About girlonbridge

23rdSixties...because the 23rd century was so much like the 1960's, Baby. Until 2011, I had seen half an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek," the movie from 2009. Armed with that incredible arsenal of trekkie knowledge, I decided to jump headfirst into the world of TOS, the original Star Trek series that began in 1966. This blog is my homage to that experience. Will I be an expendable redshirt, or an enduring blue or yellowshirt? Will I disappear randomly like Yoeman Janice or press bravely forward like Mr. Sulu? Only time will tell.

One More Day to Go–Special Preorder Perks!

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In a very short time, the first three books from The Detective and The Woman Series will be launching in a special hardback edition with a new cover design! A little later in the year, Book 4 will continue the series. Learn more about the books here.

If you want to receive special preorder perks like signed copies and even the chance to name a character, you have one more day to take advantage of  the Kickstarter launched by MX Publishing! After this, the books will be available, but this will be the end of these special offers. You have a few more hours to get in!

Kickstarter Here

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Editing Holmes

Christopher Lee 1

I have a few Holmesian irons in the fire these days. I recently passed the milestone of my first professionally-published poem, a musing on the character of Violet Smith from “The Solitary Cyclist” and her first meeting with Holmes, which leads off a new story anthology. Now I’m working on the creative stages of a promised new pastiche, but I’m also passing through that oft-dreaded stage of another novel: Final Editing.

Except, I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying the strange process of verbal weight reduction, looking at the sum of what’s on the page and trying to figure out what the true figure of the story is without unnecessary fat.

Of course, Holmesian editing has its tedium: eliminating anachronisms, checking plot coherence, banishing repetition. The fun, to me, comes in finding the characters. Both Holmes and Irene Adler figure heavily in my stories, but I find Holmes the more challenging of the two to write. When I read the Canon, I often feel like I’m searching for an elusive man, that the real mystery is in unlocking the inner life of one of the most enigmatic, in some ways, characters ever written. As a writer, the challenge is similar. I write Holmes as I believe he is, and then go back to what I’ve written to see if the angular, charismatic man staring back at me feels like the one I read about. It can feel maddeningly subjective, but it’s rewarding.

Perhaps part of why I continue to write Holmesian novels is simply, in the end, to find Sherlock Holmes.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Minute Sherlockian Gift Guide

We’re entering the holiday home stretch, but if you’re still looking for gifts or stocking stuffers for the Holmesians in your life–or maybe for how to spend those giftcards coming your way–we have a few suggestions. Christmas delivery is still in sight, and books can be gifted electronically, so don’t despair. No Holmes enthusiast needs to be disappointed this holiday season!

Books with Baker Street Babes flair:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available hereFemme Friday is the latest release by the Baker Street Babes and friends and is an essay tribute to the women of the Sherlock Holmes Canon and adaptations. Penned by women of all ages and all walks of life, it’s an analytical, insightful celebration of women by women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here and now in several volumes including a Christmas anthology, the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is perfect for the Doyle Canon lover who wants to dive into a host of new short story pastiches that adhere to a traditional interpretation. The Baker Street Babes are responsible for several stories across the series and are proud to be part of contributing all series royalties to Undershaw and the school for special needs children that resides there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here, Lyndsay Faye’s latest release collects her greatest Holmesian short stories from the Strand Magazine and unites them with new tales filled with adventure, wit, and heart. Described by several reviewers as the best pastiche collection published in many years, Lyndsay’s stories will delight readers of all ages, stripes, and points of entry into the Sherlockian world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here. So good she had to be listed twice, Lyndsay Faye’s novel-length pastiche connecting Sherlock Holmes with the Jack the Ripper investigation is a modern classic of the genre and a must-read for fans of Victorian Holmes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here. Traditionally nontraditional, The Detective and The Woman (and subsequent books Winking Tree and Silent Hive) feature a mystery-solving partnership between Sherlock Holmes and a strongly-realized Irene Adler as they confront threats that take them to Florida, the Sussex Downs, and the London streets.

