Dan Andriacco considers a little known theory of master English humorist and ACD/Sherlock enthusiast P.G. Wodehouse suggesting that Sherlock Holmes was in fact the Master Criminal…! Quoting from Wodehouse’s 1975 Introduction to the Ballantine Mystery Classic paperback edition of The Sign of Four: “If you want to salt a few million away for a rainy day, you don’t spring into 9:30 trains to go and talk to governesses, you become a Master Criminal, sitting like a spider in the center of its web and egging your corps of assistants on to steal jewels and Naval Treaties….Holmes was Professor Moriarty.” Mr Andriacco points out that even though Wodehouse and ACD were friends - Plum was periodically a guest at Doyle’s country home where they enjoyed playing cricket - this did not stop Wodehouse partaking in the occasional satirizing of Holmes. In Wodehouse’s own words: “I have sometimes amused myself by throwing custard pies at that great man.” For more information on Wodehouse’s introduction to SIGN as well as the Ballatine Mystery Classic series, see this 2008 essay Wodehouse’s Introduction to The Sign of Four.
[The 1975 cover of Ballatine’s edition of The Sign of Four with an Introduction by P.G. Wodehouse: “When I was starting out as a writer Conan Doyle was my hero. Others might revere Hardy and Meredith. I was a Doyle man, and I still am. Usually we tend to discard the idols of our youth as we grow older, but I have not had this experience with A.C.D. I thought him swell then, and I think him swell now.”]
Den of Geek was just one of many sources (Sherlockology was another) who reported on the latest - and juiciest - morsel of BBC Sherlock Season 3 news sweeping the Sherlockian blogosphere, originally revealed in a twitter post by Mark Gatiss: the title of Season 3, Episode 1 is “The Empty Hearse” - a clever play on “The Empty House” in the now familiar BBC canonical pun style first used when referencing ‘off camera’ cases such as “The Speckled Band” and “The Greek Interpreter” vis-à-vis “The Speckled Blonde” and “The Geek Interpreter” respectively.
[”The Empty Hearse” - a cute/clever play on EMPT but we still have no concrete idea of how Holmes survived his apparent fall/dive off of the roof of St Barts after Moriarty, rather inexplicably, took a non-air gun to his own head and pulled the trigger.]
Yorkshire Evening Post draws our attention to how the world’s greatest detective is the inspiration for the latest Beautiful Octopus Club night, run by the Leeds Octopus Crew, with support from staff at West Yorkshire Playhouse….From learning to DJ and film-making to creating live music and club décor - the events provide work-based training and a safe, fun and creative environment for adults with learning disabilities and their families.” On the Playhouse’ Quarry stage from May 18 to June 8 they will be putting on Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret.
[Some of the cast of Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret.]
Wired in ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Never Ending Adventures’ comments on a number of Sherlock pastiches the author recently read including one of the smallest (physical size) Sherlock pastiche publications I’ve ever seen called Sherlock Holmes: The Essential Mysteries In One Sitting by Jennifer Kasius (see cover below); The Sherlock Holmes Handbook: The Methods and Mysteries Of The World’s Great Detective by Ransom Riggs; The Case Files Of Sherlock Holmes by Dr. John Watson, a very unique presentation of Holmes’ adventures featuring a variety of ‘original evidence’; and make sure to check out the rest of the Wired article for a complete list with reviews.
[Sherlock Holmes: The Essential Mysteries In One Sitting by Jennifer Kasius.]
Orange County Register in ‘Sherlock Holmes as Steampunk Hacker’ profiles a potential web series - the producers have launched an online fund-raising campaign with Indiegogo…where they are trying to raise $35,000 by April 26 - which is about a “19th Century England has a steam-powered Internet and Jack the Ripper is posting files of his crimes on the Victorian version of WikiLeaks. Oscar Lerwill, the best hacker of the Empire, plays a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the killer under the Orwellian gaze of a repressive monarchy bent on censoring the web.” While not featuring Sherlock Holmes directly (the action seems to center around Jack the Ripper and hacker Oscar Lerwill), I’d imagine many Sherlockians/Victorianists with steam punk proclivities might find this potential web series quite interesting.
