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Bye bye 2011

I look back on 2011 with a smile. I won the 2011 Tony & Freda Howlett Award for The Norwood Author and saw the publication of An Entirely New Country. A pretty good year in my book (please excuse the pun). I hope for equal success in 2012 and wish you equal success in your Sherlockian journey.

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas everyone

I probably won't post before the end of the year so I shall take this opportunity to wish you (if you celebrate it) a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you don't mark Christmas I hope you have a good holiday.

Sherlock Holmes Journal and Diamond Jubilee Supplement

Much to my delight I found the December issue of the Sherlock Holmes Journal on my doormat last night. Accompanying it on this occasion was a supplement arranged specifically to mark the 60th year of the society's (re)founding.


Although I have written reviews for the journal in the past (and have been reviewed) this issue contains many items by me. In the main journal there is my review of Christopher Sandford's book on Houdini and Conan Doyle; my review of Barefoot on Baker Street by Charlotte Walters; and, finally, my reviews of the Old Court radio plays The Grace Chalice, The Long Man and Sherlock Holmes - A Drama in Four Acts.

In the supplement I provide an article on Conan Doyle biographies entitled A Case of Biographical Identity.

Phew!

Review - Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows


Well what to say? I stated in an earlier blog post that I expected the sequel to 2009’s film to be offering more of the same and in that prediction I was correct. I will however say that the sequel is much better than the original.

If you hated the first film I do not think its sequel will convert you. I think that is to hope for too much from it. However if you liked the first film on any level you will probably like its sequel for similar reasons.

The essential plot is pretty well summed up by the film’s second trailer. Moriarty has a plan to benefit from the manufacture of weapons and has enlisted Colonel Sebastian Moran to help him bring things about. Holmes, who has been monitoring Moriarty’s movements, drags a reluctant Watson away from his honeymoon to assist. On the way they make use of Holmes’s brother Mycroft and a gipsy called Madame Simza.

The film boasts the return of many of the characters from the first film although for many of them their appearance is little more than a cameo. RDJ and Law are in very much the same form as they were for the first outing. Law continues to give us a very good Watson and RDJ continues to give us something of a Holmes-lite that Arthur Conan Doyle would probably recognise more by the name than any other aspect of his screen characterisation.

So let’s look at the new characters:

Jared Harris as Moriarty - Despite my reservations about a younger and bearded Moriarty - Harris is a revelation. He exudes menace and is probably the finest Moriarty since Eric Porter in the Granada Television series. The scenes featuring Moriarty and Holmes are very charged and this is a credit to both actors. The film’s reworking of events at Reichenbach is not canonical but still manages to be quite moving.

Paul Anderson as Colonel Sebastian Moran - A truly sinister thug but a bit rough and ready for a former army officer. Moran may have strayed to the wrong side of the tracks but you would still expect there to be something of the Sandhurst officer about him. The character we get simply isn’t quite right. He is a perfectly good henchman but not a convincing army officer.

Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes – Mycroft started out well but was swiftly turned into little more than a source of comic relief. I think many people had high hopes for Fry in this role, some seeing it as a role he was almost born for but the character that was written for him was not quite right (no fault of his) and he did not get the screen time to do the role the justice it deserved.

Noomi Rapace as Madame Simza - I found her character rather unnecessary. Her whole existence in the plot seems to depend on the facts that she has a brother who is working for Moriarty and her local knowledge which is used to get Holmes and Watson out of the occasional hole. I feel her character could have been removed or downgraded without much impact.

Contrary to the opinion of some reviewers who thought the film too long I think it ran for the right amount of time and its pace never really lets up. Some films sag in parts but I don’t think that was the case here. This is once again an area where the sequel betters the original.

I rated the first film on two levels. Firstly as a cinema experience and secondly as a canonically accurate film. For the former I gave it seven and the latter five. I then averaged this out to six overall.

For this sequel I take every mark up one. Eight for a cinema experience, six for canonical fidelity and seven overall. I think the improvement, particularly on the canonical front, can be put down to the input of Leslie Klinger the well known American Sherlockian expert.

In short, if you didn’t hate the first film go and see its sequel. You already know what to expect and if you can close your eyes to the canonical issues you will enjoy the ride.

Initial reports suggest...

...that An Entirely New Country is selling more copies in the US than the UK. Come on UK get shopping:

Click here for links to purchase.

