Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Despite Reichenbach, Moriarty Lives

Is any character in alleged fiction of the last 150 years as much of an archetype as Sherlock Holmes?

Well, yes - Professor Moriarty is. Just as Holmes is the archetype of the Great Detective, Moriarty is the epitome of the Master Criminal. Before him there was none in fiction, and every one that followed owes something to him.

Moriarty is one of a trio of characters from the Holmes Canon, along with Irene Adler and Mycroft Holmes, who intrigue us because they are great creations about whom we know so little. That is a gap that pastiche writers fill with endless creativity. For example, both Mycroft and Moriarty have been portrayed as the original "M" of James Bond's secret service.

Recently I picked up a copy of The Mammoth Book of the Adventures of Professor Moriarty, an anthology of 37 new tales edited by Maxim Jakubowski, and was pleasantly surprised at the overall quality. As in an collection of stories by different writers, some are understandably stronger than others. But most are quite good, well written and entertaining.

The variety of approaches in these three dozen stories is astonishing. Most are not written from the pen of Dr. Watson. In fact, one is narrated by the Professor himself. Many give us a young Moriarty who is already devilish, and two involve Moriarty seeking psychiatric help. One ventures into steampunk with a young heroine who turns out to have a surprising identity. In several, the name Sherlock Holmes never appears. 

Since quite a few of the stories take place after Reichenbach and Moriarty is still alive, it's safe to safe that Sherlockian orthodoxy is not observed within these pages. But who cares? The point is to have fun, and this is a fun book. Even though I didn't believe a word of it.

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