Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (February 23 - March 1, 2013)

Kieran McMullen on The Amateur Executioner, a new book by co-authors Kieran McMullen and Dan Andriacco: “It’s 1920 and Holmes is still an active player on the stage of life but this time he has competition. Enoch Hale, a Great War veteran and reporter for an American news syndicate lives and works in London. Hale is on the track of a killer and a mix of the nobility and the dregs of society are involved. Will Holmes help or hinder Hale as he tries to sort out fact from fiction? Will Hale be able to resist the tugs of a beautiful woman who may be involved in the mystery more than he wants to admit to himself? Will another Holmes stand in the way of both Sherlock and Enoch?” On a related note, Dan Andriacco recently posted a Q & A received from a young fan working on a school project about the Great Detective.

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[Great cover art for the new Dan Andriacco & Kieran McMullen literary teamup!]

Bafflegab announced the release of a ‘new’ two volume audio recording of The Return of Sherlock Holmes read by none other than Peter Cushing. “The first 4-CD volume contains the first four tales from The Return of Sherlock Holmes: “The Empty House”, “The Norwood Builder”, “The Dancing Men” and “The Solitary Cyclist”. The second volume includes the tales “The Adventure of the Priory School”, “The Adventure of Black Peter”, “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton” and “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”…Originally recorded in 1971, Peter Cushing’s reading of The Return of Sherlock Holmes has never been released commercially before. This edition has been digitally re-mastered from the original recording, and includes new sleeve notes by Holmes expert David Stuart Davies.” Though this is the first commercial release of Mr Cushing’s recordings, they were originally meant for “the Royal National Institute for the Blind. The recording has previously only been available to registered blind users of RNIB audio recordings.” I have recordings of the original RNIB tapes and highly recommend these CDs, which can be ordered from Amazon.

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[The Return of Sherlock Holmes: Volume 2 read by Peter Cushing.]

The Agony Column (Bookotron) interviewed Leslie Klinger for their February 21, 2013 podcast: “we talked about how [Klinger’s] knowledge of the canon helped him to write up a document that demonstrates how copyright law can be abused by those with enough money to hide behind the cost of a lawsuit. We also talked about the more terrifying prospect of trademarking the character. Klinger and I walked through his case and his papers, which you can find at his website. You can also find links to help his cause via PayPal. Klinger is smart, concise and genuinely respectful of Conan Doyle’s accomplishment. He understands the intricacies of the law and is able to explain it. To hear the sound of Sherlock Holmes being set free, follow this link to the MP3 audio file.” In support of Klinger and Free Sherlock! here’s a graphic from Mattias Bostrom of The Swedish Pathological Society:

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[Keep Calm and Free Sherlock.]

Cosmic Geekout in “Where it isn’t necessarily always 1895" (love the title!) designed a very clever animated GIF with one of three possible outcomes. Click the door below to see the full size animation with various incarnations of Holmes and Watson. Apparently the inspiration for this is based on an Etsy seller named Tumblebuggie - who donates all proceeds Direct Relief International and Doctors Without Borders - that creates Sherlock and Doctor-themed greeting cards

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[Click to find out what’s behind door 221B….Hint: The animated GIF is titled Where it isn’t necessarily always 1895”. Just like the ending of Clue (1985), this animated GIF has three possible ‘endings’: BBC, Granada or Warner Bros…with the promise that Basil and more to come.] 

The Well-Read Sherlockian published the fourth part (out of 4) in her advice for aspiring pastiche authors series, “Observations: Style in Pastiche" - which follows Part 1: “Using [the] Canon in Your Fiction”; Part 2: “Characterization”; Part 3: “Research”. Part 4 represents everything that didn’t quite fit into parts 1 - 3 and contains suggestions on punctuation, usage, spelling, staying in character, how to publish your work, etc. Also included are two infinitely useful suggestions: an investment in both The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition) as well as Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style

Sherlock Holmes Motivators is a blog that really needs to come back to life - the last post was 8 months ago!. If you’re unfamiliar, they take classic Strand (Colliers, etc.) Sherlock illustrations and append semi-related and amusing motivational phrases or observations. Here’s a favorite from “The Man With the Twisted Lip”: 

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[“Opium Dens: An awkward place to run into your roommate.”]

