Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dr. Watson for Sherlock Holmes


"As usual, Watson, your help has been invaluable," he went on warmly.
"Though not yourself luminous, you are a conductor of light."


This singular sentence, though not from the Sherlock Holmes series written by Conan Doyle, does sum up the 'function' of Watson in Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning.


Dr. Watson was never really helpful to Sherlock Holmes in actually solving the cases. He was his companion, would do-as-directed and function as the record-keeper and chronicler of the cases. His presence was needed in the stories so that Sherlock had somebody to explain to. Sherlock would have to explain the clueless Watson how he deduced and solved the case … in effect telling the reader how he did it.


But while being a 'dumb observer', Watson often made comments which sparked some new line of thought in Sherlock's mind; often leading to the solution. That particular function of Watson gets highlighted in the comment above .. taken from a Sherlock Holmes story written by the youngest son of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Movie Surprise

Last month, I travelled to Dubai via Air India. My expectations were not much from AI as far in-flight entertainment was concerned so I was carrying a book (as usual) to read during the 3 hour flight. A random check of the entertainment system made me realize that there I had an extremely limited choice with fixed movies running on fixed schedule.

During my flight to Dubai, I came across a Hindi Movie with some not-very-well-known faces. For want of a better choice, I kept it on while continuing to read. After a few minutes, with some interesting events happening on screen; I had to close the book and for the rest of the journey, I actually saw the movie. I liked the movie which was about a simple guy who comes to the city, a guy who would go out of his way and help others selflessly, often getting into trouble. The movie spans a single night of his adventures where he gets into trouble, becomes friendly with a roadside punter and becomes a friend to an underworld Don; all this while his friend (whom he was visiting) is out to the new year party leaving him alone at home. The movie's name (which I had to google after reaching my hotel in Dubai) … My Friend Pinto

It was a funny movie with even a reference to the old Bollywood classic 'Albert Pinto ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hain' J

During my return trip to India; the same options were available so I ended up keeping the channel on the old hindi black and white Raj Kapoor starrer Anadi …

Sab kuch seekha humne, na seekhi hoshiyaari,
Sach hain duniya walo, ki hum hain anadi !!

Something in the movie (its simplicity) got me interested and I closed my book after about 15 minutes of parallel reading.

So just like Kingfisher, although the choice of movies/entertainment wasn't there … I still managed to entertain myself.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Change in Reading


I would have a change in my reading pattern and reading list soon. I have been voraciously reading Fiction for past 3 years. I haven't really picked up self-help / educational / non-fiction stuff except for an occasional reading and that too could be counted on the fingers of one hand.


I anticipate a change in my reading selection in coming month. there will some educational material entering my reading in some time. I will have to upgrade my skills and learn things about a new area of work. This would need going back to the study table and actually study.


I am sure that's gonna come with its own challenges. Reading non-Fiction and that too for the purpose of study is going to be a big change (read: challenge) for me J


Let's see how it goes …

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What?? No Golmaal4 in 2012??



I had posted about Rohit Shetty and his Golmaal series of movies way back in 2010 here


Looking at the release years of Golmaal 1, 2 & 3 as 2006, 2008 & 2010 … It was only expected that the next in series would come in 2012 … but no news of G4 yet.


Is Rohit Shetty done with the Golmaal series ?


Incidently: Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgan come together again this year in Bol Bachchan … where they have the Jr. Bachchan along with them (considering the name of the movie, it would be surprising NOT to have the Bachchan's involved)


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Internet on the move …

More than a decade and a half ago … let's say around 1995 … Internet was something associated with cyber cafes. Few people would access it from home. Not because you couldn't or it was expensive; simply because most did not have a computer at home. Young people would go out to the cybercaf√© and chat rooms were a rage then. Email forwards and chat room discussions became the staple diet for the youngsters and 'ASL' would mark the beginning of some many acquaintances rather than a hi or a hello.

By the turn of the century, the awareness about computers had increased and people began to buy home computers. Another 5 years and it became imperative that you buy a computer at home if you have kids who are about to finish schooling. Another 5 years passed and by 2010; a computer is very much a part of the house and there is probably one in every home that can afford it. it is no longer a luxury … slowly it has become a necessity.

And this rapid penetration of the computer was also because of Internet. There was a growing need to 'be online' and rather than kids spending hours and good money in cyber cafes on a daily basis; parents thought it was best to get the PC at home. This was helped by internet services getting better and having connectivity at home only increased the time spent online by youngsters.

