Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Crossover Cover: Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers Casebook

This anthology consists of stories featuring Holmes meeting other historical and fictional characters. One story, "Sherlock Holmes in the Lost World" by Martin Powell, originally appeared in the anthology Gaslight Grimoire, and was included in Volume 1 by Win. It's worth noting that this story references Farmer's theory that Lord John Roxton was the Spider's father. I covered Win's contribution, "The Adventure of the Fallen Stone," in a previous post. Here are the other stories that have Holmes meeting other characters from fiction. In Matthew Baugh's "The Adventure of the Ethical Assassin," Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia once again, this time to protect him from an assassin. After preventing one such attempt, Holmes discovers the would-be assassin is a member of the Assassination Bureau, Ltd., led by Ivan Dragomilov. The assassin’s weapon is a device invented by the Russian hunter Zaroff. The Bureau and Dragomilov (originally Dragomiloff) are from Jack London’s novel The Assassination Bureau, Ltd., completed posthumously by Robert L. Fish. Zaroff is from Richard Connell’s short story "The Most Dangerous Game." In Christopher Sequeira's "The Scion of Fear," Holmes and Dr. Watson work with Inspector Athelney Jones and Jonathan Small to investigate a pair of attacks apparently committed by an Andaman Islands native like Small’s late confederate Tonga. Watson reveals to Mycroft Holmes the box which once held the Agra treasure has a hidden panel which opens to reveal three yellow diamonds. Mycroft says they are part of a series of four “moonstones” that adorned temple idols in India. He adds the fourth diamond was recovered years ago after much drama. Inspector Jones, Jonathan Small, and Tonga are from the Sherlock Holmes novel The Sign of Four. The diamonds are from Wilkie Collins’ novel The Moonstone. In Barbara Hambly's "The Adventure of the Sinister Chinaman," Watson, recovering from an illness, accompanies Holmes to San Francisco, where they become embroiled in an investigation of a Chinese-American magician who has been accused of kidnapping a young girl who was helping him perform a trick. They are aided by another stage magician, Professor Oscar Zoroaster Diggs, who is also a balloonist. Diggs claims to have spent the last forty years in a magical realm, and built a City of Emeralds and done battle with the Wicked Witch of the East and her minions. After the resolution of the case, Watson learns Professor Diggs looked exactly the same when he returned as when he disappeared forty years ago, and concludes the Professor that he and Holmes met was an impostor. He notes the alleged Professor disappeared a year later on another ballooning expedition. Professor O. Z. Diggs is better known as the Wizard of Oz. Of course, the Diggs who disappeared in the 1860s and the one who encountered Holmes and Watson are one and the same. In Matthew Mayo's "The Folly of Flight," Arsène Lupin recruits Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to help him apprehend the murderer of a French aeronaut who has invented a remarkable airship. In Don Roff's "The House on Moreau Street," Holmes is abducted by Augustus Moreau, nephew of the notorious Dr. Moreau, whose beast-men have committed a series of murders in the course of robberies to finance Augustus’ experiments. Edward Prendick brought the elder Moreau’s predations to the public’s attention. Dr. John Thorndyke and Christopher Jervis, investigating the crimes independently from Holmes, wind up working with Dr. Watson to save Holmes. Thorndyke has Nathaniel Polton examine hair samples found at one of the crime scenes. Dr. Moreau and Edward Prendick are from H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau. Thorndyke, Jervis, and Polton appear in a series of books by R. Austin Freeman. In Joe Gentile's "The Secret of Grant's Tomb," Holmes and Watson, visiting Inspector Lestrade, are drawn into Professor Van Dusen and his sidekick Hutchinson Hatch’s investigation of the murder of a friend and fellow reporter of Hatch’s. The quartet, along with Lestrade and Inspector Conway, apprehend the culprit, master thief Bradlee Cunnyngham Leighton. Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen and Hutchinson Hatch are featured in the Thinking Machine stories by Jacques Futrelle. Cunnyngham and Conway appear in the Thinking Machine story "Problem of the Missing Necklace." In Martin Gately's "The Petrifying Well," Holmes accepts T. E. “Ned” Lawrence’s request to investigate the bizarre death of a friend’s brother. The planned Maracot expedition to the deep Atlantic is mentioned several times. The Maracot expedition is a reference to Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Maracot Deep, which takes place in 1926. Gately’s story "Rouletabille and the New World Order" explains why the expedition seen in this story (set two years after "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane," which Baring-Gould place in 1909) failed. Christopher Sequeira's other story, "The Adventure of the Lost Specialist," must be an AU. Holmes and Watson do battle with Professor Moriarty, who identifies himself as the stationmaster, and reveals both the Moriarty who Holmes dueled with at Reichenbach and Colonel Moriarty were actually his alternate reality counterparts. Moriarty than unleashes alternate versions of Holmes and Watson on the duo; one pair are meant to be Batman’s foes the Joker and the Penguin, while another pair are Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. Watson mentions Holmes’ actions in the affair of the depraved Herbert West and the grave-robberies in Essex County, Massachusetts, and also refers to Victor Savage’s uncle, the famous American doctor and adventurer. Given the story takes place in 1903, this most likely refers to the father of a certain bronze-skinned adventurer.


  1. I remember reading this, but not everything about the stories. I think "The Adventure of the Lost Specialist" was my favorite, but Win's and Barbara Hambly's stories are a close second.

    The idea of trains traveling through the multiverse in "the Lost Specialist," sincs up with the comic Grimjack where the inter-dimensional city of Cynosure has been shown to have trains traveling through out the multiverse. Anyway, I just think it was a cool idea.

  2. I know that most if the Marvel universe is not in but Excalibur had a storyline involving a train that moves across alternate timelines

    1. I know that the Marvel Universe like the DC Universe is all part of the same Multiverse that includes the CU so all the alternate timelines from Marvel are too.

      There have been a few Japanese works about trains in space, which actually make LESS sense than multiversal ones. Other universes may or may not exist, so any form of transportation is probably acceptable. But trains in outer space?