[An image from the Jack the Ripper Steampunk Web Series.]
The Stormy Petrels posted a double review of Martin Powell and Jamie Chase’s graphic novel adaptation of Hound of the Baskervilles: both bloggers (S. Sigerson & HamishMD) give a rating of 4.5 out of 5 (Orange Pips - a great rating system if there ever was one). The only minor complaint regards the script used for some of Watson’s handwriting which is apparently a bit difficult to read, though that’s about it. On the other hand, “the artwork here has a ‘sophisticated’ and comparatively mature feel” and is “stunning”: “At just about 65 pages, Powell’s HOUND hits a good balance, adapting the text into a tight and exciting narrative, while also not leaving out the best of Doyle’s dialogue.” If you are like the reviewers and myself, I don’t own many graphic novels but based on this review and the example artwork, Powell/Chase’s HOUN adaptation might be worth an exception.
[One of my favorite ways to quickly judge any type of adaptation of HOUN (TV, film, comic, or otherwise) is to have a look at how said adaptation renders the famous ‘Man on the Tor’ scene; and judging by the above graphic, Powell & Chase’s HOUN looks quite impressive.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Sherlock Peoria continues his assault on CBS’s Elementary, this time in the form of a short, whimsical bedtime story: “This is the story of Sir Sherlock-He’s-Not. Sir Sherlock-He’s-Not was the silliest and talkiest hobo on Skid Row….” (etc.) The moral of the tale seems to be that Jonny Lee Miller is a horrible Holmes and Lucy Liu would probably do a better job in the lead role.
[Lucy Lui telling a shocked and saddened Jonny Lee Miller about Brad Keefauver’s latest Sherlock Peoria post.]
Flickering Myth takes a look at BBC Sherlock from the perspective of someone who, as the title of the article suggests, might be a little ‘Late to the Show’ and/or living under a rock for the last two years and has yet to hear about the now almost universally recognized brilliance of BBC’s modern take on the Great Detective. The author does make one odd comment about how Holmes of the Canon was addicted to opium, opposed to the tamer BBC Sherlock who is only addicted to nicotine - a line that inspired ”Sherlock Holmes Is Not A Drug Addict” on Sherlock Cares immediately below.
Sherlock Cares in “Sherlock Holmes Is Not A Drug Addict, Watson” argues at length for why it’s totally false to refer to Holmes as a drug addict. The author reviews each canonical reference to drug use by Holmes in the Canon and then takes a look at the role various Sherlock adaptations over the last 100 years contributed to the Holmes-as-addict myth, ending on: “Let’s start dealing with facts and truth. In the canon, Sherlock Holmes never demonstrated the behaviour or clinical traits of drug addiction. Possibly poor judgement, but not drug addiction.” One of my personal favorite Sherlockian studies on Holmes and drugs is Jack Tracy’s Subcutaneously, My Dear Watson: Sherlock Holmes and the Cocaine Habit, the cover of which can be seen below:
Hello Giggles explores the century old question:”what is it about Holmes that fans love so single-mindedly?” Using the recent interest in BBC Sherlock as a launching point, the author traces the rise of Holmes and ACD’s ultimately futile attempt at killing him and the subsequent public outcry (surprisingly apocryphal black arm bands are not mentioned) up to the present day’s fan base going “haywire over a momentous occasion in the Consulting Detective’s life” or the announcement that Season 3 has begun filming - which will finally answer the question of which has been obsessing BBC fandom for over a year now: how did Cumberbatch’s Sherlock survive his fall from the roof of St Bart’s?
The Cutter Alicia mentions how she had a blast writing an “analysis of the techniques used in the morgue scene in “A Scandal in Belgravia”” and decided to write another scene analysis, this time choosing the ”Battersea Power Station scene in the same episode.” A fascinating synthesis of Sherlockian fandom obsessiveness and applied film school theory and aesthetics.
[Scene begins at the 52:00 mark on the BBC/DVD edit.]
