Tag Archives: arthur conan doyle

Lady Mystery Writer Brings a Female Sherlock Holmes To Life

Hats off to Molly Carr whose debut novel ‘The Sign Of Fear‘ is a wonderful book that charts the adventures of Mrs.Watson, the wife of Dr.Watson and her sidekick Emily Fanshaw. With a supporting cast of Sherlock Holmes, Dr.Watson and Moriarty it is a great story and a fresh female approach to the Holmes canon.

The number of female crime writers is rising with the increasing popularity of Tess Gerritsen, Elizabeth George, Karen Rose, Lynda La Plante, Janet Enavnovich, and Kathy Reichs among others. However, one genre within mystery fiction has remained largely male dominated – that of Sherlock Holmes.

One look at the top 100 books for Sherlock Holmes will have you struggling to find any female authors, let alone the share that mainstream crime fiction now has – and that’s a real shame. As soon as you get into ‘The Sign Of Fear’ you can see and feel the female perspective and it’s fascinating to experience Victorian England from a woman’s point of view.

Molly’s main character is Mrs.Watson and the old phrase ‘behind every great man there is a great woman’ is very true here as she cuts straight to the chase as a formidable leading lady in her own right.

A great detective needs a sidekick and Mrs.Watson is no exception. Emily Fanshaw does however spend a good part of the book disguised as a man – a necessity born out of the time. Some of the most intersting and amusing action takes place in France giving Molly a chance to throw out some lovely sterotypes from her English characters.

The Sign Of Fear

The story is told through the first person of Mrs.Watson is a delightful Victorian manner and use of language is excellent and refreshingly traditional – the use of words like ‘retort’ and ‘exude’ bring a smile to your face . There is much of the ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ style here and I am sure Molly won’t mind being compared to PG Wodehouse.

The Sign of Fear is relased across the world on 15th June 2010 and will be a fun read for both the traditional Sherlock Holmes enthusiast and the new breed fuelled by the recent Guy Richie reincarnation.


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Visiting London And Looking For A Different Kind Of Travel Guide?

So you are on your way to London and you want to visit some of the best places, but don’t want to be the average kind of tourist? Several visitors from the USA in particular are turning the clock back 100 years and following in the footsteps of the world’s most famous detective – Sherlock Holmes. Holmes historian Alistair Duncan came up with the brilliant idea of basing a guide around the places that appear in Holmes stories, but that were also dear to the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

‘Close To Holmes’ takes us around the main locations and includes some of my particular favourites as well. The British Museum was featured in several stories and was a particular favourite of Conan Doyle’s. Alistair combines a light and friendly commentary with pictures from the late 1800s and the modern day.

Regent Street c1880

Regent Street c1880

“Reading it, we feel that we’re in the company of a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and witty friend. The book is both valuable and a pleasure to read. As much a historical and literary exploration as a travel guide” The Sherlock Holmes Society of London

There are several of London’s oldest hotels in the book including the Savoy and The Langham along with very famous streets such as Pall Mall, Charing Cross Road, The Strand and of course the home of Sherlock Holmes himself Baker Street.

Also worth a visit are Covent Garden and Scotland Yard that have their own chapters in the book.

There is a growing Facebook group of those that have used the book as a guide with their own comments and pictures – Close To Holmes Photo Stories.

For those lucky people with an Amazon Kindle the book has been recently launched on Kindle and its the perfect way to take the guide with you – Close To Holmes on Kindle.

Close To Holmes

Close To Holmes


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Facebook Community Marketing – Sherlock Holmes Groups

Alistair Duncan’s last book Close To Holmes is a companion for those Sherlock Holmes fans that visit London and want to retrace the steps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (ACD) and visit the places that featured in the Holmes stories and those that were dear to the author.

This sets the scene for what Facebook does best – bring together people with very specific interests to share information and images about their chosen subject. In this case it is Sherlock Holmes fans that have used Alistair’s book on a visit to London – Close to Holmes Photo Stories.

There are hundreds of thousands of groups on Facebook and those that seem to be enduring are those that have a reason for lots of additional content on a regular basis – keeping the group members coming back again and again . Alistair’s is an excellent example of that – the key element of the group is the photos from the Holmes fans as they visit the various locations around London – including The British Museum, Covent Garden, Norwood, Croydon and dozens more.

In June this year another book Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and Devon: A Complete Tour Guide & Companion will cover ACD’s time in Devon and showing the changing times will include all the GPS locations for all of the sites so that the intrepid fans armed with their iPhones (and no doubt iPads by then) and other GPS enabled devices will be able to effortlessly travel around without the need to print maps.

No doubt author Paul R Spiring will create a similar group on Facebook. Both authors have excellent blogs to support their online activities – in fact, Paul’s BFROnline is one of the most visited Holmes and ACD blogs in the world despite being originally set up to chart ACD’s close friend Bertram Fletcher Robinson‘s (BFR) short but stunning life.

Close To Holmes

Close To Holmes

So the new world for authors, where they themselves are becoming brands also means learning a whole new series of marketing tools that didn’t exist a few years ago. So set up your Facebook group and drive traffic to it from your Blog and Tweets and reflect back to the day when marketing as a publisher meant faxes and promo sheets in the post to the dozens of bookstore chains (RIP Borders, only Waterstones and the independents left now).


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New Arthur Conan Doyle Book Gets Rave Review

Alistair Duncan’s new book ‘The Norwood Author – Arthur Conan Doyle and the Norwood Years (1891 – 1894)’ has received its first major review – 4 stars and a glowing report from The Bookbag.

The book covers a critical stage in Conan Doyle’s life – and one that has been rarely covered by other historians.

“This book does an excellent job in detailing his activities as a resident of Norwood. There is a comprehensive choice of illustrations, both old and new, and appendices on relevant articles about him in the ‘Norwood News’ as well as his cricket performances. Also included is a brief note of what happened to him and his contemporaries in the ensuing years, and on how Norwood celebrates the legacy of their famous resident over a hundred years later, not least with an exhibition at the local Wetherspoons. The solid research has clearly been a labour of love, and the result is a concise volume with which no Conan Doyle enthusiast should be with out.”

The book comes out on the 1st March and is one of the most eagerly awaited by Doyleans.

The full review is available at  The Bookbag

The Norwood Author

The Norwood Author


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