Is Your Holmes Immortal?


Over my time in the Sherlock Holmes world, I’ve encountered three different perspectives:

1. Sherlock Holmes will never/can never die. (Essentially a superheroic perspective)

2. Sherlock Holmes is human and must die. (Essentially a humanistic perspective)

3. Sherlock Holmes probably dies/died at some point, but I’m not going to pay attention to it. (Essentially a perspective that chooses to focus on certain points of Holmes’s life and ignore others)

Absolutely transcendent media exists for each perspective, as well as loads of duds. Neil Gaiman’s short story “The Case of Death and Honey” brilliantly illuminates the first, as does Laurie R. King’s ongoing conceit that Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell are living well on the Downs to this day. Mitch Cullin’s A Slight Trick of the Mind, as well as the adapted film Mr. Holmes, explore the second beautifully (as well as raising a provocative question: Does Holmes only become a truly complete character if he can die, or does his triumph over death at the Falls, plus his Purgatory during the Great Hiatus, complete him there and then?). Most pastiche and fanfiction falls into perspective three, where the question isn’t directly addressed, though Holmes’s narrative arc of death and resurrection in the Canon, in addition to the long timeline of the stories, means it comes up more often than with most characters.

I’m here to ask, not answer. My own perspective shifts depending on what I’m consuming. I love the idea of a mythic, immortal Holmes. I also love the idea of an all-too-frail Holmes who becomes a symbol of humanity (because isn’t all of life really one big mystery story? But that’s an idea for another day). Most often, I exist in the fuzziness of perspective three. What about you?


How to purchase my Sherlock Holmes novels:

(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.

Advertisements