The Shadows are nearly upon us...


Well we have only two days to go to the UK release of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and I plan to see it on the 18th.

Some of you may wonder, given my lukewarm response to the first instalment, why I am going to see it. Well I guess that it is for two reasons - one perhaps more optimistic than the other.

Firstly I want to see it because it is a Holmes film (no matter how fast and loose it plays with the source material) and I really want it to improve upon the first. Those of you who hated the first outing will probably be saying that won’t be difficult how could it be any worse?

It has to be said that there were, as with almost any Holmes film, good bits as well as bad. I have, in the past, singled out the depiction of Watson by Jude Law as one such positive. The more I think about his performance the more I regard it as combining the best elements of those given by David Burke and Ian Hart (minus the latter’s overt aggression).

However there was more that was good in the film than Law’s Watson. An interesting perspective was taken on the relationship between Watson and Holmes that really showed Watson as the man that humanised Holmes. Holmes without Watson was shown to be somewhat adrift and socially awkward. Holmes’s issues with what he saw as the intrusion of Mary Morstan were also very well conveyed. Small points perhaps but important ones I feel. It was also, it has to be said, a good time in the cinema. I cannot say that I was ever bored even though I was occasionally irritated by the liberties that were taken.

The second reason for wanting to see it is that I simply must in the interests of completeness. In order to make my assessment of what is good and bad in the world of screen Holmes I must see as much as possible. When I was a child I strongly suspected that I would not like broccoli however until I actually tried it I did not know for sure (I hate it by the way). It is very much the same for this film.

As last time I shall evaluate it from two perspectives. Its faithfulness (or not) to the source material and how it works as a fun time in the cinema.

It looks like it is going well

At the time of writing Amazon.com are down to their last ten copies of An Entirely New Country and Amazon UK are down to their last three. There have been a few issues with stock (so I gather) but it looks good now. Links to buy from them and others can be found here.

Please remember that 50% of net royalties will be placed at the disposal of The Undershaw Preservation Trust.

Undershaw media feature cancelled

I understand that a UK feature on the plight of Undershaw has been cancelled on the grounds that the programme makers could not get access to the inside of the house.

Attention all media companies. You are almost certainly never going to get access to the inside of Undershaw. Stop using this as an excuse not to run the story. If you want to see exactly how shocking the inside has been allowed to become go and ask The Undershaw Preservation Trust who can supply images.

Your humble blog author outside Undershaw in 2010

Review - The Sherlock Holmes Companion


Daniel Smith’s book appears to polarise opinion. A quick glance on Amazon UK reveals a one-star rating with the reviewer complaining that the plot summaries give away too much and that the illustrations are the best thing. Then there are a couple of five-star reviews that praise the book to the rafters.

It is true that if you are a person who is knowledgeable about the canon this book contains little that you are likely to be unaware of before picking it up. However, this same criticism can be levelled at a great many books in the field (including mine). I also think that the comments about the plot summaries being too detailed are not quite fair. It’s easy, if you’ve already read the stories, to say that the book gives away too much. However you have the advantage of knowing how the stories go. I strongly suspect that if you bought this book before reading the canon – the majority of the story endings would still surprise you.

The illustrations are indeed very good. The wide ranging selection chosen really gives you an idea of how Holmes was perceived around the world. The non-English language illustrations in particular are very interesting. Also interesting are the interviews with Sherlockian personalities such as Douglas Wilmer, David Burke and Catherine Cooke.

However there are downsides. There are some careless editing errors. A paragraph ends mid-sentence and a photograph of New Scotland Yard is inexplicably printed in reverse which is painfully obvious thanks to a sign for Westminster Pier which is as it would be in a mirror.

Smith’s interest clearly lies more with Holmes than Conan Doyle as the sections on Conan Doyle are sometimes misleading / inaccurate. Smith implies that it was only after 1895 and his move to Surrey that Conan Doyle seriously started looking at theatre as a medium. He even singles out the one act play Waterloo as an example. Regrettably Conan Doyle had penned this several years earlier when living in South Norwood and it had even been performed before Conan Doyle had moved to Surrey (which was more 1896 than 1895). Part of me feels that Smith could have used a visit to the British Library to look at Conan Doyle’s diaries and avoid this error.

