Dec. 8, 2017

A welcome addition to the Pons canon!

The Papers of Solar Pons by David Marcum

New stories of the Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street…

I would like to thank author David Marcum and publisher Derrick Belanger of Belanger Books for my copy of this book! You guys are awesome!

August Derleth came up with the original stories about new sleuth Solar Pons and his companion and Boswell, Dr. Lyndon Parker in 1928. He had contacted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when Doyle killed Sherlock Holmes, and after a terse reply decided to write tales as pastiches of Holmes stories. These would touch on the so-called “lost adventures” Watson mentions in passing in the canon, and others that were purely Derleth adventures. Pons had his “Inspector Lestrade” in the person of Inspector Jamison. Pons’ older brother Bancroft takes Mycroft’s place at Whitehall. Pons even had his own Moriarty figure in the character of Baron Ennsefred Koll.

It would be 1945 before the first Solar Pons volume was published. When August Derleth died, Basil Cooper continued the tales of Solar Pons. Now David Marcum has written a dozen new tales. They are very much in the same vein as the originals, and are masterpieces of detective fiction. Marcum might well have written the original stories, as he is so close to the voice of August Derleth to be virtually indistinguishable. The final tale, number 13, is a Doctor Watson and Sherlock Holmes story showing the relationship of the Holmes canon to the Pons canon. Whatever you do, don’t miss it!

So it is time to move on to the stories, without giving too much away. I intend no spoilers, but some people really appreciate the warning!

The book starts off with articles written about the Pons stories, beginning with August Derleth himself! The tales that follow are magnificent!

 

  • In “The Adventure of the Doctor’s Box,” someone has stolen Dr. Watson’s dispatch box. There is the danger that some of the unpublished cases could be dangerous in the wrong hands…
  • In “The Park Lane Solution,” Pons comes to the aid of a manservant accused of theft…
  • In “The Poe Problem,” Pons takes a case for a man who runs a society dedicated to the study of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, which he runs with a very picky attitude…
  • “The Singular Affair of the Blue Girl” deals with a family ghost, apparently stirred up by a quarrel between a man and his oldest son...
  • “The Plight of the American Driver” deals with Pons’ investigation into a case where an AT&T worker is accused of drunken driving…
  • In “The Adventure of the Blood Doctor,” Pons’ returns to a case that went unsolved when blood specialist Doctor Dickins is murdered with the murder weapon from that previous case…
  • In “The Additional Heirs,” Pons takes a case for a man who has inherited an estate when three women appear claiming a portion of the money with each having identical papers proving their identity…
  • “The Horror of St. Anne’s Row” deals with missing persons…
  • “The Adventure of the Failed Fellowship” might be the Pons version of “The Sign of the Four,” four men and a treasure!
  • In “The Adventure of the Obrisset Snuff Box,” a man dies soon after the box, made by a famous man named Obrisset is delivered to him…
  • “The Folio Matter,” begins with stolen papers that belong to two people fanatical about proving Shakespeare did NOT write his plays and moves on to a more sinister plot with far-reaching ramifications…
  • In “The Affair of the Distasteful Society,” an attempt is made to start a Sherlock Holmes appreciation society that has fatal results…
  • “The Adventure of the Other Brother” is the tie-in between the Holmes and Pons canons…

I truly enjoyed this volume of stories, and I wish David Marcum many more volumes to come! I give the book five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>