Sunday, June 04, 2006

News: For Writers, Holmes Casts Long Shadow

Nearly 120 years after Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his first Holmes story, the game is still afoot, writes Kerry Lengel of The Arizona Republic. Exhibit A: any bestseller list. Seven of the top 10 hardcover novels in this week's New York Times Bestseller List are mysteries of one sort or another.

The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King"Anyone who writes crime fiction, who writes mysteries, is dealing on some level with the presence of Sherlock Holmes. You're always aware that there is the master in the background," says bestselling author Laurie R. King, whose latest mystery in the Kate Martinelli series, The Art of Detection, builds a modern-day investigation around the discovery of a "lost" Holmes manuscript. "One of the reasons that Conan Doyle was so hugely popular was that he more or less invented the serial mystery. . . . You could have the same characters again and again confronted by new problems," she adds.

Lengel also writes that pop culture has made Sherlock Holmes instantly recognizable, but for true Conan Doyle fanatics, or Sherlockians, the original supersleuth has spawned a subculture in itself. The Baker Street Irregulars fan club has chapters from San Francisco to Tokyo and publishes the quarterly Baker Street Journal devoted to Conan Doyle scholarship. "There's a lot of inconsistencies in the stories, because he wrote rapidly to make money," says Doris Dale, founder of the Desert Beekeepers, a group of Arizona Sherlockians. "So the people are still trying to solve some of these inconsistencies and some of these mysteries, and I think that's what makes them interesting."

Read the entire article, as published on, here.

Technorati tags: mystery books blogs, , .


  1. I love Laurie King, though my favorites remain the opening books in her series -- To Play the Fool and the Monstrous Regiment of Women.

  2. Feel free to visit The Baker Street Journal for a firsthand look.


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