I’ve decided to split my November blog review into two: this first part has a Holmesian theme in honour of the forthcoming third series of the BBC’s Sherlock (airing New Year’s Day, unless you can get to an earlier screening at the BFI). The date was advertised this morning by an empty hearse touring London with a floral display saying 01.01.14.
Anyway, I’ve detected some fascinating blue carbuncles amongst the 140 different types of tobacco ash available in the blogosphere.
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere monitors appearances of the great detective in popular culture. Obviously it’s not short of material. As this month was also ‘Movember’ it focused on moustaches in the canon, and brilliantly (as regulars know, I love a good spreadsheet) has them tabulated:
There are no fewer than 17 mustaches mentioned in the stories (other than Watson’s). For the sake of brevity, I’ve listed all of the individuals […] along with the story in which they appeared, the type of role they played and any descriptors around each mustache…
The Consulting Detective blog celebrated its first birthday this month with a tribute to fandom.
There has been no better time to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes than now. The media is simply flooded with points of Sherlockian interest: “Sherlock” is preparing for its third season, rumours spread concerning a third Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes movie, pastiches are being written and published at an alarming rate. It’s almost too much to comprehend.
Regarding the wait for series three, Alistair at The Doyleockian drew our attention to the sad plight of the original fandom – when Holmes fell off something high the first time around, nobody knew he would ever come back.
Now spare a thought for the fans of Sherlock Holmes in 1893. When they picked up their copy of The Strand in December and read Watson’s summing up of the conflict between Holmes and Moriarty they went through emotions very similar to those of today’s teens to twenty-somethings (and older). But what they didn’t have was a closing scene of Holmes watching Watson from afar – very much alive. The Victorian fans of Holmes were not going to get that scene for ten years. It puts the wait for Sherlock into perspective doesn’t it?
In his Invisible Ink series for the Independent, the Bryant and May novelist Christopher Fowler looked at the other Sherlock Holmes authors, from Sir Arthur’s son Adrian and his collaboration with John Dickson Carr, to more recent pasticheurs
The writers’ choice for truly smart Holmes pastiches remains Mr Kim Newman, particularly for Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles and his delicious Mysteries of the Diogenes Club volumes.
Another pastiche: Nicholas Meyer’s The Seven Per Cent Solution was one of the first books I reviewed on here, so I was disappointed to learn from At the Scene of the Crime that the sequel The West End Horror was something of a dud:
It’s no better and no worse than dozens of other pastiches of its kind. Actually, now that I think of it, it might even be a bit on the worse side.
And one last pastiche crept in under the wire. The Puzzle Doctor took a look at the Sherlock Holmes stories of one of the masters of the impossible crime, Edward D. Hoch:
And there’s the difference between this and the original stories – you’re given the clues in advance to at least put you on the right lines for the solutions whereas Doyle, more often than not, would pull the solution apparently out of thin air. So if you’re looking for a slavishly faithful pastiche, then maybe this won’t be for you. But if you want a bunch of well-written, pint-sized mysteries to solve, then this certainly is for you.
Finally, Not a blog, but I liked these Christmas cards from The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, illustrated by Bryan Talbot, who has worked on Batman amongst other series, providing a neat link to the picture at the top of this article.
Past Offences by Rich Westwood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.