Shadows Over Baker Street: Book Review

Welcome back, dear readers, to my hallowed reviews. Today, I’ll be reviewing the anthology, Shadows over Baker Street, which was compiled and edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan. This anthology – as the title might imply – pits the brilliant brain of Sherlock Holmes against the madness in the Cthulhu Mythos.

It will come to no one’s surprise that I love the Cthulhu Mythos, but you might not know that I also love, love, love the Holmes stories.

So when I found this little gem in my local second-hand bookstore, I had to get it.

Also, fun fact: I have a chinchilla named Sherlock.

The Authors

This anthology boasts the following table of contents:

1. “A Study in Emerald” – Neil Gaiman
2. “Tiger! Tiger!” – Elizabeth Bear
3. “The Case of the Wavy Black Dagger” – Steve Perry
4. “A Case of Royal Blood” – Steven-Elliot Altman
5. “The Weeping Masks” – James Lowder
6. “Art in the Blood” – Brian Stableford
7. “The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone” – Poppy Z. Brite, David Ferguson
8. “The Adventure of the Antiquarian’s Niece” – Barbara Hambly
9. “The Mystery of the Worm” – John Pelan
10. “The Mystery of the Hanged Man’s Puzzle” – Paul Finch
11. “The Horror of the Many Faces” – Tim Lebbon
12. “The Adventure of the Arab’s Manuscript” – Michael Reaves
13. “The Drowned Geologist” – Caitlín R. Kiernan
14. “A Case of Insomnia” – John P. Vourlis
15. “The Adventure of the Voorish Sign” – Richard A. Lupoff
16. “The Adventure of Exham Priory” – F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
17. “Death Did Not Become Him” – David Niall Wilson, Patricia Lee Macomber
18. “Nightmare in Wax” – Simon Clark

Writing out a bio for each would have made this blog post insanely long, so please just click on their name to be redirected to their websites/wiki pages.

The Anthology

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is among the most famous literary figures of all time. For more than a hundred years, his adventures have stood as imperishable monuments to the ability of human reason to penetrate every mystery, solve every puzzle, and punish every crime. For nearly as long, the macabre tales of H. P. Lovecraft have haunted readers with their nightmarish glimpses into realms of cosmic chaos and undying evil. But what would happen if Conan Doyle’s peerless detective and his allies were to find themselves faced with mysteries whose solutions lay not only beyond the grasp of logic, but of sanity itself.

– snippet from Amazon landing page

A few fun facts to lay down:

  • Gaiman’s story won the 2004 Hugo Award for Best Short Story
  • The tales are placed in chronological order based on the year in which the story is set
  • Thomas Carnacki, H.G. Wells, and Nikola Tesla appear in this anthology alongside the detective

The Review

Absolutely loved this fun little anthology and the stories within. The collection starts really strong with Gaiman’s story, which features a gruesome murder that exposes a conspiracy against the Crown. After that, you just have to hold on as you’re whipped through the Victorian streets of London and beyond, watching Holmes and Watson take on humans and cosmic horrors alike.

Some standouts that were my favourites include: “A Study in Emerald”, “A Case of Royal Blood”, “The Weeping Masks”, “The Mystery of the Worm”, “The Adventure of the Voorish Sign”, and “The Horror of the Many Faces”. Though, in all honesty, I really enjoyed all the stories in this anthology. Each one was different enough to keep me on my toes, while also hitting that sweet nostalgia part of my brain that loves the Holmes stories.

So if you’re looking for a fun, entertaining anthology to spend a few hours on, I would highly recommend Shadows over Baker Street.

9/10

And hey, you beautiful reader you, please consider joining my Patreon! It would greatly help me out in all my horror endeavors, plus you’ll get exclusive content including audio readings of my stories not available anywhere else!

If you’re not ready for a Patreon commitment, consider pumping me full of caffeine at Buy Me a Coffee. Any and all support is so greatly appreciated!

x P.L. McMillan

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