Dicky Neely is an internationally recognised illustrator from Texas and life-long Sherlock Holmes fan. His first book, The Case of The Grave Accusation covers Sherlock Holme’s most important mystery ever. We caught up with him in between scribblings to ask him about the book and his passion for Holmes.
What was the main inspiration for the book?
I was surfing the net some years ago and I came across the story about a man who was attempting to discredit Sir Arthur Conan Doyle concerning his authorship of the Hound of the Baskervilles as well as accusing him of wife stealing and murder concerning Bertram Fletcher Robinson and his wife Gladys. The man’s premise for his claims seemed pretty thin to me and I immediately thought “This sounds like a case for Sherlock Holmes!”
Which is your favourite aspect of the book?
I enjoyed thinking about what Holmes might have accomplished with modern contrivances such as computers, cell phones and other such things. I had no doubt he would be a computer geek if he had the chance.
Of all the Holmes stories which is your favourite and why?
The Hound of the Baskervilles is my favorite. It combines all of the elements of Holmes’ abilities and methods along with the supernatural tales of the West Country wilderness. I found that fascinating.
When did you first become interested in Sherlock Holmes?
I was an avid reader as a youth and the Sherlock Holmes movies, such as the 1959 Hound of the Baskervilles with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and of course the movies with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce sparked my interest which led me to the written works.
If you could meet Arthur Conan Doyle, what would you ask him?
What effect did your invention of Sherlock Holmes have on his life? Was it for personal good or ill?
What are you reading at the moment?
The Autobiography of Mark Twain.
What’s the best aspect of being a Holmes author?
I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to make a small contribution to the body of work of Holmsian authors.
Which of the Sherlock Holmes stories do you feel is the best and why?
I think the best story is “The Blue Carbuncle.” This story is a bit more light hearted than most of the canon but it has charming qualities and illustrates Holmes’ powers of deductions at their finest.
Who is your favourite support character in the Holmes stories?
That would have to Dr. Watson. He is, after all, the teller of most of the stories and he clearly is a fine and honest person and is wholly dedicated to his friend Sherlock Holmes.
I guess you mean my own illustrations?This was my first illustration and I had never previous considered doing any Holmes pictures. It was fun, just as was the writing of my story.