The McMurdo’s Camp office received, unsolicited, in the mail, a complimentary copy of a paper-back novel called The Valley of Fear, by A.C. Doyle. It is the complete Holmes novel, but done up with a cover and introductory/promotional statements in the style of crime novels of a half-century ago in the USA. Apparently, the publisher has a whole line of these “throwback” paperbacks. Some are new works, and many are classics, re-done in appearance.
You can see the publisher’s web site promotional information here: http://www.hardcasecrime.com/books_bios.cgi?title=The%20Valley%20of%20Fear
Here is the cover of the book, as published.
It depicts the scene, using some artistic license, of Ted Baldwin’s encounter with Ettie and Jack McMurdo. The left arm shown is that of Baldwin. Minor deviation here; the Scowrers branded the fore-arm, not the upper arm. Who would notice? The eye is drawn to Ettie, and if that is how she dressed when hanging around the boarding house, it is easy to understand why McMurdo was stricken.
Seriously, Hard Case Crime has the goal of publishing both old and new crime stories in the classic fashion of pulp fiction. From looking at the example we received we certainly endorse what they are doing. The editor at Hard Case Crime is an admirer of Sherlock Holmes, and in our mind, has done something pretty clever in his presentation. If he succeeds he may bring new fans of Holmes into the fold.
Look over their site. For this novel, they do a neat job of depicting The Valley of Fear in the lurid paperback style. The promotional statements on the cover are great! “They all answered to . . . the BODYMASTER”. There’s more and better: “Years ago, a P.I.out of Chicago brought justice to a dirty town. NOW HE’S GOING TO PAY.”
“A sawed-off shotgun blast to the face leaves one man dead—and reveals a secret that has pursued another across an ocean and set the world’s most ruthless criminal on his trail. The man needs the help of a great detective…but could even Sherlock Holmes save him now?”
Check out the site. The actual story is complete and unmodified. The artwork is lurid, and the promo material is highly non-Victorian.
For more information on The Valley of Fear, click on the link in the sidebar above left called “The Scowrers”.