Meet my new friend, Phillip Duke. He is an author from Omaha, Nebraska, who is also featured on Suzy Dubot's website: http://suzybazaar.webs.com/. He is a Phd, so he is a knowledgeable fellow as well as being an amiable and helpful one. I find it ironic that a man who lives nearly 5000 miles away should be radically more helpful in sorting out recent issues with our central heating system than a plumber who lives within walking distance.
More to the point, Phillip is an author with a particular fondness for the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. I have read a number of pastiches of Holmes and, by and large, it has not been a worthwhile experience. Phillip is the exception. His stories blend the traditional characteristics of Conan-Doyle's tales with a dash of science fiction and the result is a success. Far from being the tedious mish-mash that such things usually turn out to be, these stories have an eloquence and attention to detail that would do justice to Doyle himself.
I have another Sherlock Holmes pastiche on my Kindle at the moment. I won't mention the title or the author's name (except that it isn't Phillip) because it is truly awful. This writer's knowledge of Holmes might be culled from watching an old Basil Rathbone film, or perhaps one of the Jeremy Brett TV adaptations, but he has certainly never read any of the original stories, and it shows. It reminds me of all those fantasy novels that came out in the wake of 'The Lord of the Rings' success. They always trumpeted the 'comparable to Tolkien at his best' tagline. 'Comparable to' means 'can be compared with'. It doesn't mean 'as good as'. Put it to the test. Compare a tin of baked beans with Tolkien at his best (ie. 'The Lord of the Rings'). The beans will probably taste better than the book, but the book will almost certainly be more interesting to read. There you are: a comparison. A tin of baked beans is 'comparable to Tolkien at his best'.
None of this applies to Phillip Duke. His stories worthy successors to Conan-Doyle's originals and I recommend them highly.
Find them here: http://goo.gl/HYHD8
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.