Baker Street Babes explore the Klinger vs Conan Doyle Estate aka Free Sherlock! controversy in their 38th podcast to date. “Babes Lyndsay & Curly chat with Holmesian extraordinaire and vigilante Les Klinger about freeing Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and a host of other characters from copyright. Also mentioned: Shreffgate, Sherlock Holmes 3 (the movie), Sherlock Gnomes, and some pornography.” Whichever direction the actual court case goes, it’s fairly obvious that Team Klinger has won in the court of public opinion.
The Chattanooga published a short piece, written in the guise of Inspector Baynes (via Chattanooga attorney and Sherlockian Jody Baker), arguing that through the words of Dr Watson we can come to an accurate picture of the inner Watson himself. For example, citing a passage from “Black Peter” where Watson “emphasizes all that is good about Sherlock Holmes and ignores all the bad. In his selection of the qualities and characteristics of Holmes to emphasize, Watson tells us much about himself. We get a glimpse of the inner man of Watson.”
A Case of Witchcraft considers the portrayal of the young Aleister Crowley in the Holmes pastiche of the same name (read my review of A Case of Witchcraft here) and defends the notion that Crowley might have been loyal to a personality such as the Great Detective, at least in his younger days. Regardless, I highly recommend this highly original Sherlock pastiche from Mr Joe Revill.
[Holmes and Crowley team-up to solve a mystery involving witches and murder.]
Sherlock Holmes: Past and Present is a conference scheduled for June 21-22, 2013 at the Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London. The conference “offers a serious opportunity to bring together academics, enthusiasts, creative practitioners and popular writers in a shared discussion about the cultural legacy of Sherlock Holmes.” For more information about the program, click here. Full registration information for the Past and Present conference can be found here.For Sherlockians in the UK, this sounds like the place to be on June 21st and June 22nd.
[Sherlock Holmes: Past & Present flier.]
Doyleockian reviews The Wrong Passage (2013) “a comprehensive look at the Sherlock Holmes story “The Golden Pince-Nez”. It contains a facsimile of the original manuscript along with comprehensive annotation and supporting essays. It forms part of the excellent Baker Street Irregulars Manuscript Series…All in all, this is an excellent book.” Another positive review of Dr Bob Katz and Mr Andrew Solberg’s excellently edited original ACD manuscript which is sure to go down as one of the most important Sherlockian publications of the last few years.
Napoleon of Holmes reported on a recent (Friday, March 22, 2013) gathering sponsored by the Sherlock Holmes Society of London where “quite a large contingent of people (I believe around 50) went to the Transport Museum first, for a guided tour and talk” and later listened to a history of Covent Garden. I look forward to the day when I find myself in London and able to attend a SHSL event.
Timor Panico posted this fine sketch to celebrate a re-watching of Star Trek: the Next Generation: “here is a little fanart of Data and Geordi as Sherlock and Watson!” The two ST:TNG Sherlock-themed episodes are Elementary, Dear Data and Ship in a Bottle, worth watching even if you’re not a Star Trek fan.
[A delightful fan-art homage to Mr Data and Geordi LaForge’s holodeck adventures.]
Tea at 221B found this fantastic image of ACD reading at home, when home was
Undershaw. Update: according to Mr Alistair Duncan “This is not Undershaw it’s Windlesham.” Windlesham in Crowborough (East Sussex) is where ACD lived with his second wife Jean Leckie from 1906 to his death in 1930.
[It’s slightly disappointing not seeing a jack knife stuck into the fireplace mantel behind ACD or the lack of framed or unframed pictures of General Gordon and Henry Ward Beecher; or really any other typical objects from the sitting room of 221B, many of which can be seen here.]
Doyleockian in “Villains - Don’t Look Back” - a post after my own heart - makes the brief yet totally relevant/necessary argument that canonical villains should not be overused in adaptations/pastiches such as BBC Sherlock: “Yes [Moriarty & Adler] were significant characters (as they were in the original stories) but if you keep bringing them back you dilute them. Irene Adler holds such a place in the canon precisely because she outwitted Sherlock Holmes in one adventure. However if Conan Doyle had kept bringing her back he either would have had to have her lose or keep beating Holmes.” In particular, Mr Alistair Duncan takes issue with that (rather vocal) segment of the BBC Sherlock fandom who insist that they want “more Moriarty” and/or “more Irene Adler” in the coming seasons. Mr Duncan, rightly in my opinion, bluntly states the futility and danger in constantly using and overusing particular canonical favorites (eg. the woman and the Napoleon of Crime).
