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Need more Sherlockian Fiction

Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
edited November 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm on a major mystery kick right now. I've always been in love with all the Sherlock Holmes stories, and I recently read The Name of the Rose, and now I'm reading "The Improbable Adventures" and other collections of Sherlock stories by authors other than Doyle.

Are there any good series (or standalones, I'm not picky) of mystery stories with the same kind of character as Sherlock and Friar William as a protagonist? The whole "aloof, overly-intelligent, brusque detective who figures things out sooner than he feeds it to the narrator" style is what I like. Or hell, if there are any mystery stories so good that you MUST recommend them even if they don't fit that requirement, go for it.

Thanks.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" and all of the Mary Russell novels after it by Laurie King deals with a younger female protagonist who meets an older Sherlock Holmes. There are 10 novels in the series, and the Sherlock Holmes mythos features prominently throughout. The main character is a bit Mary Sue-ish and the character is feminist in slant (mind you, I enjoy books with strong female characters), but the mysteries are fascinating in the same vein as the Sherlock Holmes books. Basically, if Sherlock Holmes was a woman in post WW-I Europe and had an interest in theology, that would be Mary Russell.

    "The Seven Percent Solution" is a 1974 novel by Nicholas Meyer that is a straight retelling of Sherlock Holmes after the last of the Holmes stories. It ret-cons the last two Holmes stories and has Holmes disappear from the world because he spirals down into cocaine addiction. The movie version of it is quite decent, and there are two more novels in this series. I actually thought for a long time that this was Holmes canon until I found out that the author wasn't Doyle.

    The wikipedia list of non-canonical Sherlockian Fiction can be found here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-canonical_Sherlock_Holmes_works

    Also, I enjoyed the film Young Sherlock Holmes. It's very much along the lines of Young Indiana Jones, and it's very well-done (aside from some cheesy special effects, but these can be excused because they are supposed to be hallucinations).

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  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Hahnsoo1 wrote:
    "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" and all of the Mary Russell novels after it by Laurie King deals with a younger female protagonist who meets an older Sherlock Holmes. There are 10 novels in the series, and the Sherlock Holmes mythos features prominently throughout. The main character is a bit Mary Sue-ish and the character is feminist in slant (mind you, I enjoy books with strong female characters), but the mysteries are fascinating in the same vein as the Sherlock Holmes books. Basically, if Sherlock Holmes was a woman in post WW-I Europe and had an interest in theology, that would be Mary Russell.

    I could kiss you. Starting on it tomorrow.

    (Keep it coming if anyone else has other suggestions)

    edit: And thanks for the additionals, Hahn.

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  • BusterKBusterK Negativity is Boring Cynicism is Cowardice Registered User regular
    C. Auguste Dupin is a proto-Sherlock Holmes written by Edgar Allen Poe in his short stories

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  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    I am not a fan, but I have heard good comments regarding Agatha Christie, maybe one or two of her novels and short stories interests you.

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  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    If you havent tried Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries give them a try, my favorite mystery author and his work spans decades (30s-70s)

  • JansonJanson Registered User regular
    I'd highly recommend checking out GK Chesterton's Father Brown stories - at least two volumes are available for free on Project Gutenberg.

  • kilroydoskilroydos Registered User regular
    Barry Hughart wrote a series of three Master Li and Number Ten Ox books that are basically Holmes and Watson in a mythical China. I'm a big fan.

  • badger2dbadger2d San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Look up Lord Peter Wimsey stories, by Dorothy Sayers. She was another English mystery writer who did most of her writing just a few decades after Arthur Conan Doyle. The first novel in the series is called Whose Body? Excellent writing full of snappy dialogue and sly English humor, and inventive mystery premises. The first book, for example, opens with someone making the startling discovery, one morning, that laying in their bathtub is a dead body of a guy they've never seen before. Lord Peter is a more sociable, good-humored character then Holmes, but very much takes after him in the way of teasing both the reader and other characters in the book with hints about having figured pieces of the mystery out, long before they'll be fully revealed.

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  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Boris Akunin's novels are not quite Sherlock Holmes - the protagonist is a bit more of an action detective and a bit less self-assured - but they are entertaining imperial russian period pieces that should scratch your itch.

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  • November FifthNovember Fifth Registered User regular
    kaliyama wrote:
    Boris Akunin's novels are not quite Sherlock Holmes - the protagonist is a bit more of an action detective and a bit less self-assured - but they are entertaining imperial russian period pieces that should scratch your itch.

    I second this recommendation. The English translations are much better than they have any right to be.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Essentially, the entire Firm Noir/Hard Boiled genre fits this. A modern and fantasy based mystery I've enjoyed are the Dresden Files series, about a private detective and wizard (he's in the phone book).

