At book fairs, with all the mysteries I’ve written on the table before me, potential buyers often ask my favorite. I usually say, “I love all my children.” That’s pretty much true of the books I own as well, but some have particular significance for me. A few of those include:
- · The Complete Sherlock Holmes, standard Doubleday edition. I bought this volume with my own money when I was in the seventh grade; it is now in tatters.
- · Three Problems for Solar Pons by August Derleth. I paid a quarter for this limited-edition book at a library sale many years ago, the biggest book bargain of my life.
- · Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, published by for young readers by Whitman, was probably the first Sherlock Holmes editionI ever owned, although this isn’t the actual book I had as a boy. The stories are unabridged, although not all of the Adventures are included.
- · Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Steven Doyle is the general introduction I recommend to readers as the first step beyond the Canon itself.
The following are all books that I borrowed from the public library when I was a lad, then acquired with great joy many years later:
- · The Boys’ Sherlock Holmes, edited by Howard Haycraft, was another nice collection for young readers.
- · The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes by Vincent Starrett introduced me to the wider world of Sherlockian criticism. I own three editions, just because I can.
- · Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street by William S. Baring-Gould actually isn’t one of my favorites, but it has such an import role in the history of Sherlockiana that I have to give it special honor. I have a copy on each floor of our home.
Oh, and I should add my own books. My favorite of these? As I said up top, I love all my children. Look for Queen City Corpse: A Sebastian McCabe – Jeff Cody Mystery in September and The Villa of the Doomed: Another Adventureof Sherlock Holmes in January.