The world of Internet exploded around that time and the avenues to spend time online increased to information websites, learning websites, extensive use of email for communication and plenty of other online applications and services.

Being online became a basic need for a significant percentage of the population who wanted to be connected to their network on a continuous basis. Or let's say 'as much as possible' since you couldn't possibly take the PC around with you.

While we witnessed the PC and Internet revolution happening all around; a similar revolution was happening in telecom. Mobile phones were introduced and as the call rates steadily dropped and mobile phones became cheaper, even the mobile penetration increased.

Youngsters would be glued to internet chat when at home and to sms chat when on the move. Technology in telecome was moving forward with leaps and bounds and soon the different modes of connectivity merged.

Now internet was not restricted to the PC or your portable laptop with a dongle … it came to the mobile. The mobile became full size touch screen smart-phones which can indeed be dubbed as hand help computers for all practical purposes. And then these smarter phones got cheap !!!

THIS has now led to 'internet on mobile' becoming a norm with every other person having it. Youngsters use it for fun while the grown-ups use it for fun and work. The explosion of smart phone apps has led to a massive increase in the usage of the PC-like abilities of the smart phone and the required internet connection.

Personally, I never liked using the tiny screen of the mobile for internet surfing / email etc but then the screen sizes increased and need for being connected on the move is increasing for me due to work related requirements. So after avoiding it for quite some time … I am now in the transition phase of being free while moving to being online while on the move. And I am looking forward to it.

A typical smart phone / android phone is no longer just a phone. It is practically an entire communication and entertainment centre with the millions of possible apps that you can load onto your phone and use the power of the internet to make life convenient and easier.

So now Gmail, FB, Twitter, Chat and networking through ChatOn or WhatsApp, internet surfing, Wikipedia, google maps, movie schedules, ticket bookings for movies, travel and other entertainment avenues, banking, information on anything and everything …. All this is literally at the touch of the fingertips …anytime and anywhere with the power of mobile internet.

I had been contemplating writing a post on these lines since some time but the push to actually do it came from the contest on held in collaboration with Vodaphone (

Looking back one also realizes the pace of change. Change is happening and it is happening now at a lightning speed. Things get obsolete so soon ... (remember Pagers & Orkut) and things get replaced by something better or by something that simply catches the fancy of the current generation. Technology fads change quicker than apparel fads :)

Yesterdays Science Fiction is becoming a Reality of Today ... Incidently this has also meant that there are no longer exciting science fiction novels coming up .. as writers find it difficult to imagine the future !!!!! And this is not good for sci-fi fans like me. But I digress from the topic here ;)

And this also reminded me of a maxim I coined ages ago (well ... about 6 years ago) ... I had blogged about it here ... Basic Necessity of Life - Bread, Butter and Broadband :)  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Series Reading Score … Revision

This is what my series completion score looked like after my marathon reading last month.

Series Completion Score: (as of 30th Apr 2012)
Three Investigators      33 out of 63
Sherlock Holmes          60 out of 60
Famous Five                 05 out of 21
Best of Satyajit Ray     10 out of 21
Total                           108 out of 165

With the completion of Sherlock Holmes, I will remove it from monthly count and replace it with another set of Sherlock Holmes Stories (Non-Conan) – 'Exploits of Sherlock Holmes' containing 12 and '' containing 33 short stories – 45 stories in total. Both these sets are diverse in their styles, the 'Exploits', co-authored by Conan's youngest son, attempts to preserve the essence of the original Conan while the 'Misadventures' are a hilarious take on Sherlock'ian adventures.

I also realized that I had clubbed the original Three Investigators series along with the Crime Busters series (extended 3I) and Fan Fiction 3I series. So I am separating the two and retaining the count on only the Original 3I series of 43 titles while the other part consisting of the extended series and fan creations are being excluded for now; to be picked up next year.  

Last month I also realized that my motivation to continue with the Famous Five series was a bit low. Although I have indeed enjoyed reading the stories; it is still a bit childish. So I am not sure if I will survive the series. I might read a few more but I don’t think I would be reading it regularly. So I am dropping it from the series count. 

The exclusion is also because I expect my reading material to have some new 'academic' kind of additions. Besides my regular reading of fiction, I would also be reading academic non-fiction stuff in the second half of the year.

So with the exclusions and inclusions, the new series count looks like this ...