For Film and Television Lovers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here. Relive the glory days of the first seasons of Sherlock with deluxe DVD and Blu-Ray sets that will delight the fans of Cumberbatch and Freeman, as well as the tightly-plotted web woven by Andrew Scott’s Moriarty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here and considered by many to be the definitive Sherlock Holmes adaptation for all time, fans of the mesmerizing performance of Jeremy Brett will be delighted by this collection that contains every episode of this iconic series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here. Witty and idiosyncratic, Elementary continues to delight television audiences and gain new fans with its ultramodern take on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. (Joan) Watson. Recent fans may not have had a chance to catch the first few seasons and will enjoy delving into hours of mystery-solving fun, including the mindbending and memorable guest role of Natalie Dormer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here. Without Rathbone and Bruce, the history of Holmes on screen is incomplete. Relive the thrilling classic films that saw Holmes fighting Nazis and proving himself as a man of action long before Guy Ritchie came along.

Lovely Little Things:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here. Ali Miller’s beautiful tea set is not only a delightful object in its own right, but is also featured, along with other Ali Miller designs, in the BBC’s Sherlock. The Home Sweet Home set pictured here is seen in the iconic Baker Street tea drinking scene when Moriarty visits Holmes at 221b Baker Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available here. Lovarzi’s delightful and stylish winter collection of Sherlockian hats and scarves will turn heads for years to come.

 

130 Years of A Study in Scarlet: A Tribute

This piece was originally written for the Baker Street Babes and can be found on their website here.

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To a great mind, nothing is little.

—-Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

130 years ago today, Beeton’s Christmas Annual took a chance on a story by new author, a doctor in his twenties who happened to be named Arthur Conan Doyle. A Study in Scarlet is a peculiar tale by modern standards, with its separated sections and unfortunate depictions of Mormonism. Even at the time, it didn’t create much of a splash at initial publication.

But there’s something about it.

It’s just as well for two fellows to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together

—-Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

There’s something about the youngest, sharpest incarnations of two people meeting for the first time. It’s impossible now to read the story without knowing the context of what is to come, but I believe that if you could, it would still have the power to whet your appetite and make you crave more of the interactions between Holmes and Watson, as the doctor takes you on the roller coaster journey of trying to understand his new flatmate.

It was easier to know it than to explain why I know it.

—-Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

There’s also something about the detection, the “attainable superpower,” as Benedict Cumberbatch once described it. Holmes is always ahead, but he’s not superhuman. This youngest, sharpest Holmes does what all of us do, but he does it better and more, and he makes us realize, or at least imagine, what it would be like to understand the world around us to a far fuller extent.

There is a mystery about this which stimulates the imagination; where there is no imagination, there is no horror.

—-Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet is filled with the sense of adventure and razor-edge plotting that would come to characterize Doyle’s short stories.   His ability to craft suspense, while perhaps not yet at its height, is certainly evident in the story’s most thrilling moments. Another Holmesian through-line is the question of vigilante versus traditional justice, the question of whether horrendous acts can be justified. The very young Doyle crafted an engaging mystery; but, characteristically, he couldn’t resist including the kind of moral dilemma that would pepper the pages of many of his greatest stories.

There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.

—-Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

Except it hadn’t been done before. Though few realized it at the time, when A Study in Scarlet burst onto the scene, it ushered in an era in which the world would be captivated by a detective who could be moody and kind, genius and ignorant, contemplative and frenetic. The Era of Holmes and Watson, when two men with disparate habits and personalities would forge one of the most engaging partnerships in literary history, came with more of a whimper than a bang.

I think that’s part of what makes today wonderful. I wish I could travel in time to tell Doyle that his manuscript isn’t going to linger in oblivion. Jokes related to his feelings about Holmes aside, I wish I could show him that the era he created would never end. Instead, I want to tell him, it will endure through changing tastes and mores, somehow remaining relevant and poignant no matter how much time elapses.

Happy 130 years to a story that started as nothing–and changed the world.

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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.

Femme Friday: My Journey

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Today is a happy day, for it marks the launch of Femme Friday, a book a long time in the making that contains thirty-three essays by female authors who analyze, dissect, and celebrate female characters found in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories, as well as transformative works and adaptations like BBC SherlockElementary, and The Great Mouse Detective.

Femme Friday began as a Baker Street Babes Tumblr project, a way to draw attention to the female characters of the Sherlock Holmes world who are often overlooked and underappreciated. Once a week, we took turns selecting ladies and writing about them in our own styles and with our own emphases. I not only learned more about the characters; I also learned more about my fellow Babes as I read their astonishingly clever but also heartfelt tributes to these captivating heroines, villains, and everything in between.

