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, 22 April 2012

Pastiche Ponderings

What makes a pastiche a true pastiche? What criteria, if any, do we need to apply? I think of a true Holmes pastiche as being written/narrated by Watson in that familiar style we enjoy so much. If possible, taking it further, I prefer pastiches that have their opening scene in the sitting-room of 221b Baker Street, after all, as a location, it is the beating heart of the Canon. With one or two exceptions. all my Holmes pieces start in that fashion, it is where we see Holmes and Watson at their most relaxed and convivial. How far can we as authors take Holmes and Watson..are there places we should not go? Themes and issues we should not address? For the most part, I would say no with some reservations, particularly as to 'slash' which often has homoerotic content, it's not the Holmes and Watson that I know and love. Old age and death is another issue which has caused controversy over the years. In essence, we cannot 'play the game' of Holmes and Watson et al being real people with real adventues unless we also acknowledge their mortality. The idea of the two of them in their latter years fascinates me, what changes would have come about in their relationship? Would old age have mellowed Holmes? My new novella 'End Peace' takes this on a stage further and whilst I do not consider it a risky venture, some may have problems, not so much for character death (should there be any he says cagily!) but for other content!

The new Sherlock Holmes novels that continue to come along, I embrace fully whether I consider them to be true pastiches or not. There are some wonderful novels and collections out there begging to be read and savoured. You know, as long as I can recognise my Holmes and my Watson in them......then bring them on.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Detective and the women.

The detective being Sherlock Holmes of course and the women in this case are the authors Amy Thomas and Kate Workman.

Kate Workman's latest offering is 'I Will Find The Answer' in which the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The case comes to the notice of Holmes through Erik, the erstwhile Phantom of the Opera who Holmes had come to an understanding with after the initial skirmishes when Holmes looked in to the matter of the presence 'haunting' the opera house. We now find Erik in London and he together with Holmes and Watson form a mighty triumvirate. The Jekyll and Hyde problem is of course very well known even to those who have never read the book, the very phrase 'Jekyll and Hyde' conjures up for everyone the battle for good and evil which subsists in us all. What Kate has done is to make this tale fresh and exciting. The dialogue between Erik and Holmes is splendid in its humour, underlying sadness and the most touching of moments surface every so often. There is a counterpoint to the scene in 'The Devil's Foot' where Holmes takes steps to discover exactly what it must feel like to be Jekyll and thereby Hyde. The consequences for Holmes of taking such a step remain unresolved at the end of the novel and this makes it more powerful. It would have been so easy to wrap up the case and tack on a happy ending, but Kate's Holmes shares a darkness with Erik which makes the characters work so well together and Holmes's dual personality is well defined and instantly we see not only Holmes differently, but we truly see how Jekyll slipped into the madness of his other self. Some moments in the book are disturbing and terrifying, but hynoptically addictive as is the whole of this novel. An absolutely stellar gem of a novel and I for one am eagerly looking forward to Kate's next Holmes will be one hell of a ride.

Amy Thomas's 'The Detective and the Woman' takes us into the world of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. Yes' it's been done many times before, but not quite like this. The novel opens with the death of Godfrey Norton, Irene's husband, his death is unlamented and at once we see a strong-willed independant woman be re-born after a constraining and unhappy marriage. She takes control of her own life once more, but in so doing becomes the focus of both a villain who is hell bent on her destruction and fortune and the rather more benign focus of Sherlock Holmes. The dialogue between Holmes and Irene fairly cracles with authenticity and is a major delight of this winning and charming novel. Posing as man and wife as they do in large sections of the novel gives plenty of room for by-play and intellectual sparring. Pleasingly, Holmes does not always get his own way with this most formidable of women, Irene beeing a good match for him in all departments. The account of the case is told alternately by both main characters and we get to read their innermost thoughts and weaknesses, Irene displays a softer side, a weaker side which is handled very well by Amy. The book just flows so well, the Florida/Fort Myers descriptive passages are lovingly conveyed. The other characters are delineated excellently from Barnett the solicitor to Thomas Edison and his household. It's hard to believe that this is Amy's first foray into Holmes literature, the quality throughout is of the highest. I loved it. And Holmes and Irene? How does it end? know how to find out don't you!!

Both titles published by MX Publishing.