Sherlock Peoria in “Digging Out” takes a break from his anti-Elementary crusade to report on a plan to cull down his Sherlockian library/collection over the coming months: “Over the past few years, my Sherlockian library has become quite the uninhabitable place….This year is going to be a year of Sherlockian spring cleaning like no other. And since I hate eBay and don’t really like the thought of selling Sherlock, it looks like it’s time to play Johnny Watsonseed and spread the Sherlock around. Exactly what and where and to whom has yet to solidify, but I have some ideas. It will be interesting to see how much stuff I can actually get out the door.”  I hope Johnny Watsonseed comes through my town…*cough cough*

Inspector Lestrade’s Blotter Page remarks on a recent trip to Portland, Oregon where he, Don Hobbs, master collector of the Canon in translation, dropped in on Portland resident Jerry Margolin, master collector of Sherlockian artwork, for dinner. One would like to be a fly on that wall listening in on the conversation of two master Sherlockian collectors.

Meiringens scanned a piece of brilliant dialogue from Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970). For the complete script, click here.

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[Holmes having a little fun at Watson’s expense.]

Lyndsay Faye posted the aptly titled “Instant Sherlockian Reblog”. If you are unclear why Ms Faye would title an image of a Honey Bee as such, here’s an extended quote from “His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes”: ”Exactly, Watson. Here is the fruit of my leisured ease, the magnum opus of my latter years!” He picked up the volume from the table and read out the whole title, Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen. “Alone I did it. Behold the fruit of pensive nights and laborious days when I watched the little working gangs as once I watched the criminal world of London.” (LAST).

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[The humble subject of Holmes’ opus Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.]

Argo (Wired Magazine, 2007) may have won best picture, but there’s a minor ACD connection and a story of what-could-have-been: “Several people solicited Studio Six with decent-sounding projects, so Sidell took meetings with them. One writer wanted to adapt a little-known Arthur Conan Doyle horror story about a reanimated mummy; Sidell even pursued releases from the Doyle estate - all the while knowing that, one day soon, Studio Six would disappear without a trace.” The ACD story referred to is “Lot 249" and is one of the original templates for the ‘ancient Egyptian mummy discovered and comes back to life’. Published originally in the October 1892 issue of Harpers Magazine, “Lot 249” was anthologized two years later in Round the Red Lamp. (Download the text at Project Gutenberg.) See the next item for the two times “Lot 249” was adapted. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, along with being the name of our favorite literary agent, was also the name of a single season (13 episodes) TV show produced by the BBC and released in 1967. The IMDB synopsis describes it as “Conan Doyle’s non-Sherlock Holmes stories embodying the author’s interest in boxing, the supernatural and medical matters.” John Hawkesworth - of Granada’s Sherlock Homes fame - is credited as working on all 13 episodes, which include some of ACD’s best short stories: Lot 249, The Croxley Master, The Chemistry of Love, The Lift, Crabbe’s Practice, The Willow House School, The Brown Hand, The Mystery of Cader Ifan, The New Catacomb, Redhanded, The Black Doctor, The Beetle Hunter and Playing With Fire. If you have ACD’s. A source at the BBC replied to my question about the series that only one of the original films exist in the archives and also drew my attention to an online episode analysis of “Lot 249” at The Illustrated Gazette"Lot 249" was adapted once in 1967 (cf. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle below) and again in 1990 as an episode for Tales from the Darkside: The Movie - the latter adaptation included an all-star cast: Christian Slater, Steve BuscemiJulianne Moore and a guy named Robert Sedgwick who happens to be Kevin Bacon's brother-in-law.  

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[Still from the 1967 adaptation of Lot 249: “Bellingham looks on as Monkey and Hardacre examine the Mummy.”]

Quick Sherlock Links:

The Norwood Builder reintroduces his blog and makes some interesting distinctions between “Sherlock” and “Sherlock Holmes” and explains his love of “apocryphals and fanfictions”.

Sherlock’s Danger Night maintains a rather unique list: “Sherlock’s Books: Master List Through Season 2”, represents books visible at 221B as well as other books seen and mentioned throughout BBC Sherlock's two seasons. 

Neon Tommy posted the first of three projected (lengthy) columns charting the history and culture of Sherlockian culture - though the author insists on subsuming every bit of Sherlock Holmes culture under “fandom” it’s still a passionate and readable introduction to all things Sherlock Holmes in 2013. 

