Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Case of Mis-Identity

A story by the renowned Colin Dexter:

This was originally presented at the Annual Meet of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London in 1998 (or thereabouts). Bob Ellis, the Chairman of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, had it privately printed for the SHSL for the members. He, very graciously, gave me a copy (which, in his own words, are very rare).

Sherlock Holmes: Fireside Collection

From the very talented Dick Gillman - who, recently (as can be seen by the previous post) gave away one of his books for free to us!
You know what's interesting? Dick designs his covers himself - isn't that impressive? 
Here are the covers, and some of my favourite lines from his Sherlock Holmes series (Don't worry, there are absolutely no spoilers ahead - you can happily go and buy the books from Smashwords):
The Star of Bithur
The Duke’s carriage had been waiting at the door and Holmes had already climbed inside. “I say Holmes, that was a little abrupt!” Holmes was silent, he was not a man who was easily moved, but on this occasion he was. “I was humbled Watson” and he would say no more.
 The Birchwood Affair
“What is that, Holmes?” I enquired.
Holmes glanced across at me and continued playing. "I'm surprised you don't know Watson, its L'Inverno, Winter, I thought it quite apt."
“Hmpf...I would not say it was obvious.”
Holmes stopped playing. “What? You can't hear the thunder and lightening?” Springing from his chair he plunged into an energetic display of bowing.
“Ah, yes, I see” said I, waving my hand and hoping to end the tumult of sound now assaulting my ears.
The Cagliari Affair
For myself, I was staggered. Holmes had never mentioned this friendship and I had barely recovered my senses when I was introduced.
Holmes turned to me, saying "Let me introduce my friend and colleague, Dr John Watson."
The  ambassador almost leapt forward in his eagerness to shake my hand. "Ah, Dr Watson, I have heard so many good things about you from Sherlock.
The Bishop's Tie-Pin
Like a fool I replied, “Well, it does pain me sometimes, especially in the winter...” Holmes leaned towards me, one eyebrow raised, a mischievous look in his eyes. “...No! No! Absolutely not Holmes, I cannot be seen to enter such an establishment!”
The Rattle Jacks Affair
We had finished dinner and were just relaxing with a pipe of tobacco when a loud ringing of our door bell followed by raised voices caused Holmes to become instantly alert. A tumultuous staccato of footsteps on the stairs preceded our door flying open and two bedraggled figures hurtling into our rooms. Both were soaked to the skin and their entrance was swiftly followed by that of a clearly enraged Mrs Hudson.
An additional one (I just couldn't resist) - I firmly believe that the tear on Holmes cheek was not one of hers.
If you ask me what I liked best about the series - I'd say it would be the plentiful appearance of Mycroft. I adore Mycroft Holmes, and my favourites pastiches/adaptations are where he has significant roles. Mycroft is a magnificent character - powerful, enigmatic, brilliant. And he is the older, smarter brother of Sherlock Holmes, who worries about his little brother - constantly. I'd have put in more quotes from the series about Mycroft - but those would contain spoilers...and when you're looking forward to reading a story, the last thing you want someone to do is to reveal the essential plot elements.
You can buy the entire collection together, as well!
We'll have a detailed showcase feature on Dick's book (straight from the horse's mouth) in our next issue of Proceedings of the Pondicherry Lodge.
Meanwhile, enjoy the books - and remember to let Dick know how you liked them!

Friday, 20 September 2013

A couple of updates - an ebook, and a comic book! And some random thoughts...

Exactly what the title says. Here you go:

Update 1:

The lovely Richard (Dick) Gillman is the author of "Sherlock Holmes and The Birchwood Affair" available here. It is a lovely story - do read it up. Dick has also very kindly given us a coupon code that allows us to download this e-book for free. I've circulated this code to the SHSI members already. Do note that the code is only valid till mid next week.

Dick Gillman's e-book

Update 2:

A stunning new comic book - an adaptation of "The Final Problem" - by the supremely talented Czech artist Petr Kopl - can be found here. It will be out next month. I should be attending the launch in Prague - will update.

Petr Kopl's Czech adaptation of The Final Problem

That's about it for now.

A random thought on how Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have changed over time - and style - from The Strand to the blog. Earlier adventures usually started off with Holmes and Watson relaxing in their rooms and a client coming in. For example, say, a female and injured client comes to them - maybe the wife of a peer, maybe someone Sherlock knows.

Earlier it would read something like (yes, yes, I am seeing Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke in my head now): "Looking over my notes, I find that I have not yet chronicled the case of Mrs/Lady [XYZ], which began in the most dramatic manner that I have witnessed of Holmes' cases. It was an unusually warm day in the April of [whatever year Dr. Watson felt like] and Holmes and I were content to relax in the comfort of our Baker Street room, when we heard some loud arguments from downstairs, and a moment later, our door burst open and a well-dressed lady rushed in. Holmes sprang from his chair, surprise evident on his usually imperturbable face. The lady staggered towards him, clutching her side, and with a cry of "Oh, Sherlock, you must help me! You simply must!", fell at his feet in a dead faint. Even as I helped Holmes carry her to the couch and treat the now visible bullet wound in her side, I was awash with curiosity. Holmes clearly recognised this woman and cared for her, even, as evident by his concern at her injury, and she had appealed to him in an intimate fashion, usually reserved for close friends and family."

Holmes and Watson - vintage

Now it would read (as a blog entry) something like (ooh, yes, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman - who else?): "Life with Sherlock is never boring. Now, Sherlock is not a bad-looking bloke, but it is not exactly everyday that he has pretty women falling at his feet. Yes, it actually happened the other day. Me and Sherlock were discussing the weather - well, Sherlock was complaining about the heat and I was trying to explain the concept of global warming to him (which he had apparently 'deleted'). Suddenly, we heard some shouting downstairs. I was halfway to the door when a rather attractive woman ran in, nearly crashing into me. Sherlock looked up and came over quickly. The woman turned to him, muttered "Lockie, I need you" and collapsed in his arms. Sherlock looked shocked, and...concerned. Clearly, he knew the woman. "Your medical kit, John," he ordered, holding up a bloodied hand."

Sherlock and John - modern, that didn't sound too bad. Maybe I'll continue the story. :)