As is traditional in our January/February issue, we celebrate Sherlock Holmes’s birthday and the Baker Street Irregulars’ annual celebration of it. Among the games afoot are “The Killing of Henry Davenport” by John Shen Yen Nee and S.J. Rozan, in which Chinese novelist Lao She and Judge Dee team up with Sherlock and Watson; a new installment in Terence Faherty’s parody series from the notebooks of Dr. Watson (“The Reigate Squires”); a Holmes on the Range tale by Steve Hockensmith (“Can the Cat Catch the Rat?”); and “The Murder of Sir Henry Baskerville” by Elizabeth Elwood, in which murder hits the stage.
Speaking of the arts, Holmes was a practitioner of music, and a couple of our stories this issue strike a tune: “There Will Be No Encore” by John H. Dirckx and “The Picardy Third” by Jacqueline Freimor. Others touch upon the visual arts, film, and screenwriting: “American Lovers” by E.A. Aymar, “American Night” by Zandra Renwick, and “It’s A Small World (After All)” by Twist Phelan.
Holmes would have been interested in the scientific findings of a character in “Errand for a Neighbor” by Bill Bassman (Department of First Stories)—and speaking of neighbors, they’re also integral to “Goodbye, Ms. Damico” by Bill Pronzini and “Dissonance” by Lou Manfredo.
In “The Bowser Boys Are Back in Town” by Hal Charles, a mischief-making pair return to hatch a scheme, while in “The Butcherbirds of Twelfth Street” by Matt Coleman (under the Black Mask banner) something more sinister occurs. Also in the hardboiled vein is “The Soiled Dove of Shallow Hollow,” a first story by Sean McCluskey.
Crime trickles down generationally in “Vengeance” by Michael McGuire and “A Normal Life” by Marion Pauw (Passport to Crime), and also in our Stranger Than Fiction installment, which focuses on a true crime that interested Arthur Conan Doyle himself. Add a Jury Box full of Holmesian titles and our Blog Bytes column and this issue rings in Holmes’s Twelfth Night birthday with panache!