Some of my fellow Holmes authors have been engaging in friendly discourse about pastiche and what it really means, so here is my addition to the conversation.
According to dictionary.com, a pastiche is “a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources.”
By this definition, most, if not all, Holmes-related fiction qualifies as pastiche. This is the definition I espouse. Other authors have a different viewpoint, notably celebrated Sherlockians David Ruffle and Dan Andriacco, who consider true Holmes pastiche to be only works that imitate Conan Doyle’s style and employ Watson as their narrator. Personally, I find such a narrow definition to be unnecessarily limiting.
When I think of the idea of literary pastiche of any kind–Holmes is by no means the only character employed in this way–I do not expect authors to strictly adhere to the original creator’s style. For instance, I do not expect books that use Jane Austen’s characters to sound exactly like…
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