I can’t remember a time that I didn’t know who Sherlock Holmes was. If memory serves, my first experience of the Conan Doyle stories was through an audiobook from the downtown public library when I was about eight years old. The narrator was excellent, and I was properly creeped out by “The Speckled Band.” After that, I read some of the stories for myself, and I remember being dreadfully sad at Holmes’s death, until my older sister, who was past me in the stories, took pity on me and told me that he came back. Some imprint of the joy I felt remains, and The Empty House is still one of my favorite Holmes stories.
A few years later, during my teens, a friend bought me a copy of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. I was dimly aware that the concept of Holmes pastiche existed, but that was my first personal encounter with it. I’ve been a Holmes/Russell devotee ever since, to the point that I usually purchase Ms. King’s books the day they are released because I can’t bear to wait any longer.
The BBC Sherlock series in 2010 rekindled my desire to read the ACD Holmes canon, so I embarked on a re-read that revolutionized my love of the detective. I realized that as a child, while I had been able to enjoy the suspense and cleverness, I had been too young to appreciate the dry humor and subtle wit that color nearly every story. Reading with grown-up eyes made me fall in love with Holmes and Watson all over again.
Now you know how I met Sherlock Holmes. What’s your story?