Sherlock Holmes Parodies and Pastiches

Chubblock Homes parody sherlock holmes parodies pastiches

“Chubblock Homes,” a parody from the 1910s by Jack Yeats, the artist brother of William Butler.

I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes for many years, but lately my interest has turned toward the many parodies and pastiches that appeared during Conan Doyle’s lifetime. The 223B Casebook Series is my home for those stories found one door down from that notable Baker Street address.

Five books have been published: “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes” and “Victorian Parodies and Pastiches: 1888-1899,” “Edwardian Parodies and Pastiches I: 1900-1904, Edwardian Parodies II: 1905-1909, and Great War Parodies II: 1915-1919.

There are more books in the works, including at least one “best of” volume. The Peschel Press site contains information on future books in the series.

Below can be found a list of works I’ve published on the blog so far. I’ve also adopted the author’s prerogative of adding works outside the 1888-1930 time period that were especially cool.

(Also, did I mention that I published a Sherlock Holmes short story featuring Mark Twain? I believe I just did.)

For those interested in learning more about the World of Sherlock Holmes, I recommend Sherlockology for fans of the BBC series, Sherlockian.net for the old school fans, and the podcasts “Baker Street Babes” and “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.”

Those interested in Sherlock Holmes fanfiction should visit Sherlockian.net’s list and commentary page for links.

