Sherlock Holmes: The American Years

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9780312378462: Sherlock Holmes: The American Years

A compelling volume of original tales concerning Sherlock Holmes' legendary time in America

With an introduction by Leslie S. Klinger, editor and compiler of all three volumes of the Annotated Sherlock Holmes, this collection of ten original stories brings light to one of the least examined periods in the life of the great detective―his time in the former colonies, the United States. This Holmes is a youthful one―a young man not yet set upon his course in life and in his famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street. In Richard Lupoff 's "Inga Sigerson Weds," he's come to America to represent the family at his sister's wedding. In "My Silk Umbrella," Mark Twain narrates his fateful encounter with Holmes at a baseball game in Hartford, Connecticut; Steve Hockensmith narrates the meeting of the young William Gillette and the object of his later, most famous turn upon the stage; and Peter Tremayne reveals the intersection of Holmes and the Irish in the 19th century American midwestern landscape. With further stories by Marta Randall, Rhys Bowen, Peter Beagle, and others, the legend, the mythology and even the history of the world's greatest detective is further enhanced by these charming, clever and mystifying tales.

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About the Author:

MICHAEL KURLAND is the author of nearly forty books and the editor of the previous Holmes' anthologies Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Years and My Sherlock Holmes. He is a two-time finalist for the Edgar Award and lives in Petaluma, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Why did Sherlock Holmes first go to America? Why else, Mr. Lupoff tells us, but to attend a wedding? But complications ensued . . .

INGA SIGERSON WEDS

by

RICHARD A. LUPOFF

A single loud report. Shards falling, colliding, tumbling, red, green, purple, yellow, glittering, reflecting flickering gaslight, crashing to the parquet, all against the sounds of the orchestra playing, four hundred voices in anthem raised . . .

I was womaning the counter, waiting on customers, accepting payments, and wrapping baked goods, when the postman’s bell was heard in the courtyard. I refuse to refer to myself as "manning" anything. Such usage demeans the female gender and implies that I am in some manner inferior to and subservient to the male.

Mr. Tolliver leaned his bicycle against the postern and, after taking a moment to sort through his sack of mail, came forward and handed me a small bundle of missives. He smiled through his gray mustache. "Mum all right, Miss Holmes?"

"She would rather work," I replied, "but the doctor insists that she rest during these final weeks. Once the new arrival is here, he says, she will have work enough to do."

"Aye. And Dad, what has he to say?"

"He is in league with Doctor Millward. As am I. Mother insists on cooking for us all, but at least she has consented to yield her duties in the shop."

"You take care of your mother, Miss Elisabeth. She is a dear lady."

I handed Mr. Tolliver a complimentary crumpet and he retrieved his bicycle and pedaled away.

The shop was busy this day. It was all that young Sherlock could do with mixing batters, keeping the ovens in order, and placing fresh goods on display. Dad alternated caring for Mum and napping so he would have his strength to tend to the heavy baking duties overnight. And of course Mycroft sat in the nook that passed for an office, working as he ever did over the bakery’s books and studying formulas for new products.

Mycroft also handled our correspondence, such as it was, ordering supplies and paying bills. Ours was a reasonably successful family business, but a most demanding one in this busy section of London. Competition was keen as well.

By the time the shop was closed for the day, darkness had fallen over London and gas lamps were casting soft shadows outside our dwelling. Gas had also been installed indoors despite the grumbles of older residents who insisted that the new lighting was unnatural and unpleasant compared to traditional oil lamps.

Father had risen from a nap. Mum had made a rich soup of orange pumpkin and had roasted us a piece of beef with potatoes and greens. There were, of course, baked goods from our own shop. Mycroft was as usual prompt to reach his place at the family table. It seems that Mycroft spends his entire life in a stationary posture, save for his rare and unexplained "expeditions." At irregular intervals he will rise ponderously, don headpiece, take walking stick in hand, and disappear for an hour or a day.

On one occasion that I recall he was gone for an entire year. My parents had given him up for lost when he strode into the shop, greeted a number of our regular customers familiarly, and returned to his accustomed place without a word of explanation. My elder brother is as portly as my younger is scrawny; could they but exchange a few stone of avoirdupois I believe they would both be better off.

But this night it fell to me to summon Sherlock, who had retreated to his room to practice his fiddle playing.

I do not know which is more distressing, the sounds of scraping and screeching that he calls music or the unpleasant odors of the experiments he conducts from time to time. Why my parents had gifted me with this bothersome stringbean of a younger brother is beyond human comprehension. I hoped only that the next addition to the Holmes house hold would be a pleasanter companion. The Fates willing, a girl!

