The Literary Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volumes 1 and 2
A very entertaining and often enlightening read. Holmes and Watson, in their traditional Conan Doyle personas, encounter several real-life literary greats who were alive during the lifetime of the first and greatest of all literary detectives. Each short story involves the real writer, or writer-to-be, requiring the help of, or being able to assist, the famous London detective. The encounters sometimes inspire the writers to create their greatest story or character, and there are several cameo players who, however unlikely it might be, could have been there at the time.
There are revelations regarding the early life of Sherlock, including an interlude when he trod the stage as an amateur thespian, giving him the grounding in the use of makeup and disguise that he employs later as a detective.
The stories are not confined to London, and Holmes has been given more of the world to work in than Conan Doyle gave him, but the result is a delight. Some of the cases have a hint of modern themes, which Conan Doyle would probably never have put in his writing, but because the author knows the character of Holmes so well, and his understanding of the foibles of human nature, they are dealt with as one feels that Sherlock would have done. The stories are engaging, and the characterisation of the real writers sometimes irritates the more staid and precise Holmes. An intriguing and cleverly written addition to the manuscripts of Dr John H. Watson.