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Sherlock Holmes and the House of Pain

margysmusings

One of the greatest gifts Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave to pastiche writers was a list of unrecorded cases, such as Merridew of the Abominable Memory, and the Case of the Politician, the Lighthouse and the Trained Cormorant. All ideas that pastiche writers have latched on to and given their take on Doyle’s carelessly chucked out gems.

In “Sherlock Holmes and the House of Pain”, by Stephen Seitz, the case in question is arguably the most famous: The Giant Rat of Sumatra.

A female missionary goes missing in London’s notorious East End, where rats of unusual size have been spotted. When Watson persuades Holmes to take on the case, the scene is set for an interesting story indeed.

Stephen Seitz’s use of H. G. Wells’ Dr. Moreau, as well as Arthur Conan Doyle’s other well known character, Professor Challenger, creates a nightmarish story of science gone mad.

The relationship between…

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Posted by on July 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Yellow Face

Sherlockian Musings

Climactic scene from The Yellow Face. Illustration by Sidney Paget.

The Yellow Face

Racism: The late Peter Wood, a previous discussion leader in my Sherlock Holmes group, asked if this story, taken together with the derogatory depiction of the black boxer Steve Dixie in “The Three Gables,” indicated that Conan Doyle was a racist. A strange way to put it, because this story is typically contrasted with “The Three Gables” as one that is quite liberal on matters of race. But how then do we square this circle of the liberal Doyle in “The Yellow Face” and the indulger of stereotypes in the later story? Perhaps it is simply a matter of time: in this story and the next (“The Stockbroker’s Clerk”) a young author subverts conventional racist (or in the Stockbroker story, anti-Semitic) attitudes, whereas at the end of his career a more curmudgeonly author indulged in them.

Perhaps:

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Posted by on July 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Jeremy Brett – Playing a Part

Features of Interest

A comprehensive performance biography of the incomparable Shakespearean actor, Jeremy Brett, by Maureen Whittaker. It covers the years 1954 – 1995 and is a singular view of the history of theatre, film and TV of this time period. For the fan it is chock full of hundreds of rarely seen and exclusive photographs. For the researcher, it is a treasure trove of knowledge.

For millions of viewers Jeremy Brett was, and remains, the quintessential Sherlock Holmes. The star of the number one Granada TV series, a co-production with WGBH Mystery for Independent Television Network and PBS for its ten year run. One of the shows that built the “delicate bridge” between UK and US TV. Following a spectacular thirty year career in Film, TV, and Theatre, this was the role that brought Mr. Brett to a much deserved international stardom. His outstanding success as the remarkable genius detective would forever…

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Posted by on July 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Jeremy Brett — Playing a Part

Geri Schear

As many of my readers know, I love Benedict Cumberbatch’s 21st century portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. But what you don’t know (though many of you have guessed), is that when I write, the Holmes who speaks and lives in my fiction is that of the late, remarkable Jeremy Brett.

My stories are set in the late Victorian, early Edwardian era, mostly in London, and try to remain faithful to the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It helps to have a real face and voice to inform my character. In my opinion, while many talented actors have tried to embody the great detective, no one succeeded as well as Brett.

Now comes a new book about the man, his life, and his Holmes. With a foreword by the charming David Burke (Brett’s first Watson), this is a superb account of the late actor’s life. (I’m currently reading a review copy…

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Posted by on July 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

 
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via Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle – Tim Symonds – Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle – Tim Symonds – Review

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Review: These Scattered Houses

Geri Schear

When I was a child, I had a habit of making a fort out of books. I’d stack them up to make walls, and then climb inside and build a roof from whatever storybooks were left over. Living in London during the 1950s could be scary, and my book-fort was the place I felt safest.

Fast-forward to the 2020s and the entire world seems to be on the cusp of annihilation. Though I no longer live in London or in the US, as an adult I realise the impact those two places have on the rest of the globe, and, right now, I find their current climates terrifying. I feel deep anxiety and concern for my friends around the world, and for all people of good will who march for their rights and for justice. I grew up in the age of Kennedy and King, Selma and Birmingham, Vietnam and…

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Posted by on June 3, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Books of New Sherlock Holmes Stories (1882 — 1890) ~ Volumes XIX, XX, and XXI

Geri Schear

Usually, I open a review of a new MX collection by waxing lyrical about the stories and the calibre of the authors. This new collection of three volumes — XIX, XX, and XX — certainly contain jewels, but before I tell you about my favourites, I want to beg and plead that before you delve into these, you first take the time to read the foreword by editor David Marcum.

