Date A Girl Who’s Sarcastic: A Parody

A while ago, there circulated two very beautiful pieces titled, “Date a Girl Who Reads” and “Date a Girl Who Writes.” In order to understand the following parody, at least take a look at “Date a Girl Who Reads” by Rosemary Urquico, but the other piece, by Tanza Loudenback, is also excellent, and I owe a huge writing debt to both.

Still, just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean my somewhat warped sense of humor ceases to function, and something about the flowers, kittens, and rainbows in the above pieces kind of broke my brain. As a result, it is my pleasure to present to you:

Date a Girl Who’s Sarcastic

You should date a girl who’s sarcastic.

Date a girl who’s sarcastic. Date a girl who spends her time reading demotivational posters, who can’t wait to share the Hugh-Manatee meme with you. Date a girl who shares puns just to annoy the people who hate them.

Find a girl who’s sarcastic. You’ll know she’s sarcastic because half the time, you won’t be able to tell if she’s serious or not. She’s the one lovingly poring over episodes of “Parks and Recreation” to find the perfect April Ludgate quote to put in someone’s birthday card, the one who quietly cries out in triumph when she decides on a Ron Swanson instead. You see that weird chick watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the fiftieth time? That’s the sarcastic one. They can never resist Monty Python, particularly the part about The Knights Who Say Ni.

She’s the girl using her camera phone to post a picture of the misspelled coffee shop sign across the street.  If you take a peek at her mug, there is no latte art. She hates latte art. Sit down. She will glare at you. There is no “might.”

Do not buy her a cup of coffee. She prefers tea.

Let her know what you really think of “What’s Up, Doc.” See if she remembers that “Love Story” parody line at the end. Understand that if she says she likes “Airplane,” it’s only for the wittiest lines. Ask her if she loves Dwight Schrute or would like to be Dwight Schrute.

It’s easy to date a girl who’s sarcastic. Give her seasons of “MASH” for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of irony, in poetry, song, and preferably polka. Give her Thurber, Fry, Laurie, Izzard. Let her know that you understand that snark is love. Understand that she knows the difference between sarcasm and outright derision, but she’s going to try to make her life as ironic as possible. It will totally be your fault if she does.

She has to roll her eyes somehow.

Do not lie to her. If she understands sarcasm, she will know you’re lying and laugh at you for it. Loudly. Behind words are, often, idiots.  It will not be the end of the world, but it will probably be the end of your relationship.

Fail her, but do so in an entertaining way. Because a girl who’s sarcastic can overlook a lot as long as it’s charmingly absurd. Because sarcastic girls know that all things must come to an end, but at least let it be a funny end.

You should be very frightened of taking yourself at all seriously. Girls who are sarcastic will end you with their wits. They have already thought of 3,000 ways to murder Edward Cullen in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who’s sarcastic, keep her close. When you find her up at 2am, guffawing over “News of the Weird,” hold her close enough to see what’s on her computer screen so you can laugh too. As long as you can keep up, nobody’s losing anything, except some strangers who have already lost their dignity.

You will propose at a restaurant, like a normal person. Or you will make your proposal look like a divorce, like they did in that one “Portlandia” episode that’s her favorite.

You will laugh so hard you worry for your cardiac health.  You will have extremely clever and ironic children who scare their classmates. She will introduce your children to Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, maybe in the same day. You will gigglesnort your way through old age, and she will recite “My Family and Other Animals” under her breath while you try to clear the ice off your deadlocked car.

Date a girl who’s sarcastic because your ego needs to be brought down a peg. You deserve a girl who sees the irony in everything. If you can only give her seriousness and normalcy, she’s better off alone.  If you want the absurd and the more absurd, date a girl who’s sarcastic.

Or better yet, leave her alone. She’s already having way too much fun being single.

10-Gallon Deerstalker: Sherlock Holmes, Raylan Givens, and Holmesian Westerns

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A funny thing happened on the way to me clicking my Amazon Prime “next episode” button. I was binge-watching (as you do) the FX series Justified, when I realized something. Gun-toting, cowboy-hat-wearing, cerebral US Marshall protagonist Raylan Givens isn’t all that different from Sherlock Holmes underneath all those western trappings. Justified is a modern, stylized Western series derived from the classic works of Western authorial legend Elmore Leonard (who penned 3:10 to Yuma and whom I, regrettably, have yet to read. However, he gave his absolute blessing to the show and to actor Timothy Olyphant’s portrayal of Givens, so I feel comfortable comparing the character with Holmes across the literary and TV genres.

