From Pine View Farm

Recommended Listening 0

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.

In the early 1970s, the BBC ran two televison series, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes and The American Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, dramatizing tales from the early days of mystery stories. These volumes compile the stories dramatized in those series.

Some of the stories are quite good; others, not so much. But they are all interesting, especially if you are a mystery buff like me, for the light they shed on the early days of the mystery genre. The contrasts between the British and American stories are also of note.

My especial favorite is “The Absent-Minded Coterie,” from the second volume of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. It is timely still; indeed, it presages all those phone calls you are getting telling you that your car’s extended warranty has expired.

The tales by R. Austin Freeman, creator of fiction’s first forensic detective, and by the Baroness Orczy, best remembered as the creator of the Scarlet Pimpernel, are also quite good. The others, well, hear for yourself.


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