“The best substitute for Sherlock Holmes known.” – Vincent Starrett.
So, we’ve looked at Pinnacle’s The Adventures and The Chronicles; now we turn to The Memoirs of Solar Pons. Pinnacle was doing a nice job of getting these collections out, with The Memoirs coming out in February of 1975 – only two months after The Chronicles. The quote above was from the back cover and remains perhaps the best statement yet made about Solar Pons.
I mentioned in a prior post that The Chronicles was the sixth (and last) collection of Derleth’s Pons stories, but the second issued by Pinnacle: presumably because they were still relatively new. The Memoirs was the second collection, issued by Mycroft & Moran in 1951. The original edition included a long foreword by Ellery Queen (presumably Frederic Dannay), but Pinnacle’s reissue had one by Luther Norris, the Vincent Starrett of Ponsians.
Text from the back cover: “Here again, in nostalgic reminders of vanished days and nights in Baker Street, we visit with the literary descendant of the Master – Solar Pons, the Pride of Praed Street. Join him and this faithful Dr. Lyndon Parker in their plots, counterplots and clashing climaxes. And ponder and shiver as you encounter such unforgettables as a paralytic mendicant, six silver spiders, a perfect husband, a proper werewolf, five royal coachmen, and a troublesome comma. All that, dear friends, and more..”
The contents of The Memoirs:
- Introduction by Luther Norris
- The Adventure of the Circular Room
- The Adventure of the Perfect Husband
- The Adventure of the Broken Chessman
- The Adventure of the Dog in the Manger
- The Adventure of the Proper Comma
- The Adventure of Ricoletti of the Club Foot
- The Adventure of the Six Silver Spiders
- The Adventure of the Lost Locomotive
- The Adventure of the Tottenham Werewolf
- The Adventure of the Five Royal Coachmen
- The Adventure of the Paralytic Mendicant
The Circular Room was originally a Sherlock Holmes pastiche which had appeared in the Baker Street Journal in 1946.
Ricoletti of the Club Foot was one of Dr. Watson’s famous untold tales of Holmes.
The Lost Locomotive bears a resemblance to Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost Special.
Visit SolarPons.com to learn more about The Memoirs.
Bob Byrne, PSI