Last August on this blog I wrote about what I thought were seven essential books for every Sherlockian. Now Peter Eckrich and Rob Nunn have gone me ten better with Canonical Cornerstones, a book of essays about 17 books you should own -- like the 17 steps to 221B.
The authors of these essays include some of the greatest living Sherlockians (plus me). None argues that any one book is the only book, just that it's an important one. They give you enough information to know which books you want to buy and in what order. But I warn you, they may also drive you to your bookshelves to revisit a favored classic you already have.
From the beginning of this blog in May 2011, I have insisted that I have a library and not a collection. All of the canonical cornerstones are in my library, and most of them are books that I have mentioned here and that I consult frequently for research.
Here's the lineup of books and the authors of the essays about them:
Vincent Starrett's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes -- Ray Betzner
Michael Harrison's In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes -- Catherine Cooke
The Baker Street Journal -- Peggy McFarlane
Leslie S. Klinger's The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes -- Peter E. Blau
D. Martin Dakin's A Sherlock Holmes Commentary -- Mike McSwiggin
Nicholas Meyer's The Seven-Per-Cent Solution -- Anastasia Klimchynskaya
Daniel Stashower's Teller of Tales -- Mark Jones
Beyond the Canon: Apochrypha et Cetera -- Ross E. Davies
Jack Tracy's Encyclopaedia Sherlockiana -- Sonia Fetherston
Ellery Queen's The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes -- Timothy J. Johnson
S.C. Roberts's Holmes and Watson: A Miscellany -- Roger Johnson
Mattias Boström's From Holmes to Sherlock -- Mark Alberstat
Steven Doyle's Sherlock Holmes for Dummies -- Regina Stinson
Ronald Burt De Waal's The World Bibliography of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson -- Ira Brad Matetsky
The Classic Doubleday Omnibus -- Russell Merritt
Edgar W. Smith's Profile by Gaslight -- Dan Andriacco
William S. Baring-Gould's The Annotated Sherlock Holmes - Julie McKuras
Canonical Cornerstones is published by Gasogene Books. You can buy it in all the usual places, and if you happen to pick it up at a Sherlockian conference there's a good chance many of the authors will be standing around you at the time.