223B Casebook Opens Files on Vintage Holmes Fanfiction

The Peschel Press of Hershey, Pa., announced the publication of the second book in the series of books collecting Sherlock Holmes Victorian Era parodies and pastiches.

“Sherlock Holmes Victorian Parodies and Pastiches: 1888-1899” collects more than 60 examples of stories, songs, poems, and jokes that appeared during the opening chapters of Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary career. Included are three pieces by James M. Barrie, the creator of “Peter Pan,” and a close friend of Conan Doyle.

Long before Benedict Cumberbatch wore the deerstalker in the wildly popular BBC series, Sherlock Holmes was a cultural phenomenon, said Bill Peschel, editor of the 223B Casebook series.

“Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes, and readers responded with enthusiasm,” Peschel said. “When other creators took his name and used it for parody or jokes, they perpetuated Holmes’ memory. Instead of seeing his name just in the printed stories, the public was seeing him everywhere. He spread like a virus through the culture. He’d pop up in newspaper stories, in newspaper and magazine ads, on songsheets, in cartoons. Within a few years, book reviewers would be comparing fictional detectives to Holmes.

“The name even appears in news columns about real crimes,” Peschel said. “Police detectives who caught their man were referred to as “a real Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock was everywhere before Elvis was.”

“Sherlock Holmes Victorian Parodies and Pastiches: 1888-1899” is the second book in the series. In November, Peschel Press published “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes,” with contributions from P.G. Wodehouse and R.C. Lehmann.

The 223B Casebook Series is expected to run to eight books, available as trade paperback through Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s websites, and as ebooks for all readers. It was named 223B because the stories take place “next door” to the legendary 221B Baker Street home of Holmes and Dr. Watson.

The Peschel Press publishes annotated novels by mystery writers Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers and a series of true-crime books about Victorian poisoner William Palmer.