Series Completion Score: (as of 1st May 2012)
The Three Investigators         33 out of 43
Best of Satyajit Ray                10 out of 21
Sherlock: Exploits                   00 out of 12
Sherlock: Misadventures        00 out of 33
Total                                       43 out of 109

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book review: The Devotion of Suspect X



Yet another book to review from; the differentiating factor this time around was that the book was by a Japanese Author and the book has already sold 2 million copies so that makes it a hit already. With that kind of a backdrop; expectations are set a bit high and you expect good stuff coming out of the pages.


The book is "The Devotion of Suspect X' by Keigo Higashino


The back cover talks about a murder mystery and when you begin reading the book; the murder actually takes place within the first chapter itself. The problem is that you actually know who killed the murdered person and who helped dispose the body. So now you begin to wonder about what the mystery is all about?


And then as the story unravels … you realize that the story is about deception, misdirection and deductive reasoning and strategizing of 2 formidable geniuses trying to cover up and expose a crime. The story becomes a game of chess where the actual murderer and police become bystanders while the geniuses take centre stage. 


It has been a while since I read such an engrossing tale of 2 opponents matching their wits to outrun each other. It is not about physical action (like a typical Matthew Reilly novel) … it is about intellectual combat.


The story moves at a constant pace getting more and more interesting as revelations and discoveries keep happening and the physicist begins to wonder how the different events, clues, evidences etc are tie together.


One realizes that the story isn't a murder mystery but about a murder cover-up done by a genius and how he ties together the planted evidence to point in a direction where, besides the characters in the story (police detectives etc), even the reader is confused as to where the story is heading. The readers are prone to create their own plot and weave their own set of 'intentions' for the genius who is covering up the crime.


And the last few chapters are truly astonishing. A really surprising twist in the tale which is nothing sort of mind boggling. It also explains the strange title of the novel and presents us with an unheard of scenario … something extremely difficult to imagine and digest.


And while we grapple with the twist (with our own head reeling with shock and surprise); the climax (last 2 pages of the novel) gives u a shock which leaves us spell bound. It is like that feeling when you don't know what hit you but you do know that it very hard where it matters ... straight at the heart and mind together in one single master stroke.  


Hats off to Keigo Higashino for weaving such a fantastic tale and giving it such a unexpected climax.

It was nice reading a Japanese author.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. My first encounter with a Japanese author and I must say it was a very good one. I would recommend this one to anyone interested in murder mystery. They would keep wondering till the last few chapters "Where the hell is the murder mystery?".


The book cover says that the author is the 'The Japanese Stieg Larsson'. Stieg's Millennium trilogy has been on my mind since a long time (actually since last year) … but I haven't picked it up yet. I will probably read that this year or next; haven't decided yet. Time will tell.

Personally, I would have never picked up this novel off the book store but thanks to the Book Review Program of that I got a chance to read this (and several other) books. Thanks to them.

Even you can sign up for the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers at Blog Adda and get free books! Participate now!


Friday, May 11, 2012

April Reading … Part 3

Continued from Previous post ... 

16. Bipin Chowdhury's Lapse of Memory by Satyajit Ray
A man leading a normal routine life comes across another man who he doesn't remember. Not only the other man remembers our protagonist but also insists that he had visited Ranchi about 6-7 years back and even met a friend there and had a cut on his right knee there. Our protagonist does not remember any of this and is quite troubled at this selective lapse of memory. He even contacts his friend whom he had supposedly met there and the person confirms it. Doctor's prescription is to visit Ranchi once again as it might inspire some memories. the climax is both, a bit funny as well as interesting (and as with SR's other stories, there is a small but useful lesson to learn for the readers). 

17. Sherlock Holmes: the Adventure of the Retired Colourman by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
An old man wants Sherlock to track his unfaithful wife who has run away with a neighbor. All doesn't seem to be what it looks like to Sherlock and he manages to uncover the true story and the exact whereabouts of the escaped wife and her lover. He also manages to reveal a crime (and the criminal) which wasn't known yet.

18. Fritz by Satyajit Ray
A man had a doll in his childhood who became his best friend. He spent hours talking to his doll. the doll would obviously not respond but the conversations became the centre of his childhood nevertheless. Several years later, the man returns to his childhood home and village. Memories come flooding back to him along with some strange happenings at night.

