A Study in Lavender

25 Feb

“A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes”, edited by Joseph R. G. DeMarco, is one of the best volumes of Sherlock Holmes short stories I have read in a long time.

The stories all have an interesting take on the world of Sherlock Holmes.  Every story has a gay component to it.  Sometimes it is Holmes who is gay, sometimes it is the client, or the victim, and in one story, Lestrade.

I found the stories all to be interesting and insightful into life for men who were criminals merely for the fact they existed, whether or not they acted upon their sexual orientation.

It is rare for me to find an anthology where I loved all the stories.  Usually there is a mix of good, bad, and mediocre.  “A Study in Lavender”, however, contained stories that were pretty much all good.  The ending of the final story in the book tended towards being a little on the mediocre side, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the book.

The truly outstanding story, however, is “The Well-Educated Young Man” by William P. Copeland.  This story spelled out how truly dangerous and horrific life was for gay men in the Victorian era.  The story is so well written and readable that it was whilst reading it that I knew this volume would be added to my Sherlock Holmes collection, not passed on, as I do so many others.

There are no actual sex scenes, so don’t be afraid to reach out for the book.  You may learn something as well as be entertained by some brilliantly written stories.

Highly recommended.

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