Sunday, January 22, 2023

Crossover of the Week

July 1922


Sherlock Holmes meets Denis Nayland Smith at Scotland Yard. Smith has carefully studied Limehouse, particularly the Devil Doctor who permeates that region. Besides Solar Pons and Dr. Lyndon Parker, Holmes enlists the aid of the Belgian consultant at 14 Farraway Street, whose friend Captain Hastings married and moved to Argentina the previous autumn, and who is himself investigating the Doctor, whom his biographer would later disguise under the name Li Chang Yen. Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie insist on being involved. At Scotland Yard, Dr. Watson nods at Inspectors Charles Parker (a relation of Dr. Parker), Stanislaus Oates, and Jimmy Japp, who says M. Poirot has additional information about the Aberystwyth case. Holmes and Watson seek information on soils from Dr. John Thorndyke and his assistant Dr. Christopher Jervis. Another of Thorndyke’s helpers is researcher Nathaniel Polton. As they leave Thorndyke’s home, Holmes and Watson run into Superintendent Miller. Watson says that a few weeks later, he, Holmes, Pons, Parker, Thorndyke, Jervis, Nayland Smith, and Petrie visited the now-empty Colsworth estate. Lord Peter was invited to attend, but he declined, and in his place came an American, either twenty-two or twenty-three years of age, named Jones who recently completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and was soon planning to attend a graduate program in linguistics at the Sorbonne. 

Story by Dr. Watson, edited by David Marcum in The Meeting of the Minds: Cases of Sherlock Holmes & Solar Pons I, David Marcum, ed., Belanger Books, 2021. Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie are Dr. Fu Manchu’s archenemies in Sax Rohmer’s novels. The Devil Doctor made several unnamed appearances in August Derleth’s Solar Pons stories. The Belgian consultant is Hercule Poirot. Li Chang Yen battled Poirot in Agatha Christie’s The Big Four. Rick Lai identified Li Chang Yen with Fu Manchu in his essay “Partners in Crime: Fu Manchu and Carl Peterson.” Captain Arthur Hastings and Inspector James Japp are from the Poirot books. The Aberystwyth case is mentioned in Christie’s Murder on the Links. Chief Inspector Charles Parker is the friend and brother-in-law of Dorothy L. Sayers’ detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Inspector Stanislaus Oates is from Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion books. Drs. Thorndyke and Jervis, Nathaniel Polton, and Superintendent Miller are from R. Austin Freeman’s detective novels. Jones is Indiana Jones. Indy would in fact be twenty-three in July 1922.

This crossover write-up is one of hundreds to be found in my upcoming book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, to be published by Meteor House. All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's books Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!

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