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A Bedside Book of Early Sherlockian Parodies and Pastiches

More parodies have been written targeting Sherlock Holmes than anyone else dead or alive, fictional or real. James M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, started it all back in the early 1890’s and Sherlockian parody has been coming out regularly ever since, right into the age of the internet.

While Sherlock’s creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived, close to 400 appeared in Britain and America. In these early parodies, Sherlock is off on the wrong track in the great Coleslaw mystery, struggling with the disappearance of the President’s Whisker, rescuing that damsel in distress, Elsa Lohengrin, and even delving into the spirit world—-and much more.

Mark Twain, the Mr. Dooley of Finley Peter Dunne, Kenneth Grahame’s Ratty of The Wind in the Willows, John Kendrick Bangs, Bret Harte, Ring Lardner, C. K. Chesterton, and O. Henry all contributed to this early Bedside collection. Sherlock turns up at Wellseley College and Yale, Hades and The Garden of Eden, Peoria and the Oklahoma Territory, in the trenches of War I and often in his familiar Baker Street hangout.

Sherlockian Charles Press began collecting these early lampoons as a hobby after retiring from Michigan State University. He is the author of two Sherlockian monographs, Parodies and Pastiches, Buzzing Round Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Looking Over Sir Arthur’s Shoulder, and “When Did Arthur Conan Doyle Meet Jean Leckie?” in The Baker Street Journal.

A Bedside Book of Early Sherlockian Parodies and Pastiches is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle Nook and Apple iBooks(iPad/iPhone).

a bedside book

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Sherlock Holmes and The Irish Rebels

“It’s a powerful subject, and Mr McMullen handles it well.”

The final edition of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London newsletter of 2011 reviews Kieran McMullen’s 2nd novel about the Easter uprising in Ireland – ‘Sherlock Holmes and The Irish Rebels’.

“Kieran McMullen has once more combined his expertise as a military historian and former soldier with his devotion to Sherlock Holmes, and he’s added a third element – his own heritage – in Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels.

Two years into the Great War, Dr Watson is called away from his post with the Royal Army Medical Corps and instructed to join Holmes in Dublin, where, under the alias of Liam Altamont, he has infiltrated the Irish Volunteers, who, believing that ‘England’s extremity is Ireland’s opportunity’, are a rebellion against British rule.

As we know, the Easter Rising was crushed, saving Britain from war in the west as well as the east, but disgust at the speedy execution of the leading rebels only intensified the desire for Irish independence. It’s a powerful subject, and Mr McMullen handles it well. How would Arthur Conan Doyle have tackled it, I wonder? 

Sherlock Holmes and The Irish Rebels is available from all good bookstores including Book Depository (free worldwide delivery), Amazon UK, and Amazon USA and electronic formats including Kindle UK and Kindle USA.

Watson’s Afghan Adventure is available from all good bookstores and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, iBooks (iPad and iPhone) and other formats.

Kieran’s own blog is very popular – especially his series of articles on the different actors that have played Dr.Watson.

 

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The Bookbag reviews Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania

“Overall this is an exciting and entertaining read which will definitely appeal to both Sherlockians and fans of Bram Stoker.”

The Bookbag is the one of the world’s largest book review sites and we are always excited to receive the email from them that a review of one of our books is ready. Their review of Gerry O’Hara’s first novel Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania was a great one to read.

“I normally start reviews with a brief plot summary, but it seems almost besides the point to do so for a book entitled Sherlock Holmes and the Affair in Transylvania. From those seven words, the reader will have no doubt guessed that this is a Holmes meets Dracula story, and so we may as well move straight on to the burning question – is it any good?

Yes, in many ways, it is. The substitution of Holmes and Watson for Van Helsing is the main change in a story which follows the original fairly closely – other minor characters are removed or changed a bit, but we get Renfield, Lucy, Mina, and of course the Count himself drawn fairly faithfully. Most notably, Holmes and Watson themselves are extremely close to Conan Doyle’s originals; no real surprise as this is almost always a real strength of authors signed by MX Publishing.

Having said that, if I have a minor fault to find with it, it’s that it perhaps sticks a little bit too closely to the original Stoker novel; if anything; maybe a few more surprises would have made it even better. Nevertheless it held my attention from start to finish and will stick in the memory thanks to a few especially effective scenes and the great characterization of the central pair. I should also point out that I’ve read so many Holmes books recently that I’m perhaps harder to impress than the average reader, and while this doesn’t quite rank up there with the very best (which I’ll mention below), it’s a solid first novel and I would definitely be interested in reading more by Gerry O’Hara.

Overall this is an exciting and entertaining read which will definitely appeal to both Sherlockians and fans of Bram Stoker.”

You can read the full review on The Bookbag site.

Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania is available through all good bookstores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle and iBooks for the iPad.

 

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Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The Case of The Russian Chessboard

“he tells a good story”

There is something special about reading the Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s monthly journal when you know there is a review of one of your books in there. The Case of The Russian Chessboard appears in this month’s edition.

The book is proving very popular in the USA in particular and is unusual in length in that it sits between the traditional Holmes short fiction and novel length.