    All of Agatha Christie's Hercule Peroit and Miss Murple series fits this to a T. All are set between 1910 and 1960 or so, and she's really the largest pioneer of crime/mystery fiction out there.

    Also, you might want to check out Linda Fairstein's Alex Cooper series. Again, fits the genre with an added amount of prosecution as the protagonist is a DA for New York's Sex Crimes unit (essentially, what Law & Order was based on). The author herself worked with the unit for nearly 20 years, so its very real in scope and pacing. Very very good.

  • Librarian's ghostLibrarian's ghost Librarian, Ghostbuster, and TimSpork Registered User regular
    There is also the Albert Campion series of books by Margery Allingham. It's another British, between the wars, detective series but it is very good. Also the TV versions have the advantage of having a Doctor Who playing Campion.(Peter Davison)

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  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    The Final Solution by Michael Chabon is a shortish mystery novel about an unnamed, beekeeping retired old man who helps a young Jewish refugee find a lost parrot who speaks in codes.

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    KalTorak wrote:
    The Final Solution by Michael Chabon is a shortish mystery novel about an unnamed, beekeeping retired old man who helps a young Jewish refugee find a lost parrot who speaks in codes.
    From Wikipedia:
    Michael Chabon's novella The Final Solution (2004) features an unnamed protagonist that is likely a retired Holmes. The story takes place during World War II, and features the Holmes character investigating the appearance of a mute boy with a parrot who repeatedly calls a string of seemingly random numbers in German. References to Holmes are plentiful: the protagonist is a bee keeper, is familiar with detectives in London, and smokes a pipe. The title simultaneously refers to the Nazi plan for genocide hinted at in the book and mirrors one of Doyle's own shorts, The Final Problem.
    So it's probably a good match for the OP.

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  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    So my power's been out since Wednesday, which gave me a good chance to start on some of these, specifically Beekeeper's Assistant and Poe's stories. Thanks a ton for all the suggestions, plan to go through them all.

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  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Enc wrote:
    Essentially, the entire Firm Noir/Hard Boiled genre fits this. A modern and fantasy based mystery I've enjoyed are the Dresden Files series, about a private detective and wizard (he's in the phone book).

    No they don't.

    While noir and hardboiled are part of the detective genre, they really deviate from the type of stuff that the OP seems to be interested in. Film Noir(and the stuffed that followed it which the Dresden file fall under) are usually more about the character than the mystery. The detectives in noir usually are a lot more chatty and less aloof than characters like Dupin and Holmes.

    Sorry, as you can probably tell from my id, I'm a nerd about a noir. Anyways, so this post is somewhat helpful, here's a couple you might be interested OP.

    House of Silk- Just came out recently, and it's the first novel to be authorized by the Doyle estate.
    The Sherlockian- This one is a bit meta, as it deals with a researcher getting thrust into a mystery involving Conan Doyle. The chapters are divided between his story and a story about Doyle and Bram Stroker looking into a serial killer.

    Dust and Shadow- Holmes hunting down Jack the Ripper, which admittedly sounds schlocky and cliche, but the writing elevates it somewhat, especially because the writer tries to keep the style the same as Doyles'.

    A Study in Emerald- Gaimain's short story and his attempt to mix Sherlock with another genre. I won't say anything else so as not to spoil anything else.

    And finally, I'm shocked that no one has mentioned the BBC series. Awesome, awesome stuff, and I believe it's in Netflix streaming.


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  • GoldChaosGoldChaos Registered User regular
    Just to clarify, you can find A Study in Emerald in the anthology "Shadows over Baker Street". As with most anthologies it's a little hit or miss, but does have some good short stories in there.
    In a similar vein, I'd also recommend Will Thomas' series of Barker and Llewelyn novels. Not Sherlock, but still a decent read.

  • lessthanpilessthanpi Registered User regular
    Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy

    Glen Cook's Garret PI books

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    not to derail but I didn't see it listed and I'm interested so are any of these now considered public domain (I.E. Free to read as a pdf or from the kindle store?)


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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    The only ones that would be considered public domain would be things published before 1923, which is a short list indeed. Alternatively, it could be a work in which the publisher has released the copyright, but I don't think any of the works mentioned would qualify for that. Check your local library... I know that the Berkeley Public Library (near where I live) lends out eBooks for the Kindle, for example.

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  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I've got that option with my library and I'm fine with that, I just need to go get a card (I moved not too long ago and haven't gotten into the local library yet)

    I was just hoping I could get a big legal pdf somewhere tonight because this thread has me excited for some Holmes... : )


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