Like Holmes, Givens is undeniably an introvert, someone who is well nigh impossible for strangers to get a read on and whose friends and loved ones often struggle to understand. He’s also someone who, like Sherlock, is constantly hyper aware of his surroundings and often puts together major chains of reasoning using minuscule clues. Another similarity, one that is often overlooked in Holmes’s character, is a wry sense of humor that takes delight in the absurdities of the human condition.

When it comes to interactions, Raylan’s friendships are very few and very meaningful. Though he doesn’t exactly have a Watson, he certainly has a Moriarty, in the form of friend-turned-archenemy Boyd Crowder. He also, arguably, has an Irene Adler in the character of the beautiful, unstable Ava Crowder, who is alternately friend and foe, sometimes both at the same time.

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Perhaps even more significantly, both characters share an internal moral code that doesn’t always dovetail with the perspective of official law enforcement. In Milvertonian style, what kicks off the series “Justified” is Givens unhesitatingly dispatching a crook with his admirable fast draw. Holmes is, of course, well known for taking the law into his own hands both to exact mercy and justice.

In the superficial sense, or perhaps not quite so superficial as it originally seems, is the characters’ shared penchant for hat wearing. In Givens’s case, he’s frequently seen wearing a 10-gallon, beige, felt cowboy hat, regardless of the fact that he’s neither around other hat wearers nor anywhere near the West. When asked why, he simply says, “I tried it on one day, and it fit.” In similar unwitting style, Holmes’s character has become identified with the deerstalker in a way that doesn’t reflect its (lack of) presence in the canon but is now inseparable from the image of who Holmes is. The reason I quibble with the idea that either man’s hat is an insignificant detail is because of what the overall idea of hat wearing symbolizes in both characters. For Givens, a cowboy hat is entirely out of context in his circumstances but is somehow brought into context by its integration into his own personality. In a similar sense, a deerstalker hat isn’t a common fixture in Victorian London, but its presence in the persona of Sherlock Holmes gives it pride of place. For each character, hat wearing seems to symbolize a lack of caring one whit what anyone else thinks about his personal choices, as long as they integrate with his own internal view of himself.

JUSTIFIED: Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens. CR: Frank Ockenfels III / FX CushingHolmes

To what does all this tend? While it’s an interesting academic exercise to compare Holmes with other characters, there’s more to it than that. Raylan Givens isn’t just a single, original character; he’s emblematic of the very idea of the iconic Western hero–resolute, self-directed, wryly humorous, and starkly brave. As I began to compare him to Holmes, I realized just how much literature’s (and screen’s) greatest detective has in common with the great heroes of the Western genre, the creations of Leonard and Louis L’Amour and the iconic portrayals of actors like Gary Cooper and John Wayne.

Sure, the trappings are different. Holmes doesn’t drawl, and he doesn’t practice his fast draw (though the scene in which he proves his strength by bending a fire poker could be straight out of any Western). He’s not usually confronting mustachioed villains in black hats. And yet, there’s something so very similar in the way characters like Marshall Will Kane, the lonely hero of the classic High Noon, quietly go about their larger-than-life business and the way Holmes goes about being the one man who can make London safe. They’re vigilantes, in a way, but it’s more than that.

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Westerns, generally, are about an impossible task and the one man (or sometimes group of men) who can accomplish it. They share some kinship with superhero tales, but in another sense, they’re the opposite. They’re not about fanfare and fame’ they’re about duty–the job, the man, and the way he accomplishes the thing no one else is capable of doing. That’s exactly what the Holmes stories are about, too. People often want to make Holmes a superhero, and I understand the connection and have argued for it myself at times, but really, he’s far too quiet for that. He’s about getting the job done and riding into the sunset before the congratulations get too maudlin. Raylan Givens (and his fellow Western heroes) recognize that their abilities dictate their purposes. They can, so they do; it’s that simple. People often wonder about Sherlock Holmes’s motivations, but really, it comes down to that. He knows what he can do, and he does it, his purposes dictated by his incredible abilities.