  • Sherlock WWI Parody: The Terrors of War I’ve taken a break from publishing the 223B Casebook Series in order to work on other books in the Peschel Press line. But that doesn’t mean I’m neglecting Sherlock (as if he would let me!). Today we’re looking to the ...
  • Sherlock Holmes comic book pastiche “Murder in the Blue Room” As Monty Python said, and now for something completely different: instead of works from Conan Doyle’s lifetime, I want to do something a little later in time. This is a Sherlock Holmes comic book pastiche that appeared in “Detective Picture ...
  • Sherlock Holmes Puzzle by John French Sloan Today’s entry from the 223B Casebook series of parodies and pastiches is actually a Sherlock Holmes puzzle. It was part of a series that ran from 1900 to 1901 in the Sunday supplement of the Philadelphia Press. These puzzles were created ...
  • The Sherlock-Boer War From 1899 to 1902, Britain was involved in another one of its “little wars” that characterized the empire during Victoria’s reign. In South Africa, British troops were fighting the Dutch Boers in the South African Republic and the Orange Free ...
  • Arthur Conan Doyle in World War I (part 3) This is the second post reprinting biographical essays about Arthur Conan Doyle and World War I from “Sherlock Holmes Great War Parodies and Pastiches II: 1915-1919.” Each year begins with a summary of Arthur Conan Doyle’s life during that year. They’re ...
  • Arthur Conan Doyle in World War I (part 2) This is the second post reprinting biographical essays about Arthur Conan Doyle and World War I from “Sherlock Holmes Great War Parodies and Pastiches II: 1915-1919.” Each year begins with a summary of Arthur Conan Doyle’s life during that year. They’re ...
  • Arthur Conan Doyle in World War I We’re going to do something a little different for the next couple of weeks. Instead of running parodies and pastiches, I want to reprint brief essays about Arthur Conan Doyle and World War I from “Sherlock Holmes Great War Parodies ...
  • Cherchez la Femme (Carolyn Wells Sherlock Parody) Wells wrote a number of stories featuring her Society of Infallible Detectives, two of which appear in “Sherlock Holmes Great War Parodies and Pastiches II: 1914-1919“. This appeared in the February 1917 issue of The Green Book magazine, with art ...
  • Stephen Leacock’s Sherlock Parody Perhaps the funniest example of following a thread of logic to its inescapable conclusion was supplied by one of Canada’s most popular humorists. Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) was imported into Canada from Hampshire at the age of six, and there built ...
  • Ring Lardner’s Sherlock Holmes Parody This Ring Lardner Sherlock Holmes parody appeared in the Chicago Tribune’s “In the Wake of the News” column. Although primarily devoted to sports, the column allows writers to ruminate on anything, as Lardner (1885-1933) did in the March 19, 1915, ...
  • Sherlock Holmes, Witness Today we’re pulling another story from “Sherlock Holmes Edwardian Parodies and Pastiches II: 1905-1909.” This one was published in 1907 when one of the architects of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was 26. More parodies can be found on this page. Can ...
  • Conan Doyle Spiritualism Parody While Conan Doyle never used Sherlock to promote his Spiritualist beliefs, there were those who used the detective as a way of taking the movement down a peg. The events at a typical séance described below were exaggerated for comic ...
  • Sherlock Holmes and Certain Critics Conan Doyle’s Spiritualism left him open to attacks by skeptics, humorists, and church officials. Light magazine, which published his articles on the subject, also supported him with this parody that appeared in the Nov. 2, 1918, issue. Its author, Ellis ...
  • Silent Sherlock Parody: The Mystery of the Leaping Fish This is from the newest book in the 223B Casebook series: “Sherlock Holmes Parodies and Pastiches from the Great War II: 1915-1919” We normally limit ourselves to reprinting stories, but we made an exception for this one. It is probably ...
  • The Mystery of the Five Empty Peanut Shells To celebrate the completion of “Sherlock Holmes Edwardian Parodies and Pastiches II: 1905-1909,” I’ve been running stories that for one reason or another–mostly because the book reached 125,000 words–didn’t make it in. There are several stories from various schools in the ...
  • Sherlock Holmes parody: “A New Padlock Holmes Story” (1905) Production on the next volume in the 223B Casebook series, covering the years 1905-1909, is nearly finished! I expect to have the book out during the first week of January. So to celebrate, we’re running stories from that time period, ...
  • Sherlock Gnomes in South Africa: The Adventure of the White Spot When Arthur Conan Doyle went to South Africa to help the British Empire fight off the Dutch Boers, Sherlock went with him, at least in the pages of Scraps magazine. One of their anonymous writers, who knew enough about the ...
  • The Last of Sherlock Holmes (Banjo Paterson Sherlock Parody) This story requires some explanation. Late on the night of Jan. 20, 1905, police in Perth, Australia, received an urgent telegram from Sir Harry Rawson (1843-1910), the governor of New South Wales, from his summer home in Moss Vale. Two ...
  • Letters from Reichenbach (Sherlock Holmes Harper’s Weekly parody) The same month that The Hound of the Baskervilles began running in The Strand, the return of Holmes was celebrated in James MacArthur’s “Notes of a Bookman” column in the Aug. 31, 1901, issue of Harper’s Weekly. MacArthur (1866-1909) also ...
  • The Missing Letter by Opie Read This was an unexpected find: an Australian newspaper publishing a parody written by one of the most popular American humorists not named Mark Twain. The article in the Riverina Recorder of Oct. 31, 1900, was credited to the Arkansaw Traveller, ...