Not Just “Always 1895” — a Hero for Now, is a masterclass in all things Sherlock Holmes. If you’re new to the Great Detective, or even if you can recite The Hound of theBaskervilles almost by heart, ahem, you will find that Mr Marcum’s precise examination of the Holmes and Watson legend puts the character and stories into a context that can only enhance your enjoyment of reading the stories that follow, as well as the original Conan…

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Posted by on May 27, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Priory School

Sherlockian Musings

Thorneycroft Huxtable, BA, MA, etc., arriving at Baker Street.
Illustration by Sidney Paget.

The Priory School

Musings of Dr. Sheldon Goldfarb, BA, MA, MAS, PhD, etc.

Priory? First of all, what is a Priory School? I’ve looked up “priory,” and it means monastery or convent, but that can’t be what we have here in Victorian England. Perhaps it means there used to be a monastery on the spot? And it is a boys’ school, so a bit monastic perhaps: and with lurid goings-on as in an old Gothic, like for instance The Monk. But still.

And who is the Priory Schoolmaster? A question of moment to me since I have assumed the title for the Stormy Petrels in our monthly discussions of things Sherlockian. In the story both Thorneycroft Huxtable, that pompous fool, and the German master who gets murdered have the title of schoolmaster applied to them. Not…

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Posted by on May 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Beer Barons

“This is the third Sherlock Holmes novel by Christopher James, and in it he shows both his own unique style and approach to The World of Holmes, and also he provides a very interesting and informative travelogue to the area around Burton upon Trent, England.

In addition to being a Sherlockian novelist, James is also an award winning poet. (He’s combined the two on several occasions, providing some truly amazing introductory poems to various volumes of “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories”.) Perhaps it’s because of his poet’s perspective that each of his three Holmes novels have had a slightly dreamlike feel to them.  While the narrative does move in a linear fashion, there’s a calmness about it – even when Holmes and Watson are being pursued by killers. Like his previous books, “The Ruby Elephants” and “The Jeweller of Florence”, this volume’s episodes become something of a pointillist painting – getting too close makes the details a little blurry, but stepping back allows one to see the big picture, bringing it all into focus.

During the course of their investigation – attempting to determine who is poisoning barrels of beer – Holmes and Watson meet a variety of interesting characters, including three unique brothers (the sons of a beer dynasty) who each have their own interests and agendas, a disinterested police inspector, and most important, a lady detective who is also working on the case. She is a very defined character, and one might suspect that James has brought her to life so well so that she might appear in a book or two of her own in the near future.

Of particular interest to me, as a nearly life-long Holmes fan who has also made three (so far) extensive Holmes trips to England, were the descriptions of Burton upon Trent, an area that I’d never really considered visiting before, but now find myself wishing to explore. Of course, when I finally get there, I’ll re-read this book to make sure that I follow in Holmes and Watson’s footsteps.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book, and I look forward to the next Watsonian volume that Mr. James discovers in Watson’s Tin Dispatch Box.”

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Beer Barons is available for pre order from all good bookstores including Amazon USABarnes and Noble USAAmazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. Pre-publication copies available from The Strand Magazine and directly from MX Publishing.

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Top 7 Sherlock Holmes Audio books so far in May

1. Sherlock Holmes and a Hole in the Devil’s Tail – Viktor Messick and Kevin Theis

2. Sherlock Holmes and the Hunt for Jack the Ripper – Gerard Kelly and  Kevin Theis

3. The Druid of Death – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure – Richard T Ryan and  Nigel Peever

4.  Merchant of Menace – Richard T Ryan and Nigel Peever

5.  Demon of The Dusk – Arthur Hall and Nick Crosby

6.  Sherlock Holmes and The Baker Street Legacy – Mark Mower and Steve White

7.  Scarlet Thread of Murder – Luke Kuhns and Joff Manning

More audio books on the Sherlock Holmes Audio Books Pinterest Board.

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