What can I tell you? Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu, together again. A whole lot of promising novels from bright young faces got shoved aside this week in my eagerness for this one. Titan Books, you’re deranged, and I love you for it.
Titan has made quite an industry of Sherlock Holmes pastiches over the years, publishing novels by Sam Siciliano, Mark A. Latham, Steven Savile, David Stuart Davies, Cavan Scott, Barrie Roberts, William Seil, Richard L. Boyer, and others. This isn’t even their first Holmes/Cthulhu crossover — I believe that honor goes to The Cthulhu Casebooks trilogy by James Lovegrove. How well did that turn out? Here’s Bob from his BG review:
Lovegrove, who has written several non-Holmes books, is part of Titan’s stable of new Holmes authors. Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows is the first of a trilogy, with Sherlock Holmes & The Miskatonic Monstrosities due out in Fall of 2017 and Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea Devils to wrap things up in November of 2018.
The basic premise of the book (yea, the trilogy) is that Watson made up the sixty stories in the Canon. He did so to cover up the real truth behind Holmes’ work. And that’s because the truth is too horrible to reveal. In a nutshell, Watson has written three journals, each covering events fifteen years apart, to try and get some of the darkness out of his soul… something extremely unpleasant happened to Watson in a subterranean city in Afghanistan – giving him a wound that had nothing to do with a Jezail bullet.
Holmes and Watson take lodgings together at 221B Baker Street and immediately set off on a case. In a nutshell (somebody needs to clean the floor of all these nutshells here at the Black Gate offices!), Holmes is going to do battle with beings from the Cthulhu tales. The first part of the book has almost a Fu Manchu type of feel to it, but then it shifts into straight Lovecraft horror.
I’m not sure if this latest entry shares a connected narrative with Lovegrove’s work, or if they’re separate entities. Who cares? Holmes and Cthulhu! Time to shoo the cats out of my big green chair and settle in for the long weekend.
Lois H. Gresh is the author of Blood and Ice (2011), and the editor of my favorite find at the 2014 World Fantasy Convention, the delightful monster anthology Dark Fusions: Where Monsters Lurk!. Here’s the description for her contribution to rapidly-expanding Holmes-Cthulhu canon.
The Shape of Ancient Evil
A series of grisly murders rocks London. At each location, only a jumble of bones remains of the deceased, along with a bizarre sphere covered in strange symbols. The son of the latest victim seeks the help of Sherlock Holmes and his former partner, Dr. John Watson.
They discover the common thread tying together the murders. Bizarre geometries, based on ancient schematics, enable otherworldly creatures to enter our dimension, seeking to wreak havoc and destruction.
The persons responsible are gaining so much power that even Holmes’s greatest enemy fears them—to the point that he seeks an unholy alliance.
Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions was published by Titan Books on July 4, 2017. It is 352 pages, priced at $14.95 in trade paperback, and $9.99 for the digital edition.
See all of our recent New Treasures here.