It’s hard to imagine a better-written or more thorough single-volume Sherlockian reference than this one, including summaries of all the books and stories in the canon, profiles of the major continuing characters, notes on publishing histories, the biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, the Victorian milieu, Doyle’s notable contemporaries, British law and police work, Holmes in pastiche and parody; stage, film, radio, and TV adaptations; the history of Sherlockian fandom, including notable public and private library collections; tourist attractions, and academic scholarship. In his introduction, Redmond notes that the biggest difference from the 1993 first edition is the proliferation of Internet resources.
A section on the general history of detective fiction may raise reader hackles, both for its dismissive opinions (Christie’s novels “enjoyable but forgettable”? the Perry Mason novels “interchangeable”?) and factual misstatements (the character Ellery Queen does not appear in The Glass Village, and the hardboiled school was well underway before the 1940s).