Friday, November 21, 2014

Crossover Covers: Sherlock Holmes and the Golden Bird

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate the theft of the Golden Bird, a statue of a roc made out of gold. Despite its suggestive name, the Bird's physical description and history do not match the Maltese Falcon, and therefore it must be a separate statue. Holmes’ interest in Montenegro is noted several times, and Watson wonders if his friend spent any time there during the period the world believed him dead. A footnote to a passage about Holmes’ interest in geography says, “It is interesting to note that a latter-day detective of widespread fame and girth who was born in Montenegro spent a great deal of time studying maps.” In his biographies Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street and Nero Wolfe of West Thirty-Fifth Street, William S. Baring-Gould proposed that Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler had an affair in Montenegro during the Great Hiatus, and that Nero Wolfe was the product of said relationship. Holmes says that Jimmie Valentine is one of four burglars who could have stolen the Bird from a safe, but he is in America. Jimmie (or Jimmy) Valentine is from O. Henry's classic story "A Retrieved Reformation," and has appeared or been mentioned in a couple of Thomas' other Holmes pastiches. This novel takes place in late autumn of an unspecified year. Internal references indicate it takes place between "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" (1899) and "The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone" (1903.) I have chosen 1900 as the year.

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