[Moriarty feeling ‘used’ due to the overuse of his likeness in pastiches and adaptations.]
Car Talk (fans who obsessively listen to NPR will at least be passingly familiar with voices of car talk hosts Tom and Ray) posted a short little story - “I’d like to give you this Puzzler in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” - and then asked their readers/listeners: “How did the inspector know that the gardener did it?” It’s an intriguing little riddle and worth thinking about…can you figure it out? Click back here on/after Saturday April 13 for the answer. (Thanks to Ms Kate Karlson (BSI, ASH) for the tip!)
Kickstarter is hosting a fundraising project for Watson & Holmes, a comic/graphic novel by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi, “a re-envisioning of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson as African Americans living in New York City’s famous Harlem district.” Money raised will be used for “covering fees, postage, and printing of the exclusive Kickstarter copies. Leftover money will be used to fund future projects, which include 5 planned Watson & Holmes one shot stories by other industry professionals.” There are some great packages available (signed comics, prints, t-shirts and even the chance to have your likeness appear in a future issue!) at a variety of donation levels. Make sure to check out the three minute promo video that accompanies the post. For general information on the book itself, make sure to check out the Watson & Holmes Facebook page or to buy the first issue at Comics Plus. (Thanks to Ms Lyndsay Faye for the hot tip!)
[For $500, you receive a print, t-shirt, signed cover comic and you - or your likeness - can appear in a future issue.]
Dan Andriacco reflects on the importance of maintaining tangible links to the past: “…count me among those who will never lose my affection for traditional books in their printed form. One of the reasons is the physical connection they give you to history. Today’s case in point is my copy of Profile by Gaslight, published in 1944…Edited by Edgar W. Smith and subtitled An Irregular Reader About the Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, it’s a stellar collection of essays from the early days of Sherlockian scholarship.” I couldn’t agree with Mr Andriacco more, about both the importance of maintaining tangible connections to the (Sherlockian) past via books as well as his choice of examples of one such tome.
[An absolutely essential piece of any Sherlockian library: Profile By Gaslight (1944) edited by the legendary Edgar Smith.]
Inspector Lestrade’s Blotter Page explained the reasons for the dearth of posts as of late: “I have been working on my two talks that are fast approaching. On July 5, I am speaking to the Annual Gathering of the National Mensa Society in Fort Worth [Texas]. On August 10, I am speaking at the Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Place conference in Minneapolis sponsored by the University of Minnesota [and the Norwegian Explorers].” I’ll personally be looking forward to seeing Mr Don Hobbs speak at the latter event this August and hopefully have the opportunity to meet him in person. As well as preparing his trifling monologues, Mr Hobbs has also been giving mini tours to extremely lucky Sherlockians of his mega famous Holmes translations library. One of those lucky Sherlockians was Mr Joe Faye, a fellow member of Texas scion Crew of the Barque Lone Star (mentioned in last Friday’s Links) who’s pictured in the photo below with Hobbs and a fraction of Hobbs’ library.
[Mr Hobss and Mr Faye and hundreds of translations of the Canon.]
Scintillation of Scions is quickly approaching (June 7 - 9, 2013) and registration - capped at 100 Sherlockians - is a must. If you’re still deciding on whether to go or not, just check out the line-up of speakers for SOS VI: Daniel Stashower, Lyndsay Faye, Regina Stinson, Donna Andrews, Sherlock NYC, Sherlock DC, Dana Cameron, Dan Andriacco and the guy that runs Always1895.net. Having attended SOS V last year, I stress in the strongest possible terms that you do whatever it takes to attend.
[Click for a history of Scintillation of Scions.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
The Daily Dot attempts to explain “how a middle-aged Scottish sitcom writer came to be the idol of Tumblr users across the globe” - the writer of course being Doctor Who and Sherlock czar Steven Moffat.
MX Publishing and Save Undershaw are hosting a ‘caption contest’: “This week’s caption competition - Another great piece of fan art from The Art of Deduction. Prize is a pre-publication copy of The Amateur Executioner (new Holmes novel from Andriacco and McMullen) delivered to your door….”