But Femme Friday intertwines with my fandom journey even further back, back to the earliest days when I was finding my voice as a feminist Sherlockian. When you read the book, you will find that several of my contributions are about the women of BBC Sherlock, and some of those essays, in their original forms, date back to Season 1 of the series and to a website called The Baker Street Supper Club, which is now no longer operational. That site was my first real foray into becoming a fandom contributor rather than just a spectator, and as I timidly offered to write character analyses, I had absolutely no idea that I was starting something that would carry me through seven years of engaged fandom life.

Through the Supper Club, I met and joined the original Baker Street Babes, so it felt strangely fitting when the original Femme Friday project called for an update of my Supper Club essays. Suddenly, my writing had a new audience and sparked new discussion, and along with my fellow BSBs, I realized that writing about female characters was more than just an exercise in analytical creativity. So much more.

It was about giving voice and perspective to Doyle’s overlooked women. It was, sometimes, about looking at despised characters and trying to understand them according to their own points of view. (I will never forget my initial surprise at the positive reaction to my Sally Donovan essay.) It was about recognizing female members of fandom and trying to offer something uniquely theirs. Really, it was about anything it needed to be about–for you, for me, and for anyone.

And that’s the bottom line. As we circle back, yet again, and my essays finally see the light of day in their final, pristine form, I’m proud. It’s not because I think they’re the best thing ever written, but when I read them, I see the growth in my confidence in the fandom perspective I have that is mine and mine alone. And through them, I hope to help others begin to discuss and formulate their own perspectives as well.

I believe the greatest honor we can give to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and to the creators of Sherlockian transformative works is to deem their work worthy of real, honest discussion. Whether praise, criticism, or a mixture, active fandom is about loving something enough to pick it apart piece by piece to find out where its heart lies. I didn’t really understand that when I wrote my first article for the Supper Club nearly seven years ago, but I understand it now. More than anything, I hope Femme Friday will be a jumping-off point for you, to think about the females of the Sherlockian world and what their lives, challenges, and outcomes say about the world of the past and where we are now. I’m honored to be one of your guides on that journey.

You can find the US versions here, and the European versions here. They are only very slightly different in format, and Lulu allowed for a title on the spine, whereas Blurb did not, but essentially they are the same. Within a couple of weeks, the book should also be available via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and e-book versions are on the way.

All proceeds of the sales are used to cover the maintainance costs of the Baker Street Babes website and podcast hosting sites.


 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Shakespeare and Sherlock


It’s often said that Poe invented the detective story, while Doyle’s Holmes Canon was responsible for immortalizing and popularizing it. However, I recently went to see Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost in the cinema, an excellent production by the Stratford Festival in Ontario, and my reintroduction to that play reminded me how much of what we would call detective work is in Shakespeare’s plays. 

The character of Boyet acts as a detective on behalf of the Princess of France, ferreting out the plans of the King of Navarre and his nobles. In service to his own passions, Don Armado investigates and uncovers an affair between Costard and Jacquenetta. The princess and her ladies perform detailed analysis of the letters received by their suitors as part of the comedy’s elaborate wordplay, and their meticulousness is worthy of a Holmes brother. 

This is just one of a number of Shakespeare plays that contain conspicuous elements that fall under the heading of detection, for where there’s a mystery to solve by the end of the play, there must be at least one character functioning as a detective to solve it. Some even use their skills for nefarious purposes, like Othello’s Iago, an excellent sleuth who uses what he deduces to destroy lives.

I’ve heard and read many theories about the enduring popularity of Holmes and detective stories, but Shakespeare is a reminder that the popularity of mystery and elements of detection did not arise out of a Victorian vacuum. They were around in popular media long before, and if Holmes is ever to be forgotten, they will no doubt continue after.

Life presents the adult human with constant mysteries to endure, some of which we can solve, others of which we will never be able to fully grasp. Mystery stories are comfortingly escapist because they present solvable problems and the characters with the necessary skills to solve them. Whether or not they’re called mysteries and detectives, several of Shakespeare’s plots serve this function. He wasn’t the first, and Doyle certainly isn’t the last, great author to interpret and make sense of life through the mystery lens. Detection is always found where mystery is found, which means the human race has never lacked detectives, regardless of what they were called. 

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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.