  • The Debut of Bimbashi Joyce (Conan Doyle in Punch) Here’s another excerpt from The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes. This time, it’s something special. Not a parody or pastiche, but a short story from Conan Doyle himself. It was his sole contribution to the magazine, so I thought ...
  • Sherlock Holmes by Finley Peter Dunne Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936) was a newspaper reporter who wrote a popular column starring Martin Dooley, the loquacious Irish saloon-keeper with a humorous opinion about everything. Despite being the object of many a Dooley barb, President Theodore Roosevelt respected him ...
  • Why Musical Comedy Has No Plot This Sherlock Holmes musical comedy parody appeared in the April edition of The Playgoer: The Illustrated Magazine of Dramatic Art, which covered London’s theatrical offerings. The author and artist could not be identified. Why Musical Comedy Has No Plot “C. O’M.” The epidemic ...
  • Sherlock Holmes Outwitted: The Adventure of the ‘Hot Feet’ This story found in the 1904 Corks and Curls yearbook of the University of Virginia must have charmed the students with its references to clubs and personalities that have faded from memory. The “Hot Feet” of the title was a ...
  • The Lost Democratic Majority This Sherlock political parody from “Sherlock Holmes Edwardian Parodies and Pastiches I” is one of my top 10 favorites. It required some in-depth research that unearthed the story behind the Hotel Burke (the promotional postcard I included not only for ...
  • Sherlock Holmes Jr. Meets Santa Claus This adorable holiday tale of an Americanized son of Watson playing with the son of Sherlock appeared in the Dec. 25 edition of the Chicago Sunday Tribune. This is an excerpt from Sherlock Holmes Edwardian Parodies and Pastiches I: 1900-1904, ...
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Groton Schoolboy One of the unexpected pleasures of researching the Sherlockian pastiches for the 223B Casebook is learning more about the authors. Not just by becoming more familiar with authors who were popular in their time — that’s a post for another ...
  • Literary Puns Too Painful for Words Researching the Sherlockian parodies and pastiches for the next volume in the 223B Casebook project should be a sedate, calm affair. Not as upsetting as, say, debating the Hugo nominations or going on Twitter. And it hadn’t been, until I got ...
  • Penman’s Politics (Punch parody) This Conan Doyle parody, an excerpt from “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes,” refers to one of the two times Arthur Conan Doyle ran for Parliament. Penman’s Politics The outbreak of the Boer War in October 1899 marked a new direction ...
  • The Day P.G. Wodehouse Interviewed Conan Doyle (Punch parody) Another excerpt from “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes,” only this one has nothing to do with Sherlock, or parodies, or even Punch magazine. But it has everything to do with P.G. Wodehouse and his friend and fellow cricket ...
  • Sherlock Holmes parody: “His Final Arrow” (223B Casebook) This excerpt from “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes” uses R.C. Lehmann’s Picklock Holes to poke fun at “His Last Bow.” This version is also available in the second Great War volume His Final Arrow R.C. Lehmann My name is Potson, as ...
  • Punch’s Short Shots at Sherlock When I was compiling “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes,” I ran into a slight problem that I didn’t realize until after I had finished the book. While there are parodies in the book, the book isn’t entirely made up ...
  • Sherlock in Punch Cartoons (223B Parody) Today’s excerpts from “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes” looks at several Sherlock Punch cartoons. Actually, the first one has more to do with Conan Doyle, as the introduction will tell you, but they give you an idea of ...
  • A Way We Have at the ’Varsity (Holmes Parody) Today’s excerpts from “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes” also fall into the category of “this is what folks read back then, make of it what you will.” The first Holmes Punch item was written in 1904 by R.C. Lehmann, ...
  • The Umbrosa Burglary / R.C. Lehmann (Sherlock Holmes parody) Today’s excerpt from “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes” is also drawn from R.C. Lehmann’s cycle of stories about Picklock Holes. This one makes fun of Holmes’ habit of breaking the rules to achieve his ends. One passion that played ...
  • Sherlock Holmes, Punch: “The Bishop’s Crime” “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes” started life was a way of bringing back the 17 “Picklock Holes” stories written by R.C. “Rudie” Lehmann. So it’s appropriate to begin this series of excerpts with him. Note that the introduction, ...
  • The Early Punch Parodies Excerpt Now that “The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes” is out in the world, it’s time for some excerpts from the book to give you an idea of why I’m excited about this project. As you can see from the introduction, ...
  • Mystery of Pinkham’s Diamond Stud (Bangs Sherlock parody) Today’s parody is from the prolific pen of John Kendricks Bangs (1862-1922). Bangs had a varied career as an editor and writer for American magazines, including the humor magazine Life, Harper’s Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Munsey’s and Puck. He also was ...
  • The Sign of the ‘400’ (223B Casebook series) Today’s entry is one of the more popular pastiches. “The Sign of the ‘400’ by R.K. Munkittrick appeared in the Oct. 24, 1894, issue of Puck magazine, where Munkittrick was the editor. It was republished in Ellery Queen’s “The Misadventures ...
  • A La Sherlock Holmes (223B Casebook) By Charles LoomisAlthough Holmes doesn’t appear in this story, his theory of the science of deduction does. Charles Loomis (1861-1911) was a New York humorist who wrote for Puck, Harper’s Century, Bookman and other magazines. He was a parodist who ...
