If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

July Interviews

7/1 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
7/8 Jessica Baker, Murder on the Flying Scotsman
7/15 TG Wolff, Driving Reign
7/22 Leslie Budewitz, The Solace of Bay Leaves
7/29 Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets

Saturday Guest Bloggers

7/11 Mark Dressler
7/18 James McCrone

WWK Bloggers:

7/4 Valerie Burns
7/25 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Sherlock 101 – Ten Things I Learned about the Great Detective

By Shari Randall

Bookmark compliments of D. Mancini
A dusty copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes I found in a bookstore last week got me thinking – what did I know about one of the most influential fictional characters in literature?

So last week I took a class in my community education program, The World of Sherlock Holmes. The course catalog read, “In this class you will learn all about Sherlock Holmes, from the original stories, to the TV and cinema adaptations, to the hundreds of societies in the United States and around the world.”

The instructor, Danna Mancini, a distinguished Sherlockian, is a member of several scions and has written and presented his own scholarly work on the Great Detective. Over three fast-moving hours the class discussed scions, pastiches, film and television portrayals, long lost films, ACD (how those in the know refer to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and the stories’ influence on forensic science.
 The time flew by.

Here are only a few of the fascinating things I learned:

ACD’s 56 short stories and four novels are known as the "canon" by Holmes aficionados.

Many critics have named these stories the “best of” the canon: A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Adventure of the Final Problem, The Adventure of the Empty House, and The Adventure of the Dancing Man. As they say, your mileage may vary.

The last paragraphs of ACD’s book, His Last Bow, are seen as a premonition of World War II.

What is the Great Game? The game posits that Holmes and Watson were real people, Watson wrote the adventures, and ACD was his "literary agent." To which Sherlockians would say, of course!

In 1934, the Sherlock Holmes Society (London) and the Baker Street Irregulars (New York) were founded. Both are still active, although the Sherlock Holmes Society was dissolved in 1937 and revived in 1951. For information on BSI you can follow this link: https://bakerstreetirregulars.com

What’s a scion? The societies founded in 1934 were followed by many more, first in the U.S. (where they are known as "scion societies"—offshoots—of the Baker Street Irregulars) and then in England. There are at least 250 societies around the world and they take their names from characters and elements of the stories. A scion in Connecticut, for example, is called The Men On The Tor (from Hound of the Baskervilles). Rhode Island hosts the wonderfully named Cornish Horrors in Providence. 

Fans tend to be called "Holmesians" in Britain and "Sherlockians" in the United States, though recently "Sherlockian" has come to refer to fans of the BBC show starring Benedict Cumberbach.

Only Dracula has a higher number of screen appearances than Sherlock, 409 to 292.

Those who wish to see “what’s up” in the world of Sherlock Holmes can check out www.sherlockiancalendar.com.

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes at the Liberty Science Center of New Jersey opens in November. The exhibit focuses on the technology and forensic science of the stories, proving the enduring fascination and influence of ACD’s creation - excuse me, the great detective.

Shari Randall is the author of the Lobster Shack Mystery series.


Jim Jackson said...

Who knew Dracula had more screen presence than Sherlock -- and what does that say about society?

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks for the interesting info, Shari. Of course I've read all Sherlock Holmes' work, but you've got me thinking that it may be time to revisit it.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, I've read much of the Sherlock Holmes work, but that was years ago now. My favorite ones is the series by Laurie R. King with Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. It starts out with a fifteen year old girl from America who meets the much older Sherlock Holmes and he sort of takes her under his wings and they become friends and like him she becomes a detective, too. Eventually, they get married after a lot of books in the series. I think I'm going to start reading that series again now.

Grace Topping said...

Fun blog, Shari, with interesting information. I'm a big fan of the BBC productions of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett. I liked the first couple of episodes of "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch, but they became stranger and stranger as the series went on. And, like Gloria, I loved the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Jim - Indeed!

Hi KM - I'd read most of the stories when I was younger, but now I've forgotten all the details so, like you, I'll be revisiting the stories.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Gloria, I really did like that series the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. I just wish they hadn't gotten married....

Shari Randall said...

Hi Grace, The class agreed with you - Jeremy Brett was just perfect at Sherlock!

Tina said...

My favorite Sherlock story is by Neil Gaiman, "A Study in Emerald." But really, I can't resist any story with The Man.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Tina, My favorite Sherlock story is Neil Gaiman's other pastiche, The Case of Death and Honey. He is irresistible!