RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Review of Sherlock Holmes and The Sword of Osman

It is rare that I pick up a Holmes pastiche and immediately fall in love with it – but it happened with this book. Symonds managed to catch the voice of early retirement Watson so perfectly and with so much love and whimsical sarcasm that it is a joy to read from beginning to end. The story itself is set in a time when European powers were slowly realizing that a war unlike any before was approaching. Holmes and Watson come together for an adventure set in 1906 to make sure that the Sword of Osman, an insignia of the emperor of the Ottoman Empire, will remain in the hands of the ruling king in order to keep the brittle stability between several European nations and the Ottoman Empire intact. The initially mysterious client who sends the duo to Istanbul is Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary and a great admirer of both Holmes and Watson.

The adventure is complex, the case more difficult and dangerous than Holmes or Watson anticipate and rife with references to historical and political events – an intertextual feast. I do not want to give away too much of the story, but Symonds manages to write Sherlock Holmes and John Watson very close to how Doyle wrote them and yet manages to make them his own. The story is never boring and there are enough questions and mysteries to keep the reader on edge, especially with some knowledge on the political context (I recommend reading up in the relationship between Britain and the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the century for even greater enjoyment of the book).

Symonds also manages to do what very few pastiches manage: He makes the ending surprising even after Holmes offers us the solution to the mystery. It’s entertaining and educational and offers deeper insight into Holmes’s role in European politics, which results in his role as a double agent in Doyle’s “His Last Bow” as well as his relationship with John Watson and Mycroft Holmes.

It is definitely one of my favourite Holmes pastiches so far, and I am excited to read more of Symonds’s work.

Reviewed by The Baker Street Babes

Sherlock Holmes and the Sword of Osman is available from all good bookstores including The Strand MagazineAmazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in KindleKoboNook and Apple iBooks(iPad/iPhone). Available on Audio.

178092755X

 

Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Dying Emperor (Sherlock Holmes and the Crowned Heads of Europe Book 1)

There are pastiches, and then there are superlative pastiches.

Tom Turley’s novella, ‘The Case of the Dying Emperor’ (available on Kindle) falls firmly into the latter category. A question over the last illness of Frederick III, German Emperor and King of Prussia for 99 days in 1888, sends Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to the Continent to investigate. A cast of real historical personages and places appear, each drawn with a level of detail and observation worthy of Holmes himself.

I had a sketchy knowledge of Frederick III, enough to know that his short reign is one of the great ‘What Ifs’ of history. Succeeded by his son, Wilhelm II, the infamous ‘Kaiser Bill’ as he was dubbed in Britain during the First World War, it is interesting to speculate on the course of history had Frederick lived. Given the international implications at the time, it is just the sort of case where you can imagine certain important figures turning to Holmes for his opinion. Watson also gets to shine, both with references to his background (based on the Baring-Gould model) and in his medical expertise. Add to this canon fidelity, and there’s plenty to keep the most ardent Sherlock Holmes fan, as well as the casual reader, engaged and delighted.

A problem I have found in the past with stories set in real historical settings is either too much or too little period detail. Mr Turley achieves an admirable balance. There are footnotes for those who want more information; if not, there is enough in the story to explain what is happening. Any necessary explanation flows naturally in conversations with appropriate language for the period between the principal characters without ever overwhelming the reader. Touches like these give the work an authentic feel, sweeping me up in the illusion that I really was reading a story written at the time.

It’s not often I get to say this, but ‘The Case of the Dying Emperor’ truly is a masterclass in the fine art of the Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Faithfulness to the characters, dedicated research and a clear, erudite style of writing makes this a story that I will be returning to again and again.

Reviewed by S.F. Bennett

Available on Kindle.

dying emperor

 

Tags: , , , ,

Sherlock Artist – Pat Crowley

crowley 3

Every day this month we’ll be showcasing one of the artists and authors in the new ‘Art of Sherlock Holmes’ project – today it’s artist Pat Crowley.

Pat Crowley was the Editorial Cartoonist for the Palm Beach Post (Florida) from 1979 to 1994 and Creative Director from 1995 to 2008. His political cartoons were distributed to hundreds of newspaper throughout the United States by the San Diego based Copley News Service and appeared in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report and the New York Times.

crowley

He was a founding staffer, Editorial Cartoonist and illustrator for The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. from 1994 to 2000.

While with the Copley News Service he produced a twice- weekly comic, The Crowley Chronicle and later, Artropolis, a weekly cartoon commentary, for The Palm Beach Post.

Crowley has illustrated numerous magazine and newspaper articles including lead art for the New York Times Sunday Week in Review section. He was a regular contributor to Palm Beach Life magazine for more than two decades.

He has illustrated ten books and is currently writing and illustrating two children’s books.

crowley 4

In addition to political cartooning, Crowley teaches painting and figure drawing at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, Florida. He paints in oils and acrylic and sculpts in all media, including bronze at The Hunt Club, his studio in West Palm Beach, Florida.

For The Art of Sherlock Holmes Pat has painted an amazing cartoon style piece – here is a glimpse:

west palm beach kickstarter - crowley profile

Pat is one of the fifteen artists who have created new pieces for The Art of Sherlock Holmes West Palm Beach Edition which is published in May and available now on Kickstarter – The Art of Sherlock Holmes.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Sherlock Artist – Andy Pereira

blanka lolita - andy

Every day this month we’ll be showcasing one of the artists and authors in the new ‘Art of Sherlock Holmes’ project – today it’s artist Andy Pereira.

