Unusual Suspects

Sherlock Retellings, and That Time Conan Doyle Defended a Wrongly Convicted Man

Hi mystery fans! We’ve got a special edition of Unusual Suspects so we can gather around and blow out 159 candles for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday. Over on Book Riot, we’ve dedicated the day to Sherlock, Doyle, and mysteries (*throws confetti) with excellent posts from Sherlock Holmes Escape Rooms to Spiritualism and Fairies, and you’re gonna want to check them all out here.

black and white image of Conan Arthur Doyl, white man with mustache, with colorful balloons photoshoped in the background

sponsored by The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

The most inventive debut of 2018, this clever, mind-bending murder mystery will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

One of Stylist Magazine’s 20 Must-Read Books of 2018.
One of Harper’s Bazaar’s 10 Must-Read Books of 2018.
One of Marie Claire, Australia’s 10 Books You Absolutely Have to Read in 2018


At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed. Again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder. However nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

I didn’t actually read Doyle’s work until my 30s, when I found my mom’s copy of A Treasury of Sherlock Holmes from 1955. I did what I always do when I randomly come across a book: I stopped what I was doing and read the first page. Before I knew it, I’d read A Study in Scarlet and understood how these two characters are still beloved.

If you’ve never read Doyle’s work, you can download almost all of his novels and short stories in different formats for free here: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Canon

If you’re an audiobook fan, LibriVox (also free) has a bunch of selections here. And my personal favorite is the entire collection narrated by Stephen Fry, who also has a little introduction before each piece: Sherlock Holmes. It’s perfect if you’ve always wanted to reread the works.

cover image: woman in victorian red dress running away towards a doorwayMy favorite reimagining out of all of the reimaginings that I’ve read goes to Sherry Thomas’ Lady Sherlock series. It’s delightful, kickass, brilliant, and equally excellent in print and in audiobook. It starts with A Study in Scarlet Women and I hope the series goes on for-EV-er.



cover image: title and author name with brick wall inside lettersAnother series I love that nods at Sherlock Holmes is Joe Ide’s IQ series. It’s a modern PI in East Long Beach who uses his intelligence and deduction skills to take on cases. He also has a somewhat sidekick named Dodson–which sure does seem to rhyme with Watson.


cover image: red and yellow cover with a graphic of a magnifying glassAnd I’m looking forward to reading the upcoming Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox (June 26, Random House). It tells the true story of when Doyle, already known for his Sherlock writing, used his own deduction skills to work on a case of a wrongly convicted man.

Well, that’s it for me today so now back to our regularly scheduled programing. Happy deducing!

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And here’s an Unusual Suspects Pinterest board.

Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canaves.

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