Of course, this pregnancy is a late and unanticipated one. Still, Mother gives every evidence of plea sure at the prospect of having another Holmes about the house. Father worries about expenses. Mycroft appears oblivious.

As for the execrable Sherlock, I suppose that he is accustomed to the privileges associated with being the youngest member of the family. When mention is made of the fact that he will lose this distinction, his expression resembles that of a person who has bitten into a fruit, thinking it an orange, only to discover that it is a lemon.

To be honest I will confess that my little brother is not entirely brainless. On one occasion I recall, he asked me to assist him in his so-called laboratory. He explained that he was developing a technique to transmit energy by means of sound waves. He had arranged an experiment in which he mounted a metallic object in a brace, surrounded by sound-absorbing batting. He stood nearby, scraping hideous sounds from his fiddle. He played notes higher and higher in pitch until, to my astonishment, the metal object began to vibrate violently.

"Now, sister, I want you to stand on the other side of the apparatus and match that note on your flute."

I complied, with similar results.

"And now," Sherlock proclaimed, "for the peas of resistance. We shall stand on either side of the apparatus and, upon my signal, both sound the keynote."

I did not correct his solecism but merely shook my head in exasperated compliance.

Sherlock placed his fiddle beneath his chin, laid bow across strings, and favored me with a nod and a wink. The grotesquerie of his bony visage thus distorted far exceeds my mean verbal powers. Indeed, the awfulness of it must be imagined rather than described.

We both sounded the crucial note, he upon his fiddle and I upon my flute. Within seconds the metal object began to vibrate violently, then to glow with red heat, and finally to liquefy and fall in a silvery rain upon the floor.

At this moment, Mother entered the room. "Elisabeth, Sherlock, dears, has either of you seen my precious silver spoon from Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee?"

Alas, there it lay, a formless puddle of molten metal upon the floor of Sherlock’s laboratory.

The meal proceeded pleasantly enough, each family member in turn describing his or her day, as is our long-standing custom. Talk had turned to affairs of the world as they filtered into our house hold through the conversation of our customers when Mycroft announced that he had found a missive addressed to our parents in the day’s arrivals.

Mycroft is by far the most brilliant man I have ever encountered. I cannot imagine him spending his life in our family bakery, but for the time being he performs invaluable service. He can also be the most exasperating of men, surpassing even the annoying Sherlock. Wiping his chin free of a drop of grease, he muttered and patted himself here and there, searching for the missive.

At last he found it. He drew it from an inner pocket and handed it to Father.

It was an envelope carefully addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Beasley Holmes, Holmes Family Bakery, Old Romilly Street, London, En gland. The stamps were of an unfamiliar hue and design, denominated in something called "cents." A return address in the city of New York in the United States of America provided the solution to the mystery of the odd stamps.

There followed an act that could have been performed as a comic turn at a Cheapside music hall. Father patted himself on the chest, blinking all the time. "I cannot find my spectacles," he announced at last, handing the envelope to Mother.

Mother shook her head. "I must tend to my kitchen duties. Perhaps one of the children will read this letter to us all."

Somehow the duty fell to my lot. Somehow, it seems, in this house hold it always does.

I opened the envelope. It was unusually stiff and of a finer grade of paper than most ordinary correspondence. From the envelope I extracted a card. In embossed lettering it read as follows:

MR. AND MRS. JORGEN SIGERSON

REQUEST THE PLEA SURE OF YOUR COMPANY

AT THE WEDDING OF THEIR DAUGHTER,

MISS INGA ELISABETH SIGERSON

TO MR. JONATHAN VAN HOPKINS

IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK

ON SUNDAY, THE TWENTIETH OF JUNE, 1875

I had read the card aloud. Upon hearing it Mother clapped her hands. "My dear brother’s child is to be married! It seems but yesterday that she was an infant."

"I knew it," I exclaimed. "I knew that a wonderful event was about to befall my cousin Inga."

"A joyous occasion indeed, but of course we shall send our regrets," Father stated. "The twentieth of June is mere weeks ahead. There is no way that Mum could possibly undertake an ocean voyage, nor would I, under the circumstances, even consider traveling to America while she remained at home."

Mother reached for the envelope and I extended it toward her. As I did so a slip of paper fell from it, barely missing the vegetable bowl and landing in front of the bony Sherlock. He snatched it up and refused to surrender it until Father commanded him to do so. Even so, I had to tug at the slip before he would release it.

The note was written in the familiar hand of my cousin. Dearest Elisabeth, I read silently, My Jonathan is the most wonderful man. He is a skilled printer and editor and we plan to move to the West once married. Please, please, cousin dearest, do find a way to come to my wedding. I shall be heartbroken if you do not. I want you there as my maiden of honor. The note was signed, in my cousin’s customary manner, with a cartoon drawing of the two of us, our arms linked familiarly.