Andy Pereira is a self-taught contemporary artist working primarily in acrylics, Andy was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1960. Many of Andy’s paintings are influenced by impressionism.

Andy is a full time resident in the Northwood neighborhood of West Palm Beach, FL. His exhibitions include:

  • The Box Gallery (2016), Bohemia Gallery A. G. “The End of the Year of the Monkey” (2017)
  • Common Hope Charity Fundraiser (2017)
  • Palm Springs Elementary School, leading a four-hour student work shop about the importance of the arts in society (2018)

andy super moon

For The Art of Sherlock Holmes Andy created a fantastic painting – here’s a glimpse:

west palm beach kickstarter - andy profile

Andy is one of the fifteen artists who have created new pieces for The Art of Sherlock Holmes West Palm Beach Edition which is published in May and available now on Kickstarter – The Art of Sherlock Holmes

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Sherlock Artist – Eddie Mendieta

Every day this month we’ll be showcasing one of the artists and authors in the new ‘Art of Sherlock Holmes’ project – today it’s artist Eddie Mendieta.

Eddie Mendieta’s work, which is now nearly omnipresent throughout downtown West Palm Beach, began with a single mural on the side of Respectables “I had known Rodney [Mayo] for a long time, since the early 90s,” said Mendieta. “I had stopped painting for a while, I had work and kids. But after I ran into Rodney a few years ago I asked him if I could paint the side of the building. After harassing him for a couple of months he said yeah, and it just went from there.” (Palm Beach Illustrated)

The mural, the faces of his children in monochrome, was a bold work in a city seeking an artistic voice. But, and there is always a ‘but’ when it comes to graffiti-style art, Mendieta did not get the proper permits. “I didn’t know we needed permits to paint on the wall, so we kind of got in trouble from the city,” remembers Mendieta. However, there was a silver lining to the slap on the wrist. “Through that, I wound up meeting Raphael Clemente of the Downtown Development Authority , and that’s how the other murals [around West Palm] happened. It actually worked.”

My favourite mural of Eddie’s is the Evernia Street Parking Garage – simply stunning.

You can see the painting process in this three minute video.

For The Art of Sherlock Holmes, Eddie created a brilliant painting – here’s a glimpse:

Eddie is one of the fifteen artists who have created new pieces for The Art of Sherlock Holmes West Palm Beach Edition which is published in May and available now on Kickstarter – The Art of Sherlock Holmes.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 25, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Sherlock Artist – David Teal

teal 1

Every day this month we’ll be showcasing one of the artists and authors in the new ‘Art of Sherlock Holmes’ project – today it’s artist David Teal.

David Teal is a figurative artist whose work emphasizes color, shape, and the use of space to suggest images and ideas. David is a painter who also works in mixed media and three-dimensional forms. He draws inspiration for his paintings from old family photos and reinterprets those images to reflect on today’s world. Street scenes and news footage prompt mixed media and sculptural projects.

teal 2

David Teal’s artistic influences range from contemporary realists Hockney, Katz, and Fischl to the exuberant colors, patterns, and lines of Matisse. Teal’s work has been chosen for exhibitions in the Northeast and in South Florida by curators from prestigious museums and galleries including the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art, Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects, and the Frederic Snitzer Gallery.

teal 3

During his tenure at the Yale School of Art, Robert Storr chose three of David’s paintings for an exhibit. Dean Storr awarded these works honorable mention. Other influential jurors including Carter Foster, Marshall Price, Paulina Pobocha, Lauren Hinkson, and Rujeko Hockley have selected David Teal’s paintings for various shows. David Teal resides in South Florida, between the beach and the swamp.

For The Art of Sherlock Holmes David used a similar style to these examples to interpret his Holmes story – here is a glimpse;

west palm beach kickstarter - david teal profile

David is one of the fifteen artists who have created new pieces for The Art of Sherlock Holmes West Palm Beach Edition which is published in May and available now on Kickstarter – The Art of Sherlock Holmes.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Sherlock Artist – Bobby Franano

franano 2

Every day this month we’ll be showcasing one of the artists and authors in the new ‘Art of Sherlock Holmes’ project – today it’s artist Bobby Franano.

Bobby Franano has been featured in international exhibitions and is in numerous private collections. In recent years, Bobby has become known for painting large, colorful canvases in a style he calls “Pop Surrealism.”

franano 3

He displayed talent in the visual arts, as well as, music even in his early years.  As a musician, Bobby has recorded on many albums. He also has been in 3 videos on MTV with “The Front” & “Bakers Pink” and designed 2 album covers.

Bobby has also made many contributions through his art to various charities, even designing the logo for one international organisation. He has delivered a brilliant piece of art in the pop surrealism style for The Art of Sherlock Holmes – here’s a glimpse:

west palm beach kickstarter - bobby franano profile

Bobby is one of the fifteen artists who have created new pieces for The Art of Sherlock Holmes West Palm Beach Edition which is published in May and available now on Kickstarter – The Art of Sherlock Holmes.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 23, 2019 in Uncategorized

 
 
%d bloggers like this: