I'll say it again: The Sherlock Holmes Review is a thing of beauty.
By that I mean the lavishly illustrated publication, reborn as an annual, is delightful to look at. The cover gives you a clue that the images are sharp and the color pops out. Even the typeface and the two-column format reminiscent of the original Holmes stories in The Strand are pleasing to the eye.
Full disclosure: My first published fiction appeared in the original quarterly Sherlock Holmes Review in 1990 and I have a couple of reviews in this one. But I don't think that has influenced the way I feel about this book. My work has appeared in other publications I've not been so taken with!
Importantly, the appeal of the new SHR is more than just skin deep. The articles are uniformly excellent. Nick Meyer gives an overview of his author tour promoting The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols. Jimmy Akin makes the subject of Holmes's Persian slipper interesting. Regina Stinson looks at the illustrators of Sherlock Holmes. Steve Doyle remembers Michael Cox. Ray Betzner convincingly takes us into the mind of Professor Moriarty. Fabienne Courouge analyzes the screen Watsons from the viewpoint of their various functions in the films.
Les Klinger interviews the creator of Elementary, Rachel Gosch makes a surprising connection between Sherlock Holmes and Catwoman (with a scintillating drawing by Frank Cho in red, white, and black), Peter Eckrich looks at the familiar faces that appeared in the Rathbone-Bruce films, Ross Davies discusses Holmes and cricket. And much more!
There's only one short story, but it's a fine pastiche. Ann Margaret Lewis tells the story of the first Mrs. Watson in "The Adventure of the Old Flame."
Editor Steve Doyle and art director Mark Gagen have also laced the book with memories from the archives of the original SHR. There was a wonderful freshness to that publication that many of us remember fondly, but the annual is a worthy successor. You can order from Wessex Press.