  • The Identity of Miss Angela Vespers Today’s 1894 story from the 223B Casebook is unusual by creating a sort of female Sherlock Holmes. It was one of two that appeared in The Student, a journal for university extension students published at the home of Durham University ...
  • The Adventure of the Two Collaborators A failed attempt to follow in the footsteps of Gilbert and Sullivan lies behind this J.M. Barrie Sherlock parody. “Sir James Barrie paid his respects to Sherlock Holmes in a rollicking parody,” Doyle wrote in his “Memoirs and Adventures. “It was ...
  • The Adventure of the Table Foot (Victorian Sherlock parody) Little is known of Allan Ramsay, who published the Victorian Sherlock parody “The Adventure of the Table Foot” in The Bohemian magazine (January 1894) under the pen name “Zero.” His father and mother moved from Scotland to Constantinople, where he ...
  • “From the Diary of Sherlock Holmes” (Holmes parody) Today’s example comes from Maurice Baring‘s “Lost Diaries,” published in 1913. Baring (1875-1945) was a novelist, poet and playwright and an associate of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. Stories from the 223B casebook — stories published during Sir Arthur Conan ...
  • The Old Age of Holmes (Parody from the Victorian Age) Writers never let Holmes’ death at Moriarty’s hands at the falls stop them from imagining him as a spry elderly detective. The most recent example can be found in Mitch Cullin’s “A Slight Trick of the Mind” (2005), which finds ...
  • Sherlock Holmes parody featuring the Rover Boys Today’s installment from the 223B Casebook is a multiple parody. “Three Rousing Cheers!!! The Parody Adventures of Our Youthful Heroes” is a Sherlock Holmes parody. It is a Rover Boys parody. It is a “Green Hat” parody. The Rover Boys were ...
  • The Adventure of the Missing Bee (Sherlock parody) Today we’re pulling another P.G. Wodehouse parody, this time from Vanity Fair that was published December 1, 1904. Sherlock Holmes parodies and pastiches published during Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s lifetime (plus later ones I liked) — are published here every ...
  • “Why I Jilted Nan” | A 1910 Sherlock Holmes Parody Today’s Sherlock Holmes parody from the 223B Casebook has not been seen since it appeared in the Ann Arbor High School yearbook for 1910. “Why I Jilted Nan” by Helen Gillespie features Sheerluck Jones, the great detective, and a misunderstand ...
  • The Death of Sherlock Holmes (223B Casebook) Two cartoons that take different angles on Sherlock Holmes: a parody and a particular moment in a boy’s life. Start with the latter first: a piece by H.T. Webster (1885-1952), the most famous cartoonist in America. H.T. who? Yes, this is your Grampa ...
  • The Bound of the Astorbilts (223B Casebook) Today’s Sherlock Holmes parody from 1902 plays off “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” It appeared in the June 1902 issue of The Bookman, a magazine with a distinguished history of covering the Conan Doyle beat. The magazine published so many ...
  • The Rontgen Ray-der (223B Casebook) One element that set Sherlock Holmes apart from his fellow detectives was his bleeding-edge interest in science. It started as early as “A Study in Scarlet,” when he raved about discovering a test for bloodstains during his first meeting with ...
  • Case of the Collered Cufflink (223B Casebook) Today’s story, “The Case of the Collered Cufflink,” comes from the 1923 issue of The Magnet, a popular magazine for schoolboys. It was written by Peter Todd, the penname for the prolific Charles Hamilton. We featured another Hamilton story here ...
  • The Genius of Herlock Sholmes (223B Casebook) Today’s Sherlock Holmes parody has traveled far and wide to reach the shores of the Internet. This article is an example of how far a story can spread. It originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press under the headline “A ...
  • Max Beerbohm’s Sherlock Holmes Parody (223B Casebook) This time we have something a little different: A play review in the form of a pastiche. Judging from the evidence in his review of E. Temple Thurston’s, “John Chilcote, M.P.”, it is a great pity that Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) ...
  • Adventure of the Chuckle-Headed Doctor (223B Casebook) Dipping into the 223B Casebook of Sherlock Holmes parodies and pastiches, we find one about an aspect of Conan Doyle’s life that we haven’t been explored. Around 1917, Conan Doyle embraced spiritualism, the belief that the human personality survives death and ...
  • Dashiell Hammett’s The Master Mind (223B Casebook) One fact that’s cropped up in my researches into Sherlockian parodies is how many great writers turned their hand to the task. A.A. Milne, P.G. Wodehouse, O. Henry, and even Watson’s literary agent (a chap by the name of Conan ...
  • The Unmasking of Sherlock Holmes (from the 223B Casebook) “So please grip this fact with your cerebral tentacle, / The doll and its maker are never identical.” So wrote Arthur Conan Doyle in 1912 in a poetical rebuttal to a critic’s accusations that he borrowed from Poe’s stories only ...
  • The Succored Beauty (223B Casebook) Little is known of William B. Kahn, and therein lies a mystery, because his sole contribution, published in The Smart Set magazine’s October issue, has earned a place in the pastiche canon. It was republished in a limited edition in ...
  • Sherlock Parodies on Video II (223B Casebook) Today’s post is a continuation of last week’s post focusing on modern-day parodies that I found amusing. Not surprisingly, most of them focus on the BBC “Sherlock” show. Stories from the 223B casebook — stories published during Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ...