19. the Famous Five: Go off in a Caravan by Enid Blyton
A chance sighting of a circus caravan procession gives our famous five kids the idea of going off in a caravan of their own to the hill with a lake (where the circus is also camping). So the kids get the permission and set out in 2 borrowed caravans pulled by ponies. they have fun on the way and when they reach the circus camp site, they make friends with a kid out there.
Together they end up in an adventure they couldn't have imagined where they unwittingly get into the way of 2 thieves who have been stealing valuables for over 4 years and the police have found them ever elusive.

20-25. the Mysterious Traveler Magazine - Aug 2005 edition (6 short stories)
I have a couple of editions of the Mysterious Traveler Magazine so decided to pick one of them up this month. It had 6 interesting stories across different genres and they were a delightful read. It reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock Magazine which I had read a couple of years ago.
The following 6 stories were part of the Aug 2005 edition:
The Macabre - Building Blocks by Darrell Pitt
            A rather strange and weird story involving aliens and a simple lesson in life
Strange Stories - the Spirit of the Law by Rick Keating
An interesting story about a Ghost who has set 'business hours' of spook shows for visitors but a young rude chap decides to disturb him during his non-business hours and even goes ahead and sues him for not 'performing'. the climax is about how our ghost has his sweet revenge.
Mystery - Murder of A Crow by Mark Zahn
It was short story about the murder of a baseball player with several suspects; since the murdered guy had a habit of rubbing people on the wrong side including habits like sleeping with their wives. the murderer gets identified because of a quirk he has. 
Suspense - Dusk Comes Early by A.A. Fleming
A writer 'wakes up' and does not know how long had he been driving or where he is supposed to be. His car is overtaken by another speeding vehicle and he is told a story by the attendant of the gas station. Realization finally dawns on him about where he is.
Horror - Nature's Rules by Mark Allan Reynolds
Nature has its rules and the beings in nature have to but follow them … whether they are werewolves or vampires !! 
Short Shocker - Tunnel of Love by 'The Mysterious Traveler'
A thief skilled in opening any kind of locks discovers a black book during one of his burglaries … the book enables him to 'open' something beyond imagination.

Series Completion Score: (as of 30th Apr 2012)
Three Investigators     33 out of 63
Sherlock Holmes         60 out of 60
Famous Five                05 out of 21
Best of Satyajit Ray     10 out of 21
Total                           108 out of 165

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

April Reading … Part 2

Continued from previous post ...
10. the Gemini Contenders by Robert Ludlum
This was the second Robert Ludlum I have picked up. Trevayne was an enjoyable read and this one turned out to be an equally enjoyable one. the story begins with the secret hiding of a large vault (which is supposed to contain religious artifacts that can rock the world) and then followed by the assassination of the person (and his entire) who was involved in the hiding operation. His eldest son who survives the slaughter is saved by British Intelligence and taken out of the country and made the mastermind of a special team which would cause mis-management in enemy folds.  the vault and the train carrying it keep haunting our man  from time to time (in spite of his repeated claim that he knows nothing about it) until he decides to take it head-on; wherein he meets an adversary who literally cripples him.
The story moves a generation and his twin sons are on their own career paths in military and in law (lawyer). Both are almost at loggerheads when the train and the vault resurface and they are brought together by their dying father and sent on the quest for the vault.
As usual, it is a delight to read Robert Ludlum … a gripping story with a fantastic pace. You want to know what happens next (even if the story is spread across a timeline of several years).
I did wonder if it was necessary to put in the parallel stories which seem important but have little to do with the quest for the vault except delay the quest itself. To some extent, I was even disappointed. Definitely, this one is not one of the best of Robert Ludlum. It was unlike any other Robert Ludlum novel that I have read.

11. Sherlock Holmes: the Adventure of the Veiled Lodger by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This is not much a mystery actually. It is more of a strange incident from Sherlock's life where Watson recounts the horrors of an old case and a lady (victim), with a heavily and horribly mutilated face, confesses to the real scenario which was never brought in the light of public knowledge.

12. the Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Purple Pirate by William Arden
The three investigators try to earn some summer vacation money and end up with getting into a case of their own. they see some suspicious behavior and begin to investigate it. the story involves Pirate history and a Pirate show on a Pirate boat with a watch tower around.
The case comes to a close with a Pirate treasure being found and the thieves being caught. AND then the case re-opens as all was not what it seemed to be. there is an additional villain in the story whom no one suspected. the story ends in a superb twist.