“The Case of the Russian Chessboard by Charlie Roxburgh packs quite a lot into its 110 pages. Not for the first time, Holmes and Watson are caught up in international politics – the ‘chessboard’ is a metaphor for the deadly tussle between Russian revolutionaries and the Tsarist secret police, and the historical background is accurate. (The anarchist community that Holmes visits was only ten miles from my house.)

Mr Roxburgh’s writing is occasionally clumsy, and he hasn’t, I think, quite mastered Watson’s style, but he tells a good story, and his subject – terrorism and the control of people’s minds – remains sadly topical.”

The Case of the Russian Chessboard is now out in paperback on Amazon USA, Amazon UK, and through all good bookstores. The book is also available on Amazon Kindle and all other ebook formats.

 

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Shadowblood – A Novel of Sherlock Holmes

“I said that Shadowfall is rather like an enjoyable nightmare. Shadowblood is even more enjoyable.”

Tracy Revel’s first novel Shadowfall got rave reviews worldwide, and is already being translated into Italian. The Sherlock Holmes Society of London loved it and we couldn’t wait for their review of the sequel Shadowblood – they didn’t disappoint us.

“The sequel to Shadowfall is just as deliriously weird. Shadowblood by Tracy Revels introduces us again to the World of Shadows, whose interaction with our own world can be devastating. Watson’s recuperation from his previous encounters with the supernatural is interrupted when an unpleasant recluse demands that Holmes find  his missing daughter.

Shortly after the detective’s arrival,the old man is horribly murdered, and Holmes’s own Shadowborn powers are tested to the limit in a quest for the girl and, ultimately, for the Fountain of Youth. He and Watson travel to Prague, where they are helped by Dr John Dee, and then to St Augustine, Florida, where they receive assistance and opposition from even stranger beings.

The missing girl is practising blood magic and has acquired a very dangerous assistant, a woman skilled in murder. I said that Shadowfall is rather like an enjoyable nightmare. Shadowblood is even more enjoyable.”

Shadowblood is available from all good bookstores and all formats including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, and electronic formats soon.

Tracy Revels has a popular blog Strictly Sherlock and Tracy was on Team 1 (BBC Sherlock) in The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate in November. She joins us for the December discussion taking place on 14th December.

 

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Starting a new Sherlock Holmes based career at the age of 87 film legend Gerry O’Hara

” idiosyncratic and entertaining”

It’s not every day that you sign a major film director as a new author and to be brutally honest I found the experience exciting, humbling and a little intimidating all rolled into one. Gerry O’Hara is best described as a legend of the big screen having several dozen films under his belt but no stranger to TV either with episodes of iconic series like The Avengers under his belt too. A prolific screenwriter Gerry also wrote several books during his career, but never had the time to do anything with them – now that he is semi-retired (many would kill for the guy’s energy) he has unearthed several to be published this year and we as you may know grabbed his Holmes novel – Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania. You don’t need detection skills on a par with the great detective to work out that this is Holmes and Dracula territory. The Sherlock Holmes Society of London were among the first to get a review copy: “Sherlock Holmes and the Affair in Transylvania by Gerry O’Hara is similarly idiosyncratic and entertaining. As you might guess, Mr O’Hara pits Holmes and Watson against Count Dracula, but in a different way from his predecessors, Loren D Estleman and David Stuart Davies. Although great chunks of Bram Stoker’s text remain, his story has been rewritten to exclude Professor Van Helsing, and various other characters are reimagined. Mina is now Watson’s niece, married to a Romanian named Janos. Lucy is the daughter of Dr Westenra, who supervises an asylum in Transylvania, where all the events occur. Surprisingly, this is Gerry O’Hara’s first book, after a long career as writer and director in film and television (he wrote the story for Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls, so he’s not new to Holmes).” What the review doesn’t mention is the rather stunning illustrations which were created as paintings and then scaled down for use in the book. The originals are all in colour and one is used for the cover. In the paperback they appear in greyscale, but in the ebooks they are in glorious colour, so if you have the Kindle version make sure you take a peek at them on a colour device like your computer as they are pretty special. Gerry’s memoirs are out in a few months which, if the contract signing lunch stories he told are anything to go by are going to be funny and pretty revealing. Here is a wonderful interview with Gerry with his agent Tom Evans……

Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania is is available through all good bookstores including Amazon and Barnes and Noble in electronic formats like Amazon Kindle.

 

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Better Holmes and Gardens Review of Shadowfall a novel of Sherlock Holmes

Shadowfall

Shadowfall

“Tracy Revels has a clever and delicious way with words, and the world of Shadowfall is fully formed and beautifully imagined—from the dazzling and terrifying Queen Titania who steals Watson’s soul, to Holmes’s tiny and ethereal honeybee familiar.  Revels’s story is carefully and artfully constructed”

A history professor at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Tracy Revels has been a Sherlock Holmes fan since 5th grade. She teaches a class on Sherlock Holmes called “The Game’s Afoot!” along with more conventional courses in Civil War and women’s history. Shadowfall is her first novel and its sequel, Shadowblood is out this month. You can read the full and detailed review in a fascinating article on the blog Better Holmes and Gardens.

Shadowfall is available in paperback from all good bookstores including Amazon, in Amazon Kindle, Kobo and iBook (ipad/phone) format. You can follow Tracy Revels Blog for her latest news.

 

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