Sherlock Holmes is everywhere – even in the grocery store checkout lane. Not as a customer, but as a product.
I’ve picked up a few fairly readable magazine-style books in such places over the years. Most are heavy on photographs and light on scholarship. One that was well done, however, was LIFE magazine’s 96-page Sherlock Holmes: The Story Behind the World’s Greatest Detective. It covered both Holmes and Holmesiana.
Now comes the digest-sized Sherlock Holmes Puzzles: Investigate & Solve Challenging Mysteries from Publications International Ltd., which Ann spotted on her way out of the store a while back. It’s a collection of 49 anagrams, cryptograms, word searches, and “identify the source of this quote” packed into 80 pages.
Full disclosure, only 21 of the puzzles relate to Holmes, but Holmes puzzles fit into each of the categories. Both anagrams and cryptograms involve passages from the Canon, for example. “Women of Sherlock Holmes” and “For Stage and Screen” (actors who played Holmes) are the subject of word searches.
The “Famous First Lines” and “Famous Last Lines,” of which there are two pages each, should be relatively easy for veteran Sherlockians. But that is largely because Arthur Conan Doyle wrote such terrific first and last lines! I have a talk on “What Writers Can Learn from Sherlock Holmes” in which I discuss the Agent as a master of great beginnings and memorable endings.
The editor of Sherlock Holmes Puzzles is listed as Ian Feigle. I don’t know if he actually wrote it, but whoever did is familiar with both the source material and Sherlockian cinema. The results is a rather odd little book, but one I don’t mind having in my library.