the subject matter, but they talked to four Baker Street Irregulars who are: Otto Penzler, Leslie Klinger, Lyndsay Faye, and Mattias Boström.
Most of the magazine is devoted to the story of Sherlock Holmes from the point of view of his creator, but chapter five concerns what might be called the sleuth’s afterlife – fandom and dramatic presentations and re-imaginings of the sleuth of Baker Street. The weakness here is lack of attention to Jeremy Brett, although contemporary screen Sherlocks are covered.
Not incidentally, this is a beautiful publication, lavishly illustrated throughout with striking photos – many of them new – and well worth revisiting just to look at. In short, it does not disappoint.