What Ho! re-posted a Clive James review for the New York Review of Books (1975) of the Sherlock Holmes Collected Edition and some holmesian commentaries titled “The Sherlockologists" - "this is a field in which all credentials, and especially impeccable ones, are suspect. To give your life, or any significant part of it, to the study of Sherlock Holmes is to defy reason."

BBC Sherlock Fan Forum are hosting a running thread on this amazing People magazine mock-up based on BBC’s “The Reichenbach Fall”.

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[I love this fake People magazine BBC Sherlock ”The Reichenbach Fall” tie-in cover featuring Jim Moriarty/Richard Brook proclaiming his innocence along with the ‘Sherlock is a fraud’ plot line. As a side note, who would ever have thought “Mycroft Holmes Spotted at Cake Expo!" would be a sentence that actually exists?!]

The Telegraph reports on another legal battle brewing in the Sherlockian world: “The Sherlock Holmes Museum was founded by John Aidiniantz in 1990 with the assistance of his mother, Grace. But they have fallen out over who is entitled to almost £2 million (!) in admission fees collected over the past two years, and Mrs Aidiniantz and her daughter Jennifer Decoteau are now suing Mr Aidiniantz.” As my friend and Sherlockian John Baesch, BSI remarked: “The year 2013 might be marked down as the winter of Sherlockian discontent.” Let’s hope happier and less litigious times lay ahead. 

The Cutter Alicia collected an informative and somewhat amusing and at times tedious list of “20 Things You May (or May Not) Know About BBC Sherlock”. My favorite factoid - and you have to love Gatiss and Moffat for this - “According to Sue Vertue, several well-known actors have made inquiries about guesting on the series. But Mark Gatiss has said that they much prefer giving lesser known actors the opportunity, citing Benedict and Andrew Scott as actors who were known in the industry but didn’t break out until Sherlock.” 

AudioGo announced (via Pinterest) six new audio books including: The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes by Amy ThomasThe Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Dr John Watson by Tony Reynolds, Sherlock Holmes and the Murder at Lodore Falls by Charlotte Smith, The Valley of Fear: An Unabridged Reading by Sir Derek Jacobi, etc.

Addicted to Sherlock posted new Russian Sherlock Holmes TV stills (not to be confused with the 1979 - 1986 Soviet show The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Vasily Livanov). According to Wikipedia, the air date for the newest Sherlock adaptation has been postponed until September-October 2013.

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[A classic scene from the new Russian Sherlock series.]

Baker Street Babes have a new online storefront where one can acquire BSB buttons, tshirts, mugs, tote bags and more. Stock up on all your Sherlockiana essentials and support the massive costs of hosting an incredibly popular podcast.

Geeks of Doom reviewed a new comic adaptation of ACD’s Hound of the Baskervilles. It appears that Dark Horse is releasing Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Martin Powell & Jamie Chase in February 2013. Along with the hardcover graphic novel version there will be a Kindle release, which is selling for the reasonable price of $6.85.

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[Based on the cover art, the graphics promise to be pretty sharp and bold.]

The Final Problem released a tentative schedule for upcoming Wednesday Watchalongs - their virtual group viewing of various Holmes TV and film adaptationse. All watchalongs are at 8:30 pm EST and “anyone is welcome to join the watchalongs. Just get a copy of the episode we’re watching, and come to The Giant Chat of Sumatra.” I do regret to report that they’ve already had (on February 2013) a Sherlockian watchalong of The Asylum’s Sherlock Holmes - yes, the one with the robot dinosaurs who attach London and Sherlock’s ‘other’ brother. 

Tea at 221B does it again with this excellent Frederic Dorr Steele - my personal favorite Holmes illustrator - rendering from “The Adventure of the Creeping Man" which appeared in Hearst’s International Magazine.(March 1923, USA). The original manuscript for CREE currently resides in the Portsmouth Library as part of the Dame Jean Conan Doyle bequest. For more information about the CREE manuscript, check out Randall Stock's infinitely useful Best of Sherlock Holmes site. Every time I see an FDS illustration that I’m not entirely familiar I consistently get the sense that Mr Steele ‘got’ Sherlock Holmes more than any other illustrator, Paget included. 

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[Frederic Dorr Steele illustration from “The Creeping Man”. One day when I’m rolling in dough I hope to own my very own FDS original, perhaps one similar to the FDS original (from “The Norwood Builder”) hanging up in the Player’s Club in NYC.]

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