There’s a scene that takes place fairly early in “Justified,” when Givens risks life and limb to rescue Ava from a kidnapper. The situation turns convoluted, but both of them eventually escape.

“Thank you,” says Ava.

“For what?” Givens asks.

For what, indeed. For Raylan Givens, WIll Kane, and any Western hero worth his salt, saving the good people and dispatching the bad is a job–often an epic-scale, Herculean task–but when the day is done and he’s knocking back a drink, he can smile wryly because it’s all in a day’s work and a duty completed. Reminds me quite a bit of the man who finishes the most epic feats of reasoning and bravery by filling his pipe, sitting down by the fire, and putting his feet up in 221b Baker Street.

See, the greatest heroes aren’t the ones who show you the sweat, blood, and tears or ask for the public accolades. They’re the ones telling you the tale with a half-smirk once the dirty work is done, as if it was all nothing. At least, that’s what Sherlock Holmes would have you believe. Not that he’d ever let you call him a hero, and I’m pretty well sure Raylan Givens wouldn’t either.


How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

The Woman: My Love Letter to Irene Adler

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I was accidentally involved in one of those discussions this morning, where Holmes fans were ranting about Irene Adler, claiming she’s only mentioned in one story and overused in adaptations. Pity the poor fan who had dared to say she liked Irene and wanted to read more about her. To each their own, I say, and if people dislike The Woman, that’s their prerogative. But it got me thinking about exactly why I like her and why she’s half-protagonist of my three novels.

First off, because I’m pedantic that way, Irene is actually mentioned in “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Blue Carbuncle,” “A Case of Identity,” and “His Last Bow.” Those alone give her as many stories as Mycroft Holmes, but there’s a fairly obvious (though continuity-problematic) slanted reference to her in “The Five Orange Pips” as well.

Also, I will make so bold as to say that if Irene is overused, it’s at least partly Doyle’s fault (gasp) for making her one of precious few women Holmes pays even the slightest bit of attention to and perhaps the only one he has much of any sort of emotional reaction toward (emotion in the general sense, not necessarily romantic). Now, that isn’t to say I appreciate all characterizations of Irene, but I personally find it hard to argue that someone specifically characterized as The Woman is unimportant, relatively rare though her canonical appearances may be.

That said, why do I, personally, like Irene Adler?

The voice of Irene that speaks in my novels came to me, as it were, from the aether. Recent research shows that the reason authors sometimes feel this way is that we’re able to partially mute the judgy parts of our brains and amplify the creative parts when we write, so that it seems, to our conscious minds, like words are being dictated to us from some great beyond, even though we’re actually making them up. Be that as it may, and horrific run-on sentences aside, Irene was just there one day, as I sat down to participate in National Novel Writing Month 2011.

In retrospect, I think she was a bit of a reaction against the stereotypical femme fatale role she often gets cast into in pastiches and adaptations. I had, at the time, just re-read the Holmes canon, and all the mentions of her were fresh in my mind. The person who spoke to me from the pages of Doyle was not an over-the-top villainess or an oversexed vixen. She was clever; she was cunning; and she wanted to live her life on her own terms. I loved her for it.

Maybe she reminded me of myself, a little bit. I’m no Mary Morstan from The Sign of Four, fantastic woman though she is. I’m not nearly that dutiful or beautiful, or, well, good. I’m also no Violet Hunter from “The Copper Beeches,” one of my favorite canon stories. She’s brave and plucky, but, well, she doesn’t seem to be having all that much fun, and I want to enjoy myself. I’m no gun-toting Milverton assassin, either. That’s a bit extreme, when all I really want is to don a disguise and go tease someone on their own doorstep… I think I’d have made a very bad Victorian, and Irene Adler is a very, very bad VIctorian indeed.

Irene Adler is flawed; there’s no getting around it, and it makes me appreciate her even more. Later in the canon, when Holmes is (rather unsuccessfully, if you ask me) narrating his own adventure “The Lion’s Mane,” he gives a somewhat (again, in my curmudgeonly opinion) twaddle-filled ode to a woman named Maud Bellamy that he calls a “complete woman” (whatever that means). Irene Adler is not a complete woman. She has broken places within her and a problematic past behind her. She’s no image of Victorian perfection, but she’s real. Not a perfect woman, but The Woman.

