Happy Birthday, Mr. Holmes: An Open Letter

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TO: Mr. Sherlock Holmes

221b Baker Street

London, England

Dear Mr. Holmes,

As an avowed part of your adoring public, it has come to my attention that today marks your birthday. It is no secret that you are not particularly fond of marking the day, which is understandable. I doubt I would be overly excited to be one hundred sixty-one either.

I wonder how you will celebrate. Drinks at the pub? A trip to the moors? Viewing The Asylum’s Sherlock Holmes with your brother? Or perhaps a quiet day with Mary Russell, who, I hear tell, shares your penchant for immortality.

I think, really, you’ll probably play chess today with the old specter who haunts Baker Street. No one much minds him any more. We live in an age when ghosts are nostalgic remnants of a bygone time. He will walk up the seventeen steps and greet you as an old enemy—after a hundred years, do old enemies become friends?—and the two of you will sit down with kings and pawns between you, remembering the days when the city was your battleground.

We who form your public are fond of saying that it’s always 1895 in your world, but that’s not quite true, is it? That illusion is for us, for those who would escape into the pages of your friend’s embellished words. But you live beyond those pages, and that year cannot define you.

Sometimes we writers try to make you immortal through logical means. We invent serums and spells and incantations, but all we really need are our words and our imaginations. You live in every year when we envision you there; you take any form our narratives can construct; and you live forever because nothing can die that is remembered.

I’m quite sure you find immortality absurd, but lest you deny the power of the words we give you, let me whisper “Norbury” in your ear. You were once a man alone; you became an ink drawing colored in by the softening lines of friendship. You met the world through the pen of another.

You are still meeting that world the same way. Dr. Watson is also immortal, you know, only today he wears more faces than your disguises ever created. He looks out through the laughing eyes of my rainbow-haired friend. He has thousands of Tumblr followers. He works days at an employment agency, and at night his fingers ache from penning the words he can’t keep inside. He rides public transportation, earbuds blasting heavy metal into his brain, journaling the outline of his next story. He’s a university lecturer who narrates your tales to freshmen purely for love of telling them.

Millions mark your birthday—in apartments, pubs, libraries, and schools. After all, who better to celebrate your day than the ones who love you most of all? For being one of the most seemingly aloof men of literature, you certainly played a masterful trick, Mr. Holmes. You made the whole world your closest friend, and in so doing, you made yourself live forever.

Many happy returns to you and to us.

——–

How to purchase my novels of Sherlock Holmes:

(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.

(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.

Sherlockian Gift Guide

It’s that time of year, when we’re all scrambling to find the perfect Christmas gifts for family and friends. Here are a few of my recommendations for the Sherlockians in your life.

1) Gifts for Readers:

A Scandal in Bohemia by Petr Kopl

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I reviewed this astonishingly beautiful graphic novel here. It’s gorgeously illustrated, well written, and would be a treasured gift for any Sherlockian, particularly those who enjoy Holmesian visual artwork.

How to purchase:

Scandal In Bohemia is available through all good bookstores including Book Depository (free shipping worldwide), Amazon USA, and Amazon UK.

Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri

Jewel of the Thames

I reviewed this well-written book here. Jewel is not a direct pastiche. It’s a Holmes-inspired collection of mysteries starring a new detective named Portia Adams.It’s clever, entertaining, and a truly stunning debut by the author. It’s likely to please Sherlockians whose love of mysteries extends to the wider world of detective fiction.

Purchase it in hard copy or e-book here

The Detective and The Woman series by Amy Thomas

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My series features Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler as they take on cases in Florida, on the Sussex Downs, and in Metropolitan London. Each book stands alone, but as a trilogy, they tell the story of a slowly-forming partnership between two strong-minded, intelligent characters who begin as enemies and work toward friendship. Many Holmesians of various ages have enjoyed the series so far, and it would make an enjoyable gift for the Sherlockian readers in your life.

How to purchase:

(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.

(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.

2) Gifts for Creatives:

Sherlock Holmes book scarf. Get it here

Book Scarf

221B Journal. Get it here

221B Journal

Sherlock Holmes Detective Stamp Set. Get it here

Stamp Set

3) Gifts for the SherLocked:

Sherlock Limited Edition Gift Set. Get it here

Box Set

Holmes and Watson Friendship Rings. Get them here

Rings

221B Wallpaper T-shirt. Get it here

T-shirt

Graphic Novel Review: A Scandal in Bohemia by Petr Kopl

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My first exposure to this book was hearing that it had been voted Graphic Novel of the Year in 2013 in the Czech Republic for its original version. Now that I have my hands on the English translation, I can absolutely understand why.

First, the English translation is fully competent. Had I not known it was a translation, I doubt I’d have realized it. I didn’t find it in any sense distracting.

Second, and most important to me as a reader, is that this isn’t just a retelling of Sherlock Holmes stories that someone slapped illustrations onto. I have seen graphic novels like that, and I do not appreciate them. A well-crafted graphic novel is not the same thing as a traditional book. It’s an art form of its own, and when it works, it’s transcendent.

This book works. The artistic style is detailed, beautiful, and suited to the material. At times, it’s humorous and charming, but ultimately, it furthers the story in a dynamic way, as  it should.

The Holmesian stories (not just “A Scandal in Bohemia,” but others as well) are told in a surprisingly complex and engaging way, proving that a medium many do not associate with Holmes can do more than justice to the material.

The bottom line: This is one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read, and it deserves the accolades it’s received. As the holidays approach, this book would be a fantastic gift or stocking stuffer for any keen Sherlockian.

Scandal In Bohemia is available through all good bookstores including Book Depository (free shipping worldwide), Amazon USA, and Amazon UK.

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A copy of the above-reviewed work was provided by the publisher. All opinions expressed are the reviewer’s own.

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.

In Praise of Mary Russell

She’s the heroine of the Holmes novels by Laurie R. King. She’s been one of my role models since I was a teenager. Also, move over Poppins, because she’s practically perfect in every way. If you have yet to meet Mary, either run immediately to your local bookstore or click your mouse over to Amazon and nab The Beekeeper’s Apprentice immediately.

Want to learn more? My fellow Baker Street Babe Ardy wrote this awesome post about her and why she rocks our Sherlockian socks off.

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This amazing sketch of Mary is an original, gifted to me by the insanely talented Chris Schweizer. Learn more about him and his art here.

Finally, a personal statement on what Mary means to me and to my career as a writer, excerpted from a longer essay:

One gift Russell gave me is something I can barely put into words because it’s changed my life so hugely. In 2011, something in me urged me to give NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) a try. I was unsure of what to write about, and my interest in Sherlock Holmes pointed me toward pastiche, but it was Mary Russell who gave me the courage to try. Her existence made me believe I could actually write a full-length, complete novel about Sherlock Holmes with a feminist twist—Irene Adler was as much of a main character as Holmes. I finished, and, much to my surprise, my novel The Detective and The Woman was picked up for publication soon after. My two subsequent novels starring Adler and Holmes were published in 2013 and 2014. I have no doubt that Mary Russell is a major part of the reason I’m a published, vocational author today, a blessing so big I can’t quantify it.

Mary Russell taught an awkward teenager to dream, a young woman to endure, and an adult to embrace creativity and take up the vocation I’m meant to inhabit. She has been my companion, my role model, and my escape. She’s accompanied me through every challenge, and her strength has become part of who I am. I will be forever grateful for the privilege of knowing her.

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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.

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.