The Grand Game, Volumes 1 (2011) and 2 (2012)

The Grand Game: A Celebration of Sherlockian Scholarship, volume 1, 1901-1959.
Publication date: January, 2011.
ISBN 978-0-9795550-8-4

and The Grand Game: A Celebration of Sherlockian Scholarship, volume 2, 1960-2010. (See website here.)

In celebration of the centenary of Ronald Knox’s definitive Sherlockian essay, “Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes,” the Baker Street Irregulars requested Laurie King and Les Klinger to assemble a collection of essays both definitive and idiosyncratic.  And because Laurie shares a background of theological academia with Knox, the book took shape around the traditions of Biblical theology.  Her introduction to the collection is titled, “The Grand Game–Textual, Higher, Radical, and Midrashic Sherlockian Criticism.”

It begins:

In January, 2010, I was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars (as “The Red Circle”). Before my suitcases were unpacked back in California, Les Klinger (“The Abbey Grange”) was on the phone to ask if I wouldn’t like to help edit a book of Sherlockian scholarship. Overlooking the first law of travel (never make a decision until the suitcase is back in the closet), I said sure, sounds like fun.

Les Klinger is not a successful lawyer for nothing.

His proposal was based on the 2011 centenary of Monsignor Ronald Knox’s landmark essay, “Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes.” I first came across this work in 1987, when I began writing a series of novels in which Sherlock Holmes plays a part. As an academic by train-ing and by inclination, my first impulse had been to see what other scholars made of this person about whom I found myself writing. I spent some time in the library, gravitating not to works concerned with the literary merit or symbolic content of the Holmes stories, but to those that treated the stories as historical truth. The works that, as I found later, comprised “The Game” of Sherlockian scholarship—Knox’s paper, along with Dorothy L. Sayers’ comment at the top of this essay, were but two of the gems I came across. From my first introduction to “The Game” and its solemn players, my general impression was that these people were all having a grand time of it.

Copies (signed, we hope) will be available from the Baker Street Journal. The collection will be released for general sales in February 2011.


Reviews

Admittedly, some of the scholarly investigations included are–to borrow the language of the Master–distinctly curious, but none is without interest and most are highly suggestive… In every way, The Grand Game is an essential addition to any Sherlockian library.”

–Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of On Conan Doyle

Sherlockians, as it is well known, are a fanatical lot teetering on the edge of rational insanity, and nowhere is this truer than in their pursuit of “the Grand Game.” The book of the same name is an encyclopedic introduction to the most whimsical bit of serious scholarship ever to exist.

–John Darnton, author of Black and White and Dead All Over

If your shelves can only accommodate a handful of Sherlockian volumes, this should be one of them.”

–John Breen, Mystery Scene Magazine