Edward D. Hoch was, quite simply, one of the biggest and best names in the mystery field for decades. He was also a rarity: an author who managed to make his bread and butter almost entirely through short stories, a form that is possibly more difficult to master than that of the novel. Hoch’s career was amazingly prolific, with hundreds of short stories to his name. Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine would not have been the same without its usual dose of Edward D. Hoch. In any anthology, Hoch could always be relied on to deliver a solid story. He was a terrific plotter: he could come up with fascinating situations, and then resolve them so elegantly that the reader could only stare in amazement at the work of a master craftsman.
So imagine my delight to discover that The Mysterious Press has brought out Hoch’s books in e-book form. Many of these are short story collections, but Hoch wrote a novel every once in a while, such as The Shattered Raven (which is among the books brought back into e-print). And one book in particular caught my eye: The Sherlock Holmes Stories of Edward D. Hoch, which collects all twelve of Hoch’s Holmesian pastiches. If any author out there could possibly do Holmes justice, it would be Hoch, and so I knew I just had to read this book.