The following is courtesy of MX Publishing’s editor / author David Marcum:
The original Solar Pons stories return. Easily available for the first time in over a generation!
In the late 1920’s, college student August Derleth wrote to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, asking if there would be any more Sherlock Holmes stories. When told “No”, Derleth set about creating his own detective, Solar Pons, often referred to as “The Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street”.
Very much like Holmes and Watson, Solar Pons and Dr. Parker solve mysteries using old-fashioned deduction and ratiocination in 1920’s and 1930’s England. Much is the same – Pons wears a deerstalker and Inverness, plays the violin, and conducts chemical experiments in a corner of the sitting room. In many ways he emulates Holmes, whom he calls his “illustrious predecessor” and “the Master.” Pons exists in the same world as Holmes, who is now living as a retired beekeeper in Sussex. Pons and Parker live at 7B Praed Street, remarkably like 221b Baker Street. Their landlady is Mrs. Johnson, and they work with Inspector Jamison of Scotland Yard. Pons has the assistance of some lads known as “The Praed Street Irregulars”, and his Professor Moriarty is Baron Ennesfred Kroll.
Before his death, Derleth wrote more than 70 Pons stories and novels. He originally published them through his own small company in very limited runs from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. They were known then only to a small group of loyal Sherlockians, but they were republished as paperbacks to a wider audience in the 1970’s, along with some new Pons tales by Basil Copper. However, even those 1970’s paperback editions are now very hard to find and quite expensive too, which discourages people as they hear about Pons and want to find his adventures.
(Those 1970s paperbacks were the ones I read — GS)
Over the years, there have also been a couple of expensive Pons omnibus editions published, one of which was edited quite heavily, changing or eliminating wording, locations, and even dates, to the dismay of true Pons fans. These new books, authorized by the Derleth Estate, were scanned and converted to text from the original volumes published by Derleth’s own company, and not taken from the paperback versions or the heavily edited and altered omnibus edition.
This Kickstarter features the first four volumes in a handsome matching set, with the other books to follow later this year. In addition to hardcover and paperback editions, this will also be the first time that the Pons books will be available as e-books.
Solar Pons is a treasure to those who know him. Fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy these just as much as the Holmes stories. Join the party and help spread the word that Solar Pons is back!