Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Crossover Cover: Sherlock Holmes: The Game's Afoot

This anthology contains three stories with crossovers. In M.J. Elliott's "The Adventure of the Hanging Tyrant," set in 1894, Holmes investigates a case that involves Oswald Crawshay, who learned the art of housebreaking from his uncle, a suspect in the theft of the Melrose Necklace. Oswald's uncle is Reginald Crawshay from E. W. Hornung’s Raffles stories "Gentlemen and Players" and "The Return Match," both of which are included in the collection The Amateur Cracksman. In Christopher Sequeira's "The Adventure of the Haunted Showman," set in October 1897, Inspector Lestrade brings a potential client to Holmes, who says he is engaged in a pressing affair involving an unclaimed rare book recently auctioned after the sale of the Al Hazred Collection, and he shall not be free until a courier returns from Amsterdam with a message he requires. After the woman and Lestrade leave, Holmes admits to Watson he was lying about the prior case. Despite Holmes’ falsehood, he must be aware of the real "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred, the author of the Necronomicon in H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. "The Return of the Sussex Vampire," also by Sequeira, is set in 1926. The elderly Holmes and Watson investigate a case of vampirism plaguing Josiah Ferguson’s daughters, similar to a case involving Josiah’s nephew Bob’s infant son that occurred years ago. Bob Ferguson is from Doyle’s "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire." Watson is uncertain what to do with notes from some of Holmes’ cases, including that of the Nikola Formulae. This is a reference to Guy Boothby’s master criminal Doctor Nikola. Watson has grown children (including at least two sons) and young grandchildren at the time of this case. However, in Farmer’s The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, Watson states Nylepthah is the only one of his four wives to bear him a son, that child being born in November 1918. Combined with a reference to Watson attending Mycroft Holmes’ funeral in 1919, this places Sequeira’s tale in an alternate reality to the CU.

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