Friday, September 25, 2015

Crossover Cover: Sherlock Holmes in America

This anthology of short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes solving crimes in the U.S. includes three crossovers. In Robert Pohle's "The Flowers of Utah," Holmes and Watson travel to Utah to track down Tom Dennis, Jefferson Hope’s accomplice. There, Watson encounters Lucy Ferrier Hope, who reveals with Dennis’ assistance she is helping young Mormon women wishing to avoid polygamy flee to Wyoming. She further says she would do it alone if she could, or be a Masked Rider like her old friend Bess Erne. Tom Dennis, Jefferson Hope, and Lucy Ferrier are from the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet. This story reveals both the true identity of Hope’s accomplice who used the alias "Mrs. Sawyer," and that Lucy Ferrier’s apparent death was a deception. Bess Erne is from Zane Grey’s Western novel Riders of the Purple Sage, thus bringing that classic work into the CU. A reference to President Garfield places this story in 1881. In "The Minister's Missing Daughter" by Victoria Thompson, Holmes and Watson vacation in New York City, where they attend a dinner party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt. There, they meet Mrs. Sarah Brandt, who asks them to investigate the disappearance of Harriet Penny. Working on the case with them is Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. Brandt and Malloy are the protagonists of Thompson’s Gaslight Mysteries series of novels; this crossover brings them into the CU. A reference to William McKinley as "the newly-elected American president" places this story in 1897. In Paula Cohen's "Recalled to Life," Holmes is in New York in 1893, during the Great Hiatus. Using the alias Simon Greaves, he meets disgraced ex-police captain Robert Battle. The two attend the opera, where Battle points out Henry Ogden Slade, his ward, and Slade’s best friend, Thaddeus Chadwick, who was responsible for Battle’s downfall. Holmes forces Chadwick to clear Battle’s name. Two years later, Battle and his wife visit Holmes and Watson in London, where Battle tells Holmes Chadwick was murdered by a young woman with whom he was living. Henry Ogden Slade, his ward (Clara Adler), Thaddeus Chadwick, and the young woman (Lucy Pratt) are from Cohen’s novel Gramercy Park. Watson wrote up this case after Holmes’ retirement.


  1. I seem to remember that there have been other references to Riders of the Purple Sage.

    1. Kim Newman's Professor Moriarty story "A Volume in Vermilion" also features characters from Riders of the Purple Sage.