13. Sherlock Holmes: the Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The employees at Shoscombe Old Place approach Sherlock with a peculiar problem. Weird changes in the habits and behavior of their Master and also of the Mistress; which gives them a feeling that something very sinister is going on. Sherlock unravels the mystery and finds that there is something afoot but the 'sinister' angle is mistaken.

14. Indigo by Satyajit Ray
A person takes a chance journey which is full of unexpected twists and turns with interruptions and burst tyre along with travelling along wrong roads and a dak bunglow to spend the night. He wakes up with changed surroundings and a changed self; reliving the final moments of another person. Scary … right?

15. Velocity by Dean Koontz
It has been a long time since I read a Dean Koontz novel so decided to pick one this month. I read his last one in 2010 and before that in 2005/2006.
Velocity has an interesting premise (although the name has practically nothing to do with the story or the plot). A killer sends a note to our protagonist giving him a strange choice. He (killer) would kill a person if he took the note the police … and if he did not take the note to the police; he would kill another. A deadline of 6 hours is given to make the decision.
The first note is considered a prank and almost ignored. the second note arrives with a similar choice and a deadline of 5 hours. Things get serious here onwards as the second murder happens very close our protagonist. He is now involved in the murders as accomplish; even by not doing anything since his inaction is also a decision maker in the choice of murder victim.
After the second murder, the murderer begins to physically harm our Hero and also gives him choices about killing/saving people who are close to him making the whole 'game' more personal and painful. the murderer is also implicating our protagonist by leaving evidence against him on the murders he is committing. An interesting story although the climax and the suspense wasn't as great as I has expected.

To be Continued …

Monday, May 07, 2012

April Reading … Part 1

I began April reading Sherlock Holmes and Satyajit Ray before picking up a Famous Five story (which I did not read last month) and a novel by yet another Indian Author. Later in the month, I also picked up Dean Koontz and Robert Ludlum; finishing off the month with Sherlock Holmes and Satyajit Ray.  Special thing last month was that I completed the Sherlock Holmes series !!!

New author this month was Suparna Chatterjee. I also picked up The Mysterious Traveler Magazine which had 6 short stories by 6 different lesser known (literally unknown) authors.

The month was extremely satisfactory with plenty of varied reading - 3 full length novels from different genres and my regulars of Three Investigators, Famous Five, Sherlock and Satyajit Ray along with a Magazine of short stories. The exceptionally high count of 25 this month should be seen in the context of the fact that more than two-thirds of the 25 were 'short stories' (6 each from Sherlock Holmes, Satyajit Ray and Mystery Traveler Magazine each).  


With a total reading score of 25 this month, there is a lot to write about; so this month's reading monologue gets split across 3 posts.


1. Sherlock Holmes: The Problem of Thor Bridge by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One of those rare cases where a crime is committed and Sherlock has to uncover the truth that the crime was not been committed in the first place. Yes, a murder has indeed happened but it is not what it seems to be. An obvious motive, an obvious murderer and obvious clues & evidences … all point to the murderer but Sherlock himself is on a completely different line of investigation.


2. The Two Magicians by Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray has used the world of magicians to teach a very simple lesson – Never lose touch with the real thing in your race for instant success and materialistic lifestyle. It is an interesting tale where a Magician returns to his student to teach him an old trick; reminding him to get in touch with the real things in life.   


3. The Famous Five: Five Go To Smugglers by Enid Blyton

I had to pick a Famous Five this month since I missed it last month. This time, adventure does begin in Kirin (a tree falls during a storm and smashes into the roof of the Kirrin cottage) but moves to another place which is a mysterious dangerous hill with an ominous castle. Two more kids join the famous five in the adventure and there are secret pathways and tunnels.

There is a strange repulsive person called Bloke who is 'supposed' to be deaf but the kids have their suspicions. A smuggler lives in a house nearby. The owner of the castle hates dogs … so our Dog has been taken to the castle in hiding and is kept in the underground tunnels to prevent any chance encounter with the owner of the castle; here he is kind of locked out and the kids are unable to rescue him … eventually, it is the Dog who rescues the kids from the tunnels when they are lost in it.  

George's father arrives on the scene and gets 'kidnapped' from his room even before meeting George who is locked up in another room as punishment. More secret paths and tunnels are discovered. This one turned out to be a better 'adventure' than the earlier ones.


