Greg Cox wrote:
I mean, suppose you picked up a Sherlock Holmes novel, expecting to find Holmes and Watson up to their old tricks on Baker Street, only to discover that it was about a pair of detectives named Bartleby and Malone, who were working out of a brothel in Berlin, that Holmes had retired, and that Watson was now working independently as an undercover operative in Argentina, alongside a reformed Sebastian Moran . . . .
While I completely agree with your point, I'd happily read such a novel, particularly if you wrote it. (And perhaps keep a notepad handy to make a list of turn-of-the-century cameos.