The Bartitsu Club of NYC invites one and all seeking to master the Victorian fighting style, which allowed Holmes to soundly trounce the Napoleon of Crime, to a seminar on Bartitsu with Mark P. Donnelly, Professore di Armes, on Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, 2013 at Studios 353 in Manhattan. For more information about the seminars or to learn about Bartitsu, visit NYC Steampunk.
[How well would you do if confronted by a senior citizen professor on the edge of a waterfall?!]
What Ho! posted one of my favorite original Strand covers from January 1927 which featured the third to last Sherlock Holmes story ever published “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”, later part of The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.
[The Strand, January 1927.]
Pink Studies created this diptych titled ‘Contrast’ featuring the likenesses of Holmes and Watson (a la BBC Sherlock). Fan art is often hit or miss but this piece is definitely one of the cooler stabs at more ‘serious’ Sherlockian art.
[‘Contrast’ by Pink Studies.]
BBC News announced that “volunteers are being sought to bring a rare collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle memorabilia to a wider audience…More than 40,000 items once belonging to the Sherlock Holmes writer lie in the city’s archives, with only a small amount on display at Portsmouth City Museum.” A short video clip interviews a senior archivist as well volunteers at Portsmouth and argues for the importance of making more of the collection available to scholars and the public. I can’t imagine anything cooler than taking a month off of work and volunteering my services at Portsmouth - living and breathing ACD/Sherlock day and night sounds like the best vacation ever! For more information about the collection check out the ACD Collection at Portsmouth Facebook page. (Thanks to Howard Ostrom for the tip!)
[Senior archivist at Porstmouth Michael Gunton explains how only a fraction of the 40,000 pieces from the ACD/Sherlock collection has been properly cataloged. Note the timeline in the background with that magic year of 1895 prominently in view.]
Crew of the Barque Lone Star, a scion society of the BSI founded in 1973 and based out of the Greater Dallas and Fort Worth area, posted about the first meeting of the newly-constituted Crew of the Barque Lone Star. Legendary Sherlockian collector “Don Hobbs offered the toast to Queen Victoria and then gave a brief history of the Crew…Steve Mason led the discussion about our story of the month, MISS, and then updated all of us on Sherlockian happenings around the country, including 221B Con, A Gathering of Southern Sherlockians in Chattanooga, the Minnesota Conference in August, and Les Klinger’s lawsuit against the Conan Doyle estate. Joe Fay, (author of the blog) gave a brief photo essay on [his] recent trip to London and an even quicker overview of the rules of rugby. Stu Nelan offered the toast to Sherlock Holmes to end the proceedings, but not before he made sure to mention the recent publication of Steve Mason’s article titled, “What Would You Keep?” in the current issue of The Serpentine Muse.” Sounds like a promising reboot for a group that seems inspired to make it’s mark in the Sherlockian scion world. You can also follow them on Twitter @BarqueLoneStar and Facebook as well.
[Click for the website of the Crew of the Barque Lone Star.]
What Ho! commented on January 2013 marking the “150th Anniversary of the first of the London Underground lines – the Metropolitan opened in January 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon. The event was marked by the running – in passenger service – of steam-hauled trains through the tunnels over the original route, through Baker Street station.” Click to see a vintage photo of a steam-hauled train. For a nice intro to the history of London and trains, see the History of the London Underground.
[A London tube station circa 1900.]