4. Ashamanja Babu's Dog by Satyajit Ray

This story had a most unexpected climax. It almost seemed to end too suddenly and you have to sit back and think about it to realize that the last 2 paragraphs contain the essence of the story while the rest is just a background and a build up to the teaching. 


5. The All Bengali Crime Detectives by Suparna Chatterjee

Retirement brings about a change in life. A high court Judge retires and is faced with the dilemma of the new life. He joins the existing group of retired oldies in his area. These 'retired' gentlemen become the central characters (detectives) of the story as a theft takes place 'right under their nose'. And curiously their names begin with A, B, C and D … which coincides with the title of the novel ABCD - All Bengali Crime Detectives. 

It was nice to read this story by a Bengali Author … the novel has significant touches of the Bengali culture and lifestyle and on quite a many occasions, the story digresses to talk about Bengali culture. You not only read a story but also experience the nuances of typical Bengali life.

There is also a parallel story going on in the background of Durga Pooja celebrations and a quant love story (more of a one-sided fling actually). If these were to be removed from the novel; the novel would become a short story of probably 20-30 pages with very little detective stuff in there.   

Although the plot was not very interesting or story that gripping as should be in a detective story … the novel was an enjoyable read from the 'knowing Bengali culture' point of view. And yes … the most hilarious words in the book were about a sign outside a barber's shop "Come here for the Best Hair Cut and Die". Don't pick this up if you want to read a story of crime and detection/deductions etc. This one won't satisfy you. Pick it up if you want an insight into the world of Bengalis.


6. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Lion's Mane by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A professor dies on the beach side with 'the lion's mane' as his last words. There is no sign of any other person (or an animal) being around but there are some suspects. Finally there is another attack and Sherlock 'kills' the culprit himself using a heavy boulder.     


7. Patol Babu, Film Star by Satyajit Ray

This became the 3rd consecutive story in the book with a nice lesson for readers. It about what we value in life. It's about life and its experiences and how sometimes these are priceless and no value can be attributed to them. It's about giving your best to even the smallest of tasks in your life.   


8. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Blazing Cliff by M V Carrey

A castle in a large estate which boasts of being self sufficient in all respects of food, fuel and supplies with a cranky master and a weird mistress who believes in alien invasion and end-of-the-world theories. Add to this the fact that a UFO is sighted in the estate while the 3 investigators are 'trapped' in this estate; and you have a strange adventure brewing up.


9. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Creeping Man by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This one was a strange case where a respected Professor is showing strange behavior; to the extent of showing signs of animalistic behavior (crawling / climbing). Sherlock discovers the root cause of the behavior which seems a pretty strange case for the average Sherlock Holmes reader who is not used to such a weird bend of storyline.


To be continued ...

Friday, May 04, 2012

Best Friends

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

More Sherlock Holmes … and Conan

I always thought that the only Sherlock Holmes stories that were there to read were those by Conan. When I came across 'The House of Silk', I read somewhere that this was the first time a non-Conan Sherlock Holmes novel was written officially endorsed by the Conan Doyle Estate. The estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle granted permission for the first new Sherlock Holmes novel in 96 years, to be written by Anthony Horowitz.

I finished reading the entire Conan and have the House of Silk to take up next. But curiosity got the better of me and I wondered if I could find more of Sherlock Holmes by other authors (even if not endorsed by the Conan estate); just like I had discovered several more Three Investigator titles when I searched.

With that began a search for more of non-Conan Sherlock Holmes stories 

An Amazon search of 'Sherlock Holmes' helped me learn that plenty of authors tried their hand at writing stories/novels with a touch of Sherlock.

Wikipedia told me that Arthur Conan Doyle's son Adrian Conan Doyle in a joint effort with John Dickson Carr wrote twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories which were published under the title 'The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes' in 1954

I also came across 'The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes' which seems to be a comic / humorous take on Sherlock. A description of the book on some dated edition back cover goes like this "The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes gathers together the best of the hilarious mishaps that have befallen the greatest detective of them all--the tales that Watson couldn't or wouldn't tell, for reason of discretion or just plain incredulity. This hugely entertaining volume--essential reading for Sherlockians and a feast of amusement for everyone else--is a collection of parodies, burlesques, pastiches and "unofficial" adventures."
Well ... both of them join my reading list now :)

During this search, I also realized that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a lot of non-Sherlock stuff too. I searched for them too so I could read some of it too. Reading Conan without Sherlock in the story would be an interesting experience.