What can you find here? Reviews of new and not quite so new Sherlock Holmes novels and collections. Interviews with authors, link to blogs worth following, links to where you can purchase my books and some reviews of my work garnered from Amazon sites. Plus a few scary pics of me and a link to various Lyme Regis videos on YouTube...see what we do here and how....and indeed why!!! Next to the Lyme Regis Video Bar is a Jeremy Brett as Holmes Video Bar and now a Ross K Video Bar. And stories and poems galore in the archives.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate

Ahead of the Great Sherlock Holmes Debate some views on screen portrayals......

Before I go further I have to say I have not seen the Guy Ritchie movies nor at this stage have I any intention of so doing....I just know I would hate them, yes, no logic involved in that statement, but what the hell.
I grew up watching the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of films. I thought Rathbone to be the perfect embodiment of Holmes in looks and in manner, cool and detached just how I see Holmes. The flip side to that was Nigel Bruce's Watson which quickly became more of a comic foil than 'trusty comrade', that is not to say that he does not have a certain appeal for he does, but he is most assuredly no Conan Doyle's Watson.
Peter Cushing came along in the late fifties and sixties. Again, in looks nigh well perfect. His Holmes was a diffident, fussy one who never seemed to be taken it seriously, yet Cushing was solid and consistent and to give him credit he endeavoured to keep the producers and directors in a Canonlike frame of mind.
Then Granada......and Jeremy Brett. I remember sitting down with some trepidation to watch the first episode and after twenty minutes I thought, 'He's nailed it'. Here was a Holmes who was arrogant, cool and just as how I always imagined him to be. Rathbone's and Cushing's portrayals were both consistent and when you sit down to watch them at work you know exactly what you are getting. With Jeremy Brett there was an edge, an unpredictability, surely like Holmes himself. Although JB was just as consistent as Rathbone and Cushing, where he scored over them was his flashes of brilliance that are so fondly remembered; the leap for joy at the end of 'The Second Stain', his emotional response to Lestrade's praise in 'The Six Napoleons', his 'explosion' at the end of 'The Blue Carbuncle' and many more breathtaking moments. David Burke and Edward Hardwicke as a composite Watson could never be surpassed. David Burke, a joy to watch as a man in awe of his companion and Edward Hardwicke more of a weary, but solid, questioning post-Hiatus Watson.
And now......Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Once more settling in for the first episode with some trepidation, but being blown over very quickly. How clever of the writers to be able to appeal to Holmes purists and the modern Dr Who generation. The humour underpinning the relationship between Holmes and Watson is never allowed to break out and swamp proceedings, the canon references are sometimes fleeting, but always you think added with great affection by the writers. BC's Holmes never strays to far from the original blueprint and Freeman perfectly captures what it must be like to be friends with such a man. What I would really love to see is a 'Christmas special', maybe 'The Blue Carbuncle' filmed with these two actors, but in period. I really believe they could pull it off.

As a footnote, when I am am writing this is who I have in mind; Holmes-Jeremy Brett, Watson-Edward Hardwicke, Lestrade-Colin Jeavons.  Granada wins the day for me.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Thoughts from Dan Andriacco

A big welcome please to this weeks guest blogger, Dan Andriacco with his usual insightful thoughts.


Sherlock Holmes fans on both sides of the Atlantic understandably reacted with dismay to the news that the American television network CBS plans a new series,
“Elementary,” transferring Holmes not only to the 21st Century (been there, done that) but to New York.
This idea has “dreadful” written all over it.But it did set me to thinking about how Sherlock Holmes’s career has had deep connections to the United States from the beginning. Fully half of A Study in Scarlet is set in Utah, the first of many stories in the Canon with American roots.Perhaps that is why the book was a bit of a hit in the United Sates, attracting the attention of Joseph Marshall Stoddart, the publisher of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in Philadelphia. It is well known that Stoddart held a dinner party in London in 1889 at which he commissioned Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde to write novels. And so The Sign of Four and The Picture of Dorian Grey came to be.

A decade later, the American actor William Gillette substantially rewrote a play by Arthur Conan Doyle to create the melodrama Sherlock Holmes. He played the part for 30 years and became the model of Holmes – curved pipe and all – for Frederick Dorr Steele’s illustrations in Collier’s magazine.
Holmes has always been tremendously popular in the United States. Many of the early Holmes scholars were Americans – the likes of Vincent Starrett, Christopher Morley, Edgar W. Smith, Dr. Julian Wolff, and Ellery Queen. Baker Street Irregulars, of which they were all members, now has scion societies around the world.

The resurgence of Holmes in the 1970s was largely an American phenomenon fueled by the popularity of Nicholas Meyer’s 1974 novel and subsequent film The Seven Per-Cent Solution. A deluge of pastiches followed. In our own day, I’m among those who think the Warner Bros. films starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law are entertaining American action movies that could just as well have given the main characters different names for all the resemblance they bear to the canonical characters.

But guess what? They are bringing new readers to Sherlock Holmes. And that’s a very good thing indeed.
No wonder Sherlock Holmes once said, “I am always glad to meet an American.” But that’s a subject for another blog post.

Dan Andriacco lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He is the author of Baker Street Beat, No Police Like Holmes, and the upcoming Holmes Sweet Holmes. He blogs at:

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Sign of Fear by Molly Carr

What we have here is no more or less than a gorgeous romp involving several characters from the Holmes Canon, principally Mary Watson. Married to the good doctor who is forever heeding Holmes's calls and leaving Mary twiddling her thumbs at home. Mary is eveidently too feisty and individual a wman to let this state of affairs continue for long and proceed to set herself up as a detective in harness with the startlingly un-Victorian Emily Fanshaw. The action flows alonng with great humour (very often at Watson's expense) and verve. A rollercoaster of a novel with gear changes a plenty (in more ways than one!), a delicious turn of phrase on occasion, a whiff of sexuality and a fabulously drawn central character in Mary Watson. You will never think of Watson's wife in the same vein again. Along the way we meet parents of Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple, throw in Raffles and Bunny and you will start to see what fun Molly Carr is having. And fortunately, us too. Highly recommended.

Available from Amazon both in paperback form and Kindle and from all book selling websites, your local bookshops or direct from the publisher, who publish a whole range of Sherlock Holmes books.

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