In which the NYT throws shade at ACD and Sherlock Holmes.
“The New York Times, Sunday October 16, 1892
“Two New Novels”
Appreciation of Dr. Doyle’s “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ has to do with one’s personal zest for the marvelous. You may care for one detective story, but when there is a round dozen you may get a fit of indigestion. This volume of Dr. Doyle’s in entirely different from his other spirited work, and scarcely the better on that account. Sherlock Holmes, with all his mise-en-scène has too much of a premeditation about him. You get a little weary of his perspicacity. A person has mud spots on his sleeve. “You have been driving in a dog cart,” says Sherlock Holmes. “You have a scratch on your boot. you have a careless servant who has cut the leather of your boot scraping off the dirt on the uppers.” “You have just had your hair cut—because under a microscope there are fragments of hair on your hat lining.” “You have a cold, because you sneeze, and you sneeze because you have a cold.” A man loses his hat and a Christmas goose and somebody else gets the bird, has it roasted, and in the craw a blue carbuncle is found—and it is “the Countess of Morcar’s blue carbuncle.”
At once Sherlock Holmes works up the complex matter of a felt hat, rather the worse for wear, a goose with a black tail feather, the carbuncle, and, indifferent to the gravy, the sage and onions, or the apple sauce, finds out precisely when the bird swallowed the carbuncle, his particular coop, and who stole the Morcar carbuncle. “A scandal in Bohemia,” with Miss Irene Adler as heroine and his Grace the hereditary King of Bohemia as hero, is cleverly managed. Irene was the only woman who ever beat Sherlock Holmes. But Dr. Doyle ought to have acknowledged his indebtedness to Poe’s “Purloined Letter” for the main points. “The Adventures of the Engineer’s Thumb” has also the Poe idea in it. Then in “The Man with the Twisted Lip,” which is about the professional beggar who has a nice wife and lived in elegance in a villa while he exercised his calling of gathering in the ha’pence unbeknown to his cultured family, that is a Thackeray skit. “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” and the snake business have been told many a time, and Dr. Doyle only varies the snake. Certainly, the stories are amusing and are told in good style, but they are written for those designated by the French as gobemouches.
[here the article’s author writes a short review of some other novel called “Old St. Stephen’s”]”
Source: Two new novels. (1892, Oct 16). New York Times (1857-1922). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/95009309?accountid=27495 (please do not use this article elsewhere without citing the source. thanks).