Although we have never met, I believe that we have had a psychic link throughout our lives. My mother and Inga’s father were twins. Mother remained here in England while her brother emigrated to the United States, where he married an American woman, Miss Tanner. We two cousins were born on the same day and, as far as we have been able to determine, at the same moment. My cousin was named Inga Elisabeth...

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Descrizione libro Minotaur Books,US, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.With an introduction by Leslie S. Klinger, editor and compiler of all three volumes of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes , this collection of ten original stories brings light to one of the least examined periods in the life of the great detective - his time in the former colonies, the United States. This Holmes is a youthful one - a young man not yet set upon his course in life and in his famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street. In Richard Lupoff s Inga Sigerson Weds , he s come to America to represent the family at his sister s wedding. In My Silk Umbrella , Mark Twain narrates his fateful encounter with Holmes at a baseball game in Hartford, Connecticut; Steve Hockensmith narrates the meeting of the young William Gillette and the object of his later, most famous turn upon the stage; and, Peter Tremayne reveals the intersection of Holmes and the Irish in the 19th century American midwestern landscape. With further stories by Marta Randall, Rhys Bowen, Peter Beagle, and others, the legend, the mythology and even the history of the world s greatest detective is further enhanced by these charming, clever and mystifying tales. Codice libro della libreria APC9780312378462

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Descrizione libro Minotaur Books,US, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. With an introduction by Leslie S. Klinger, editor and compiler of all three volumes of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes , this collection of ten original stories brings light to one of the least examined periods in the life of the great detective - his time in the former colonies, the United States. This Holmes is a youthful one - a young man not yet set upon his course in life and in his famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street. In Richard Lupoff s Inga Sigerson Weds , he s come to America to represent the family at his sister s wedding. In My Silk Umbrella , Mark Twain narrates his fateful encounter with Holmes at a baseball game in Hartford, Connecticut; Steve Hockensmith narrates the meeting of the young William Gillette and the object of his later, most famous turn upon the stage; and, Peter Tremayne reveals the intersection of Holmes and the Irish in the 19th century American midwestern landscape. With further stories by Marta Randall, Rhys Bowen, Peter Beagle, and others, the legend, the mythology and even the history of the world s greatest detective is further enhanced by these charming, clever and mystifying tales. Codice libro della libreria APC9780312378462

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Descrizione libro Minotaur Books,US, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. With an introduction by Leslie S. Klinger, editor and compiler of all three volumes of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes , this collection of ten original stories brings light to one of the least examined periods in the life of the great detective - his time in the former colonies, the United States. This Holmes is a youthful one - a young man not yet set upon his course in life and in his famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street. In Richard Lupoff s Inga Sigerson Weds , he s come to America to represent the family at his sister s wedding. In My Silk Umbrella , Mark Twain narrates his fateful encounter with Holmes at a baseball game in Hartford, Connecticut; Steve Hockensmith narrates the meeting of the young William Gillette and the object of his later, most famous turn upon the stage; and, Peter Tremayne reveals the intersection of Holmes and the Irish in the 19th century American midwestern landscape. With further stories by Marta Randall, Rhys Bowen, Peter Beagle, and others, the legend, the mythology and even the history of the world s greatest detective is further enhanced by these charming, clever and mystifying tales. Codice libro della libreria BZE9780312378462

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Descrizione libro Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Hardcover. 368 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.9in. x 1.5in.A compelling volume of original tales concerning Sherlock Holmes legendary time in America With an introduction by Leslie S. Klinger, editor and compiler of all three volumes of the Annotated Sherlock Holmes, this collection of ten original stories brings light to one of the least examined periods in the life of the great detectivehis time in the former colonies, the United States. This Holmes is a youthful onea young man not yet set upon his course in life and in his famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street. In Richard Lupoff s Inga Sigerson Weds, hes come to America to represent the family at his sisters wedding. In My Silk Umbrella, Mark Twain narrates his fateful encounter with Holmes at a baseball game in Hartford, Connecticut; Steve Hockensmith narrates the meeting of the young William Gillette and the object of his later, most famous turn upon the stage; and Peter Tremayne reveals the intersection of Holmes and the Irish in the 19th century American midwestern landscape. With further stories by Marta Randall, Rhys Bowen, Peter Beagle, and others, the legend, the mythology and even the history of the worlds greatest detective is further enhanced by these charming, clever and mystifying tales. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Codice libro della libreria 9780312378462

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