The reason I, in my books, foresee a future friendship and sometimes-partnership for Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler is that he’s no perfect, complete man, either. He can be selfish, cold, calculating, histrionic, insensitive, and difficult. He can also be tender, kind, thoughtful, loyal, and sacrificial. In other words, he, too, is real. That’s why I once wrote a chapter of fanfiction that ended with the line, “To Irene Adler, he is always The Man.” Two sides of a coin, with different personalities and goals, but equally flawed and equally brilliant in their own ways. That’s why, though Irene may only make her mark once in Holmes’s canon life, that mark is so indelible that I can’t resist following the ink stain of her vivid characterization through the canon and beyond, into my own universe.

Perhaps it’s Jack Kerouac who best expressed, in his classic work On the Road, what it is about Irene Adler that I can’t stop exploring:

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”

Irene Adler is neither commonplace nor normal. In boy’s clothes or a wedding dress, she is madder than the maddest characters in all of literature. She does not walk in and out of the life of Sherlock Holmes, she burns, and when she’s gone, the landscape of his world is never the same–to the very last of his stories. She’s the roman candle whose explosion lights the night sky of my imaginary universe.

She’s The Woman. And that’s why I love her.


 

How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

Canon Thursday: The Klinger Decision, Myths, and Comic Books

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Several months ago, the much-publicized case of Les Klinger versus the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate finally went before a lower court judge. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Estate had, for years, been extorting and attempting to extort money from authors and other producers of Sherlockian media, based on a totally fictitious idea that Holmes was still in copyright, even though many of the stories were already firmly in the public domain and free for use.

(Lest this seem like a small problem, I have personal friends and acquaintances who were harassed, either personally or through their publishers, and there are myriads more, many of whom paid up just to avoid a legal fight.)

The Estate lost in court, but, as usual, did not know when to say uncle and appealed, all the way up to the US Supreme Court, who didn’t even deign to give a reason for refusing to hear such a ridiculous case that had already been firmly decided according to the rule of law. This past week, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals put the icing on the cake by ordering the Estate to pay a large chunk of Klinger’s legal fees, while calling Klinger a public servant and the Estate frivolous.

What I want to discuss is the philosophical component of the Doyle Estate’s argument, the idea that all the stories should stay under copyright because Sherlock Holmes, as a character, is incomplete without every single one of them. Now, this argument predictably didn’t hold up in a court of law, and I suspect the Estate’s legal team didn’t think it would. I sense major straw-grasping when the house of cards started tumbling down. Everything worked fine when they were scaring people into paying money they didn’t owe. When Klinger, who knew the law well enough to know he could fight, stood up and challenged them, they were like a schoolyard bully left without his mojo.

Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, let’s evaluate the actual defense as if there’s someone, somewhere, who truly believes in it, the idea that Sherlock Holmes is somehow incomplete as a character without every last story Doyle wrote about him. (Even if this were true, it’s hardly a copyright argument, since copyright law is not based on character completeness, but bear with me.)

I have a somewhat unusual origin story when it comes to my affinity for Sherlock Holmes. I read the stories as a child and enjoyed them, but it was the pastiches of Laurie R. King that really hooked me. She was the signpost that pointed me back to the originals, but what truly intrigued me was the idea that there could always be more. Holmes’s world, I learned, would never be static is long as lovers of the character chose to write about him in new and interesting ways. It was that huge, expansive world that drew me in.

Since the beginning of the current Sherlockian wave, my story has become less and less unusual. Lots of fans, these days, are coming at Holmes through doorways marked “Sherlock” or “Elementary” or “Watson & Holmes,” a racebent comic that puts the characters in an urban American setting. Some are even coming through a door marked “fanfiction,” their literal first experience being one gifted to them by another enthusiast choosing to share their passion with the world.

This week, after seeing the film Guardians of the Galaxy, I did a little bit of research on protagonist Peter Quill. What I discovered is that, like most comic book heroes, Quill has more than one origin story, and the filmmakers picked the one they liked best. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, the main X-Men characters–they’re all this way. At different times and places and cultural moments, a writer chooses to reinvent them in a way that he or she feels is relevant.

The thing is, Peter Quill wasn’t any less complete as a character when his stepfather tried to kill him (original story), and he’s no more of a character now that he was raised by a single mother (current story). Loki is no less Loki when he’s a woman, a kid, or the iteration we now know from the Avengers films.

