Four Noncanonical Sherlock Holmes Short Stories

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.6 stars; 35 reviews)

Although the Sherlock Holmes canon traditionally consists of four novels and 56 short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle, there are many Sherlock Holmes stories outside the canon. Most of these noncanonical stories were written by authors other than Doyle, but there are four short stories about Holmes written by Doyle that are nonetheless excluded from the canon, for various reasons. This LibriVox album consists of these four noncanonical stories. The first story, "The Field Bazaar", was first published in 1896 in a special issue of a University of Edinburgh student newspaper called The Student. Doyle wrote this very brief story to support a fundraising event at the university, his alma mater, but most scholars consider the story to be a parody and therefore not part of the canon. The second and third stories, "The Lost Special" and "The Man with the Watches", were both published in The Strand Magazine in 1898 and both feature mysteries involving trains. These two stories are not part of the canon because neither story mentions Holmes by name, although literary scholars have proposed that the unnamed "amateur reasoner" in "The Lost Special" and the unnamed "well-known criminal investigator" in "The Man with the Watches" are intended to be Holmes, and this theory is accepted for the purposes of this LibriVox album. Doyle wrote the fourth story, "How Watson Learned the Trick", for a miniature book that was placed in Queen Mary's Dolls' House, a dollhouse built for Queen Mary in the 1920s that housed a tiny library featuring works by several famous authors of the day, the contents of which were published in 1924 for public consumption. Considered a companion piece to "The Field Bazaar" due to both stories consisting entirely of conversations between Holmes and Watson over breakfast, "How Watson Learned the Trick" is similarly excluded from the canon on the grounds of being a parody. - Summary by David Purdy

Cast List:

Sherlock Holmes: Peter Yearsley
Dr. Watson: David Purdy
Herbert de Lernac: Algy Pug
James: NoelVox
James Bland: Lewis West
Inspector Collins: Alan Mapstone
John Palmer: Brant Burgiss
Potter Hood; Dude: Zames Curran
James McPherson; John: chuckconvr
Edward; Kenyon Junction Station Master: Tomas Peter
Sparrow MacCoy; Earlstown Station Master: Adrian Stephens
Coroner; Newton Station Master: Lauren-Emma Blake
Barton Moss Station Master: Marvin
Manchester Station Master: Larry Wilson
Collins Green Station Master: Twinkle
St. Helens Station Master: Rob Marland
Narrator: Michele Eaton

Edited by: Peter Yearsley

Proof listener: Dulcamara (1 hr 39 min)


Story 1: The Field Bazaar 8:21 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Story 2: The Lost Special 48:31 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Story 3: The Man with the Watches 38:27 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Story 4: How‌ ‌Watson‌ ‌Learned‌ ‌the‌ ‌Trick‌ 3:51 Read by LibriVox Volunteers


Interesting Periphery

(4.5 stars)

I am particularly charmed by the short, sassy but friendly stand-alone interactions between Holmes and his friend Watson, amusingly unified in being recognizable as parody in part perhaps because Sherlock Holmes is seen to take an interest in sports. The Lost Special has that quality of Holmes stories being like riddles that are set up with some implicit questions and then explained in detail afterward, but what prompts the explanation in this case is a mystery itself, rendering its familiar point by point detail both strange and suspect in context; I feel this story suffers from the lack of Holmes acting to justify the clear reveals. This is less of a problem in The Man With the Watches; the narrator of the known facts in this case makes his reasons clear and it stands up well as its own little story. All the readers and voice actors do an excellent job; characters are distinct from one another, speech clear and free of distracting qualities. Props to the coordination, the flow between readers is great!

interesting addition

(4.5 stars)

These four stories are an interesting addition to the Holmes stories. the last one is really funny