Radio Times announced that “Martin Freeman’s partner Amanda Abbington joins the cast of Sherlock…in a role that significantly impacts upon the lives of John and Sherlock.” Last year the Baker Street Babes interviewed Ms Abbington for Episode 27 after receiving a FB comment from Abbington that asked: “How do you officially become a Baker Street Babe? Can I apply? xx” You can check up and see what the Season 3 Sherlock starlet is up to via @amandaabbington. ** Note: As an aside, if you value your sanity, avoid the ridiculous Amanda Abbington/Mary Morstan ‘war’ (for lack of a better term) that tore through Tumblr (and Twitter) regarding ‘concerns’ a segment of the BBC Sherlock fandom had about the ramifications of introducing Mary Morstan onto the show. If you were wise enough to heed my warning about valuing your sanity you are no longer reading this paragraph and are safe - if you are prepared to question the value of the Internet, here’s a simplified summary of what all the insane hullabaloo is about: fans of BBC Sherlock who are Johnlock (John + Sherlock) shippers (ie. term used to denote one’s interest in specific TV show character pairings eg. Buffy & Spike vs. Buffy & Angel shippers from BtVS) are deeply terrified that introducing Mary Morstan (aka Mary Watson née Morstan, wife of Dr John H(amish?) Watson by canonical reckoning) into the show will somehow ruin the Johnlock dream - regardless of the fact that apart from fanfic and one’s so-called ‘headcanon’ (*sigh* yes that is a word) there’s been precisely zero evidence pointing toward the realization/instantiation of Johnlock - either as a verb, noun, adjective, adverb or whatever - that is of a romantic/sexual relationship between Watson and Holmes on the show. And when I say “deeply terrified” I mean pages and pages, and post after post, or tweet followed by tweet, etc of ranting diatribes against writing Mary Morstan into the show. I rarely dignify the (what I consider) utterly pointless Sherlockian internet memes/arguments with a mention on Always1895 but I think a lot of Sherlockians of all stripes and dedications have been bemused/alarmed by the #MaryMorstan overflow, hence the need for a short explanans in this Friday’s Links post. /end Fear for Sanity.
[Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington and their dogs.]
Barefoot on Baker Street told a story about how when she was 16 she wrote a full-length Sherlock Holmes screen play and sent it to a producer at Granada, only to receive a very polite ‘thanks but no thanks’ letter from the producer: “Their series had ended for the final time and the producer explained that Holmes had been ‘done to death’. They had no plans for any further productions involving that character…Now, 19 years later, I’ve received a very similar letter mentioning BBC Sherlock. How ironic. I am in the process of submitting my novel, Barefoot on Baker Street, to production companies in the hope that someone will want to adapt it for television. I had a lovely email last week from the head of development at one of the companies I had contacted. She genuinely enjoyed my novel and wrote some wonderful comments but felt that it will be impossible to get it on TV as long as BBC Sherlock is running.”
[The BBC may have rejected Ms Walters Sherlockian pastiche, but I highly recommend picking up a copy to read one of the more inventive approaches to a Holmes pastiche.]
Doyleockian, partially in response to last week’s post featuring a photo of ACD in his sitting room at Windlesham, where it was temporarily misidentified as Undershaw, posted “Identifying Arthur Conan Doyle’s Homes” where Mr Duncan identifies the most iconic images of ACD’s domiciles with the name of the house and a short biography. I would love to see a project like this expanded into a full blown coffee table book.
Markings in “The Other Dr. Watson - Conan Doyle’s Harrogate Friend & Colleague” finds Mr Ray Wilcockson researching ACD’s “connection with Harrogate. This post details what I have discovered thus far - some of which has rather taken me by surprise. I’ll present my findings under three sub-headings: Doyle’s Harrogate, The Other Dr. Watson and One Degree of Separation.” Interestingly, Mr Wilcockson’s father was 8 months old when ACD visited and also had a direct connection to the ‘Dr Bertram Watson’ uncovered during the course of this research - fascinating stuff!
Baker Street Journal noted the anniversary of Christopher Morley’s death (March 28, 1957) by posting a letter Mr Morley wrote to The Sunday Times in 1950 titled The Baker Street Irregulars, of New York which contains one of my favorite commemorations of ACD: ”Myself, I do not wholly agree with the tradition that A.C.D. should never be formally mentioned. I loved him long before his heirs and assigns and agents were born, and I find in his writings the most delicious asymptotes to the Holmes-Watson codex. As I have often said, how ridiculous he was only Knighted - he should have been Sainted.”