  • Sherlock Parodies on Video (223B Casebook) Today I wanted to focus on something more contemporary, so here are a couple modern-day parodies that I found amusing. Not surprisingly, most of them focus on the BBC “Sherlock” show. Stories from the 223B casebook — stories published during Sir ...
  • Sherlock Holmes on the Domestic Hearth (223B Casebook) Monday’s entry from the 223B Casebook appeared in Dec. 18, 1901 edition of The Tatler, its author unknown, and places Holmes in that rarest of roles: as husband and father. Stories from the 223B casebook — stories published during Sir Arthur ...
  • Dr. Watson’s Wedding Present (223B Casebook) Friday’s entry from the 223B Casebook appeared in the 1903 edition of The Bookman. It is written by J. Alston Cooper, about whom nothing is known, and it is a charming little piece about Dr. Watson’s upcoming marriage to Mary ...
  • Sherlock Holmes Umpires Baseball (223B Casebook) Monday’s entry from the files at 223B appeared in the Feb. 25, 1906, edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. There are two notes to appended to this story: * The reference in the story to the famous cartoon “Three Strikes and Out” ...
  • Poems For Sherlock Holmes (223B Casebook) Instead of Sherlock Holmes parodies and pastiches, we look at three poems in praise of and poking some fun at the great detective. The first, by journalist John Northern Hilliard, was published in 1922, was written after Holmes’ final retirement in ...
  • The Mystery of the Point to Point Lace (223B Casebook) “The Mystery of the Point to Point Lace” appeared in the September 1921 issue of “Banba,” published in Dublin. The magazine seems to have been a part of the revival of Irish nationalism — Banba is a daughter of ...
  • Spurlock and Watkins in Murder in the Blue Room (223B Casebook) Today’s entry is a little different: a 1936 comic book parody from “Detective Picture Stories” from Centaur Publications. While Holmes and Watson, and their non-copyrightable counterparts, have appeared in numerous comic strips, this was the first full-length case to appear ...
  • Sherlock Parodies from the New York Sun (223B Casebook) Today we have two cases from the 223B Casebook, both from the New York Sun of 1896. In the days of hot type, it was difficult to move columns of text about. Columns would be filled with stories, anecdotes, jokes, ...
  • On the Threshold of the Chamber of Horrors (223B Casebook) This Sherlock Holmes Madame Tussauds pastiche is interesting because it takes place inside the famous wax museum. The Chamber of Horrors was notorious for featuring murderers, outlaws and particularly despicable politicians (nee one A. Hitler). The story appeared in the ...
  • Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes: Or The Worm That Turned (223B Casebook) You can’t blame Dr. Watson with having it up to here with Sherlock Holmes. So superior, so right, so condescending to his friend. That’s why this story’s a delight. Published in 1904 in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, “The ...
  • Hemlock Jones in ‘The $10,000 Robbery’ (223B Casebook) This Sherlock Holmes parody would be considered politically incorrect today, but it is probably more offensive for not being very funny in the first place. When you’re working for a newspaper and racing to meet a deadline, there’s not enough ...
  • The Perspicacity of Herlock Sholmes (223B Casebook) This anonymous Sherlock Holmes pastiche is the first time this episode has been seen since it appeared in two newspapers in 1897. With the creation of searchable online newspaper and magazine archives, there is no doubt — at least a ...
  • The Adventure of the Mona Lisa (223B Casebook) On Aug. 11, 1911, painter Louis Béroud walked into the Louvre to visit the Mona Lisa, and found instead four iron pegs and a blank space on the wall.The theft caused a national uproar. The police swept up poet ...
  • Shilling Sherlock (223B Casebook) Copyright and trademark laws were much looser in Conan Doyle’s time. So, as Sherlock Holmes grew popular, advertisers would shanghai the consulting detective for their own uses. This kind of unauthorized affinity marketing is still used today, but back in ...
  • The Case of the Sinn Feiners (223B Casebook) Every Monday and Friday, I publish a Sherlock Holmes parody from the 223B project. Today is “The Case of the Sinn Feiners” by Peter Todd, one of the many pennames for the prolific Charles Hamilton. (The “Tuck Hamper for a Storyette” ...
  • The Adventure of the Strange Sound (223B Casebook) Here’s another story from the archives, published in 1914 in “The Good Companion Chess Problem Club.” The difficulty any writer of Holmes stories must overcome is to make the solution worthy of the master. This story succeeds by invoking a ...
  • The Best Sherlock Holmes Parody Ever: Firesign Theatre’s The Giant Rat of Sumatra Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson, … It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared. “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire” ...
  • Sherlock Holmes and H. Rider Haggard’s Dead Dog Bob (223B Casebook) Sherlock Holmes pastiches and parodies come in all forms. I published last week a 2005 pastiche consisting of telegrams between Holmes and Mycroft during the Great Hiatus. For Monday’s fanfiction, it’s a parody involving Holmes and Conan Doyle that pokes ...
  • Sherlock Holmes Fanfiction: ‘Sub Rosa’ While I’m planning on reproducing the fanfiction and other material I found from Conan Doyle’s lifetime, I thought this one from 2005 was too good to pass up. Set after the events at the Reichenbach Falls, “Sub Rosa” by “prof_pangaea” reproduces ...
  • ‘Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop For Tea’ (Sherlock Holmes parody) For the past year, I’ve been researching Sherlock Holmes parodies and pastiches published during Arthur Conan Doyle’s lifetime. So every Monday and Friday, I’ll be publishing some of my finds with a bit of commentary. When World War I broke out ...

(c) 1995-2016 by Bill Peschel