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Sherlockian Mysteries That Will Keep You Tied Up

Illustration: Man tied up reading a book.

"The game's afoot, Watson!"

Indeed, for Sherlockians, 2011 certainly feels like a year when the literary "game" of exploring the genesis and extending the limits of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 56 short stories and four novels about Holmes and Watson has grown more frenetic. (This winter sees the return of two acclaimed incarnations of Holmes in film: A Game of Shadows, the second of Robert Downey Jr.'s Holmes movies; and series two of the BBC's offbeat Sherlock, which places our heroes in contemporary Britain.)

To clear a path through the literary fog, here are my picks for two of the best new works of fiction and criticism about The Great Detective, as well as my recommendations for some terrific novels featuring contemporary investigators who carry forward Holmes' trademark method of detection: "an observance of trifles."

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