Tookmyskull in “The Unsolved Case of the Garroted Sherlockian” remembers beloved Sherlockian and master collector Richard Lancelyn Green (July 10, 1953 - March 27, 2004) on the anniversary of RLG’s untimely and mysterious death, made famous in part by a New Yorker article written in rather dubious taste “Mysterious Circumstances”, later published in The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession by David Grann - and then quasi-dramatized in The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. I posted a remembrance of RLG on his birthday last year and received quite a bit of feedback from many Sherlockians who knew and missed RLG, many of whom feel that Moore’s novel and Grann’s New Yorker piece are tasteless at best and exploitative at worst. It’s a tough line to walk - respecting RLG’s memory and reporting on the undeniably ‘mysterious’ elements surrounding the case - but regardless I think RLG will ultimately be remembered for his incredible Sherlockian/ACD collection which he bequeathed to the Portsmouth Library. The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection ”brings together an unparalleled variety of books, documents and objects connected to Holmes and the life of his creator” - in fact it’s a dream of mine to one day visit the collection in Portsmouth. And as I mentioned above, the ACD Collection is looking for a few good Sherlockians to volunteer to finish cataloging and archiving the collection.
[To Keep the Memory Green edited by Steve Rothman and Nicholas Utechin - listen to the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere (Ep 8) podcast to hear Rothman and Utechin discussing RLG’s legacy.]
The Well-Read Sherlockian reviewed one of my favorite releases of 2012, Mr Dan Andriacco’s The 1895 Murder. Ms Leah Cummins Guinn, proprietress of the Well-Read Sherlockian, remarks that Andiacco’s third McCabe/Cody novel features “the same entertaining characters and (for Jeff) ridiculously uncomfortable situations, but we also have something new–an oddly bleak mystery…the most smoothly-plotted and written Cody/McCabe mystery yet. Mr. Andriacco plays fair with the reader, but his clues are deftly hidden, much as Sebastian McCabe hides the secrets to his magic tricks under an entertaining run of palaver. Jeff Cody’s stream-of-consciousness narration is amusing as always, and still more revealing than he might wish.” A well deserved 4 out of 5 rating - though personally I would have given it a 5 or at least a 4.5.
[For another take, check out my review from last Winter.]
Sherlockian Calendar, one of the most useful Sherlockian sites in all of creation, announced that they have a new URL: www.SherlockianCalendar.com - congratulations to Ron Fish and Sue and Ben Vizoskie on the upgrade. Visit and visit often - and tell a friend!
The Game Is On is developing a ‘fan-art’ Sherlock video game which, judging from the screenshots and posted artwork, has some serious potential. It will be interesting to see where this project leads and if it does come to fruition how canonically accurate will the in-game story be. Click the screenshot below for more information.
[Thanks to Baker Street Babes for the tip.]
Lyndsay Faye shared a panel from a Sherlock Holmes comic she wrote a few years ago which is currently being shopped around to publishers. The comic is Ms Faye’s version of ‘Why Reichenbach Happened That Way’ - from the scripts I’ve read, there’s some real (and real awesome!) cause for excitement and burning hope that this project gets picked up by a publisher.
[Click for the full page of this scene.]
Sherlock Peoria laments the news we all knew was coming: CBS’s Elementary has been renewed for a second season. And though I suspect that a tiny piece of Mr Brad Keefauver’s soul may have died upon hearing the announcement, his blogging response is classic: “As the announcement of another season of Mr. Elementary, once it had time to fully sink in, did not elicit any wailing or gnashing of teeth in the subterranean lair where Sherlock Peoria houses it’s secret blog machineries…no…no…no. Just the gentle stroking of a cat, and the slight turn of what might be a smile. And if you pulled back, receding into the distance outside the walls of said lair, you might have heard the beginnings of a muffled “Bwah-ha-hah …”
Tea at 221B posted one of my favorite Jeremy Brett & Edward Hardwicke stills of all time - which also has always been a bit of a mystery as to it’s origins. Obviously, it’s from a scene that never actually appeared in a Granada episode and it clearly depicts Holmes during his retirement to the Sussex Downs - “I had given myself up entirely to that soothing life of Nature for which I had so often yearned during the long years spent amid the gloom of London” (LION) - but why did Granada never use it? At long last, Tea at 221B has the answer: “This was initially filmed for inclusion in “The Second Stain” (Sherlock reminiscing). Producers thought an entire episode could be created from it and shelved the scene for later use. No episode was ever made, the scenes were never made public and the film was destroyed.”
[At least we can dream of what could have been…]