I’m a big fan of all things Sherlock Holmes (the stories, the movies, the shows, the list goes on…), and I’ve recently jumped into reading some retellings of the famous detective’s tales. Which made me wonder just how many are out there? We put together a list of people’s favorites that have us intrigued:
The Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas is my personal favorite and starts with A Study In Scarlet Women
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old — a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.
The Charlotte Holmes series is a YA take by Brittany Cavallaro and starts with A Study In Charlotte
Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices — and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends.But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe — and the only people they can trust are each other.
The Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King starts with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: Or, on the Segregation of the Queen
In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern, 20th-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past.
J. Lawrence Matthews adds to Holmes’ tales with One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes
When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England named Johnnie Holmes grabs the 12-year-old son of the dying President, races the boy to safety, and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.
One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln and, in company with a freed slave named after the dead President, their breathtaking pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and as readers will discover, it will haunt him until his very last.
Lyndsay Faye combines Sherlock with one of history’s most famous killers in Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings
From the gritty streets of 19th-century London, the loyal and courageous Dr. Watson offers a tale unearthed after generations of lore: the harrowing story of Sherlock Holmes’s attempt to hunt down Jack the Ripper. As England’s greatest specialist in criminal detection, Sherlock Holmes is unwavering in his quest to capture the killer responsible for terrifying London’s East End. He hires an “unfortunate” known as Mary Ann Monk, the friend of a fellow streetwalker who was one of the Ripper’s earliest victims; and he relies heavily on the steadfast and devoted Dr. John H. Watson. When Holmes himself is wounded in Whitechapel during an attempt to catch the savage monster, the popular press launches an investigation of its own, questioning the great detective’s role in the very crimes he is so fervently struggling to prevent. Stripped of his credibility, Holmes is left with no choice but to break every rule in the desperate race to find the madman known as “the Knife” before it is too late.
Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty
Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park, and sixteen-year-old Lock has challenged his classmate Mori to solve the crime before he does. His only rule: they must share every clue with each other. Mori reluctantly agrees, but what begins as fun and games quickly becomes sinister. As she gets closer to solving the case — and more and more drawn to Lock — she discovers that the murder is connected to her own past. Now she’s keeping secrets from Lock, her family, and her best friend, secrets with dire consequences. To save herself and loved ones, Mori is prepared to take matters into her own hands. Will Lock be standing by her side when it’s all over? That’s one mystery Mori cannot solve.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested — the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something — secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
A series focusing on Sherlock’s brother by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (yes, that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Anna Waterhouse starts with Mycroft Holmes
Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.
Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports from home. There are rumors of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take…
Ellen Whitfield is senior publicist at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers.