From Publishers Weekly
Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft were masters of mood and suggestion, qualities in short supply in this anthology collecting 18 all-original tales in which Sherlock Holmes and other Doylean characters confront various Lovecraftian horrors. A few contributions amount to cinematic action-adventure stories better suited to Indiana Jones, while perhaps the most atmospheric entry, Caitlin R. Kiernan's "The Drowned Geologist," with its sly Dracula allusions, relates more closely to her novel Threshold than to the book's theme. The more successful tales tend to adhere to traditional Holmesian scenarios, such as those by the two editors: Pelan's "The Mystery of the Worm" puts a neat Lovecraftian twist on one of Dr. Watson's untold cases, while Reaves's "The Adventure of the Arab's Manuscript" makes imaginative use of an unexpurgated copy of the Necronomicon found in an Afghan cave. Just as good are Richard A. Lupoff's "The Adventure of the Voorish Sign" and Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson's "The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone." F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre's "The Adventure of Exham Priory" takes the humor prize for an egotistical quip from the master detective, who alludes to the cosmic conclave of human and alien minds in HPL's "The Shadow Out of Time": "I was offered a chance to commune with intellects nearly the equal of my own."
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Here's a real treat for fans of Sherlock Holmes, H. P. Lovecraft, and everyone in between: 20 original stories by writers of horror and fantasy. Neil Gaiman is here, along with Barbara Hambly, Richard Lupoff, Brian Stableford, Poppy Z. Brite, and many more. The premise is engaging: What if the world of Holmes, the world's most logical and rational detective, intersected with the world of Lovecraft, where logic and rationality have little meaning? These are stories about strange beasts, men cursed to death, and the walking un-dead. Most feature a powerful narrative voice. One stars Irene Adler and takes place nearly a decade before the events recounted in the classic Conan Doyle story, "A Scandal in Bohemia." Another is narrated by H. G. Wells. Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's brother, appears in one tale; still another has Dr. Watson becoming Holmes' client. The stories, set between 1881 and 1915, are uniformly excellent, and the book, authorized by the Doyle estate, is a welcome addition to the Holmes canon. David Pitt
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