A Study in Sherlock

Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon

Neil Gaiman recently posted on Tumblr about his Study in Sherlock story, here.

Holmes for the Holidays

What is the ideal holiday gift for any reader on your list?  What about offering a story on the side of reason and order: A Study in Sherlock.  Here’s Tom Perry’s take on writing it:

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson live for us on the far side of an immense gulf.  The adventures take place in the high period of the Pax Brittanica, when Victoria was an Empress, and the British navy had kept the world at bay with only a few unseemly interruptions since the defeat of Napoleon.  In a little over a decade, 1914, the shots that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo would ignite the world’s stockpile of powder into a slow-motion explosion that would kill much of a generation of young British and French men, replace Czars with Commissars, Ottomans with politicians, Kaisers with Chancellors, and immediately start the countdown to the rematch twenty-five years later.  The world, for worse and better, would be different.

But when my Sherlock Holmes story takes place, there reigned a collective optimism about the present and future of mankind.  It was the era of celebrations of civilization.  There werer Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the Chicago fair.  The Pan-American Exposition of 1901 in Buffalo was one of the biggest and most elaborate, built to showcase the wonders of the abundant electrical power that Mr. Tesla’s generators could produce from the motion of the Niagara River.  There were Mr. Edison’s beautiful electric lights everywhere, giant pavilions showcasing progress in the arts, sciences, and industries.  There were sculptures representing The Age of Savagery, The Age of Despotism, The Age of Enlightenment.  People could hardly wait to embrace whatever the next Age was.  And then, on a visit to the Exposition, President of the United States William McKinley was shot to death in the Music Pavilion.  Or so we’ve been told.

My story places Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes in the center of the events in Buffalo.  As always, they are on the side of reason and order.  For once, perhaps, they take a detour from the path of truth.  But Holmes finds a way to help President McKinley build a small firebreak against the conflagration that is to come.


The Twitter Interview between Les Klinger and Mary Russell has gone up on Miss Russell’s home page, here.

Guest blog: Charles & Caroline Todd

“We’ve just returned from England, and on our last weekend there found ourselves revisiting an old friend. A statue of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stands in a small square in the East Sussex town of Crowborough, which has connections with him. The English have a way with statues, and over the years we seem to find our way back to Crowborough to say hello. Conan Doyle lived to see his creations become famous in their own right. That’s not given to many authors, and it’s a measure of the man as well as his characters. Crowborough is a long way from Baker Street in London, a quiet place on the edge of Ashdown Forest, where we have set the third Bess Crawford mystery. Weald country, and always a pleasure to explore. Winnie the Pooh was created not too far from here, so perhaps there’s something in the air or the water that lends itself to lasting characters. At any rate, we’ll be back another time to say hello. Homage to a man who like Edgar Allan Poe gave so much to the field of mystery writing.”

Charles and Caroline Todd

Guest Post: Dana Stabenow

I think I read the entire Sherlock Holmes collection before I was ten.  My favorite character was always Mycroft, and it always irked me that he didn’t show up more often.  When I graduated to Robert Heinlein and read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I was delighted to encounter a future edition of Mycroft in the character of Mike, the computer who leads Luna’s rebellion against Earth.  “We could throw rocks at them,” Mike says, an exceedingly Mycroftian solution, simple, efficient, and elegant.

So when Laurie and Les asked me for a story for A Study in Sherlock, of course Mycroft had to be in it.  First thing I did was go back to the canon and reread “The Greek Interpreter,” where we meet Mycroft for the first time.

I was astonished at how easily it lent itself to be adapted into a short story set in the Kate Shugak ‘verse, even alliteratively.  Kate Shugak is Sherlock, of course.  Max, that irascible retired state trooper and eminence grise in Kate’s life, is Mycroft.  Johnny is Watson, and naturally Johnny’s account of the case is on his blog online, with comments enabled so all the Park rats (and Park trolls) can weigh in.

It is called, I say without shame, “The Eyak Interpreter.”

The longer I write, the more I realize that nothing is created in a vacuum, that we all do in fact stand on the shoulders of giants.  I am thrilled at this opportunity to stand on Conan Doyle’s, although I do remember, a little uneasily, that he believed in ghosts.

I just hope his doesn’t come back to smite me down for my impudence.

Larry King, BSI?

When we asked Colin Cotterill to do a story, he said yes almost immediately.  When we then asked if he might like to do a graphic story instead of prose, he again said yes, which makes A Study in Sherlock one of the few anthologies out there with pictures in it.

However, I think Colin may have mistaken the source of the email…

Booklist Review

Award Nomination

We’re pleased to report that A Study in Sherlock has been nominated for Zoom Street’s Best Books of 2011 awards in the “Anthology” category..

Here’s the link: http://zoomstreet.wordpress.com/

Winners will be announced in the December issue.

Another Study in Sherlock

Breaking news: Random House is so happy about pre-sales numbers for A Study in Sherlock that they’ve asked us to do Another Study in Sherlock.  Which is so great, because we can now jump on those writers we couldn’t ask the first time around for one reason or another.  Pub date will probably be in late 2012: more to come.

Review from The District Messenger

A glowing review from The District Messenger, the official monthly newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London:

“For A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon (Bantam Books, 25 October; $15.00) Laurie R King and Leslie S Klinger have collected seventeen new, original, and very different tales from authors as diverse as Lee Child, Jacqueline Winspear and Neil Gaiman. All the contributors are highly successful writers, mostly of crime fiction – apart from Jerry Margolin BSI, who collaborates with his brother Phillip in a story about rabid collectors of Sherlockian artwork, which is Jerry’s own specialism. Actually, that gives an indication of what makes this collection different – and successful. These are not, for the most part, stories about Sherlock Holmes: like Dan Andriacco’s novel, they’re stories inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Lee Child and S J Rozan each reinvent a classic case. Colin Cotterill provides a very funny comic strip explaining why he’s not qualified to contribute. Tony Broadbent rather brilliantly brings Holmes and Watson to present-day London, in a quite different way from Sherlock. Equally dazzling is Neil Gaiman’s tale of Holmes and bees in China. There isn’t a dud here.”