The point is, modern heroes are our own equivalent to oral tradition, like the stories sung by poets like Homer, that changed and expanded and contracted based on ancient contexts. In an ironic way, the ever-changing nature and impermanence of the Internet facilitates similar changes and expansions. The current craze has swept Sherlock Holmes into this kind of existence.

Fanfiction writers, show producers, and comic illustrators take Sherlock Holmes as the basis for their myths, and they expand him, change him, and sometimes even contract him. I do this in my books, less aggressively than some, but my stories would have nowhere to go if I refused to expand the character or his world. Laurie R. King showed me that this was possible. Her Holmes is (intentionally and self-awarely) just off the original, like a dialect derived from a language. But he’s a complete character in his own right. As is my interpretation. And as is the Holmes in the fan fiction some high school student somewhere is writing in her bedroom as I type this. When you love a character, change and expansion are not disrespect. They’re homage. But they also don’t add or take away from the character as he originally appeared, either.

Some might throw up their hands and wail at the idea that Holmes is in any sense like a comic book hero, but it’s an honor for him to be lifted into the pantheon of characters so passionately loved that fans cannot resist continuing to write new things about them, new stories that reflect new places and times. But no new iteration takes anything away from the old ones.

Perhaps the biggest reason the Estate’s philosophy fails to resonate with me is a personal one. You see, I may not be a guardian of any galaxies or the wielder of the Tesseract, but I’m a character in the story called life, and my time hasn’t ended yet. I’m not the same person I was yesterday, and I’m not the same person I’ll be tomorrow. And yet, I’m a 100% complete person today, just like Sherlock Holmes is in A Study in Scarlet, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, and every story in between.

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How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

Writers Who Read Interview

I’ve been interviewed by the lovely GG Andrews for the Writers Who Read Blog series. Check out the full interview here, featuring Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler, and the Baker Street Babes.

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How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

Top 5 Watson Actors

1) Martin Freeman

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2) Martin Freeman

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3) Martin Freeman

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4) Martin Freeman

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5) Martin Freeman

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I think that about covers it. (Honorable mention to Jude Law.)

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How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

Top 5 Holmes Actors

The other day at my knitting group, someone asked me who my favorite Sherlock Holmes actor is. After about half an hour of trying to answer, I had given her about a dozen different responses. I don’t really think I could get it down to one, but here are my top five, in no particular order. (Note: Jeremy Brett does not show up on this list. While I fully acknowledge his expertise and legacy, he’s not a personal favorite, which is what this is about.)

1) Basil Rathbone

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He’s got the look. He’s got the feel. Even when he’s in a totally AU time period, he’s Sherlock Holmes through and through. Basil Rathbone is, without a doubt, my favorite Holmes of the early years.

2) Barrie Ingham

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The voice of Basil of Baker Street, Ingham fully embodied the world’s only consulting detective mouse, and he did it with an incredible amount of panache, making The Great Mouse Detective not only a fantastic children’s film, but also a worthy part of the Holmesian film canon.

3) Peter Cushing

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I don’t hear the illustrious Peter Cushing mentioned in connection with Holmes as often as with his other work, but he deserves to be. His portrayal is cerebral, complex, and compelling, a treat to watch from a time when Holmes adaptations were in transition from the propaganda films of the Rathbone era to the deconstructionism of the 60s and 70s.

4) Robert Downey Jr

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At this past 221b Con, I was much encouraged, at one point, to find myself in a room full of people who all appreciate Mr. Downey’s take on Sherlock Holmes. RDJ Holmes appreciation can sometimes be a lonely island in the Sherlockian world. And yet, in my opinion, the man who reminded us that Holmes is funny, physically adept, and extremely psychologically complex deserves a place in the pantheon of Holmesian greats.

5) Benedict Cumberbatch

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It almost goes without saying at this point in time. “That guy from ‘Amazing Grace'” who made me want to check out that new Sherlock Holmes show (though I doubted a modern adaptation could work) has become a household name in Britain and the United States. Other Holmeses will no doubt come and go, but it’s hard to imagine a future in which we look back without seeing the tall, spare figure of Mr. Cumberbatch looming over them all.


 

How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.