Book Review: Sherlock Holmes is Everywhere!
This anthology takes a look at the various ways that Sherlock Holmes has influenced the real world. The essays in Sherlock Holmes is Everywhere! illustrate the different paths that brought the authors into the Sherlock Holmes fandom. Some of them read the original stories as children, others later in life. Others developed their interests thanks to movies or television shows.
It’s interesting to see how different people came to appreciate Holmes stories in wildly dissimilar ways, while there are several links that have created legions of recent fans, such as the recent BBC series Sherlock. Opening and closing with essays from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Founder of the Feast,” Sherlock Holmes is Everywhere! is divided into sections such as “Discovering Sherlock Holmes in the Tin Dispatch Box,” “Sherlock Holmes in the Media,” “Sherlock Holmes Societies,” “Sherlock Holmes in Research and Scholarship,” “Discovering Sherlock Holmes Through a Love of Books,” “Sherlock Holmes in the World,” and “Gender, Sexuality, and Sherlock Holmes.” The authors’ backgrounds are notably diverse. Some are writers, some are academics, and some are ordinary people who found themselves drawn into fandom.
Most of the dozens of essays are intriguing, though some are much better-written than others. Some of the most rewarding and thought-provoking ones are written in a scholarly style, treating evidence with a critical and inspired eye, whereas others are lighter (almost frothy), drawing on personal experiences or unverified opinion. This latter group has less intellectual heft and emotional impact. The best essays are the ones brimming with enthusiasm and obvious love for their subject matter, which will make Holmes fans recognize the authors as kindred spirits.
I hope that sequels to this anthology are produced in the future. A substantial portion of the book is devoted to showing how the LGBTQ+ community has a strong Sherlock Holmes fanbase, but there is nothing about the comparable fanbases Holmes has in the autistic and bipolar communities. Hopefully, a sequel to Sherlock Holmes is Everywhere! will address those topics.
Sherlock Holmes is Everywhere! will be of considerable interest to fans of Holmes who want to find out more about what attracts other fans to the great detective.
Sherlock Holmes is Everywhere!
Edited by David Marcum, Sonia Fetherston BSI, and Derrick Belanger