Showing posts from January, 2010

The Crimes of Dr. Watson

The Crimes of Dr. Watson: An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery Duane Swierczynski, 2007 Last week I talked about a version of A Study in Scarlet which recreated all the evidence, accounts, etc. pertaining to the novel by Conan Doyle.  This book is a similar idea, but for an original story.  It mostly consists of a letter from Watson to a friend in Philadelphia, asking for help proving his innocence in a crime.  He has received several mysterious mailings from America, which are enclosed, along with several other clues.  You, the reader, are supposed to use the account and the clues to solve the mystery.  The aesthetic advantage this book has over the last one is that the clues are fully created, not just pictured, and included in envelopes pasted into the book.  It is very very pretty. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop it from being really terrible. Now, let's be clear.  I don't mind, in principle, choosing to deviate from canon.  I mind when it's done

A Study in Scarlet (reconstructed)

A Study in Scarlet:A Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery; Based on the Story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Publishers: Webb & Bower (Simon Goodenough credited inside), 1983 This book is more a gimmick than a pastiche in truth, but a cute gimmick.  It is, simply, the first Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet , reverse engineered.  For example, the first few pages include a 1983 letter to the publisher describing the contents of a fabled dispatch box, and an 1886 letter from Watson to Conan Doyle, giving him permission to take the notes/documents which follow and form them into something readable.  It then, in a colorful and entertaining way, outlines the entire happenings of A Study in Scarlet , starting with Watson's medical discharge from the army, ending with the newspaper article cited on the last page of the original.  Most of the original text is recreated here, split between quoted documents, articles, telegrams, and such, and personal accounts.  Watson's words are the

The Seven-Percent Solution

The Seven-Percent Solution Nicholas Meyer, 1974 (re-post of my goodreads review) For anyone who is unaware, The Seven-Percent Solution is a novel in which Sherlock Holmes loses control of his cocaine addiction, requiring a trip out of the country and treatment by Sigmund Freud. I read it back in 2008, and wrote most of this at the time [since edited for clarity]. Color me unimpressed. It's an interesting concept, but not so well executed. I'll believe that it was impressive when published (and the general populace/culture still respected Freud when it was written), and maybe I'm too much of a Holmes fan (and too much of a Holmes/Russell fangirl). But it felt to me from the beginning that Meyer didn't have any new ideas.  It continually rankled me, the way he made lame excuses for why his book doesn't read like Conan Doyle, despite supposedly also being written by Watson.  He kept pointing out allusions to this or that Holmes story, or to other literar

New Theme: Holmes Pastiche

I wasn't going to follow up my research-heavy dissection of "A Scandal in Bohemia" with more Holmes, but that's what I'm reading now. Some re-reading in the list below, some new books, and one review that's familiar to my goodreads friends.  All books about Holmes and company, not by Doyle. The Seven-Percent Solution A Study in Scarlet (Re-creation Book) The Crimes of Dr. Watson Good Night, Mr. Holmes Basil of Baker Street (Finally just ordering a copy of this hard-to-find children's book) The Beekeeper's Apprentice Extra: Selections from the Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A Scandal in Bohemia

"A Scandal in Bohemia," Strand Magazine Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1891 The Annotated Sherlock Holmes William S. Baring-Gould, 1967 "A Scandal in Bohemia" The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Granada Television, 1984 To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. So begins the account of one of the most talked about, argued over, reinvented and reinterpreted characters in Holmes canon.  Irene Adler was invented for, and only appears in, the first Sherlock Holmes short story, "A Scandal in Bohemia". A series of novels by Carole Douglas star Adler as a detective in her own right.  Laurie R King posits her further encounters with Holmes in The Language of Bees , and invents a son who is an artist.  John Lescroart implies that the son of Holmes and Adler is Rex Stout's 30's detective Nero Wolfe.  In the 2009 movie