Smith also tries to hedge his bets in relation to Conan Doyle’s date of entry into the Society for Psychical Research. He repeats the all too common mistake of saying it happened after his father’s death and then mentions that it may have happened before as stated in Andrew Lycett’s biography. A simple communication to the SPR would have cleared this up (as I did for my book The Norwood Author) and told Smith that it was indeed the January date as Lycett and I have stated. The fact that Smith did not undertake this simple check shows, in my opinion, that Doyle does not come too high up his list of priorities. You could argue that this is fair enough in a book called The Sherlock Holmes Companion but I still think the effort should have been made.

In summary, despite the minor irritations mentioned above, this is a good guide to the Holmes stories. It doesn’t give too much away and contains some fascinating illustrations. It won’t teach you much if you already own similar books but it will serve you well if this is the first book in your Sherlockian library.

In stock at the Mysterious Bookshop

Thanks to @always1895 we have pics of my latest book at the Mysterious Bookshop in New York. Click here to get your copy.


New book and Amazon UK

Amazon UK are quoting a rather long wait for delivery of my latest book. If you wish to get hold of it quicker I suggest you use Book Depository.

Launch Day

Today is the official worldwide launch date for An Entirely New Country. However Amazon (both UK and US) don't seem to have got their act together yet. Don't let their websites put you off. Place those orders now. You can also go to Book Depository.

Options for purchase are here.

No such thing as a free lunch (dinner)

My wife and I went for a lovely dinner at the Criterion Restaurant with Steve and Sharon Emecz last night.



However I seem to have come away with a pile of books to work my way through.

What if?

A thought just occurred to me. How would it affect Doylean scholarship if Conan Doyle's original script for the Sherlock Holmes play were to resurface?

It is generally believed to have burned, along with William Gillette's rewrite, in the Baldwin Hotel in San Francisco. This event forced Gillette to rewrite the play from memory.

A question that has been asked more than once is how much of Conan Doyle's script was retained for the play that was ultimately performed to much acclaim worldwide. Gillette never said anything on this matter which has left historians to make up their own minds. Despite the fact that the play was credited to both men with Conan Doyle's name at the top it has been widely assumed that little of Conan Doyle's material remained.

How interesting would it be if it surfaced after all this time?

A good "what if?"

2011 Recommendations for the season.


Here is a list of my 2011 highlights (in no particular order):


Some basic (but not too important) errors. Otherwise an excellent account of the relationship between the arch-sceptic and the arch-believer. Sandford deserves credit for not painting Conan Doyle as quite the gullible fool that some writers have been inclined to do (although it seems pretty clear that he is on Houdini's side).



Conan Doyle's previously unpublished first work that he wished to remain unpublished.



Charlotte Walters' different take on the Sherlockian pastiche. People seem to be polarised in their opinions but I thought that, apart from some issues over characterisation, it was a brave and novel angle to pursue.



One of the better collections of short-story pastiche to come out for a few years.



Henry Zecher's definitive(?) biography on America's Sherlock Holmes.

Taking liberties


Well we have a little over two weeks before the latest Warner Bros Sherlock Holmes film hits screens in the US and Europe. I think it is pretty safe to say that whether you loved or hated the first offering you are expecting more of the same from the sequel. I certainly am and if the trailers to date are anything to go by I am not wrong.

There was an awful lot wrong with the first film but, to be fair, there was a fair amount that was right also. However this has been the case for Holmes screen dramatisations since the first. If we look back to the dawn of cinema it is easy to see that the Sherlock Holmes stories have suffered as much as other works at the hands of screenwriters.

The most famous of the early screen outings starred Eille Norwood and his (silent) films were set in the era in which they were filmed (i.e. the 1920s). Norwood enjoyed the rare distinction of approval from Arthur Conan Doyle himself even though he, Doyle, wasn't entirely happy about the non-Victorian setting. A contemporary setting was also used when Arthur Wontner starred in some of the earliest talkie Holmes films in the early 1930s. In both cases this was dictated largely by budget.


Fox’s early efforts with Basil Rathbone relocated back to the Victorian era but, when they took over, Universal swiftly reverted to a contemporary setting.

In the 1950s and 60s efforts were made to keep Holmes in his Victorian setting. We saw the likes of John Neville, Douglas Wilmer, Ronald Howard and Peter Cushing all as loyal servants of Victoria. This continued as we entered the 80s with Ian Richardson and Jeremy Brett continuing in the same vein.

Yet all of these took liberties with the source material to some degree or other. So when we object to such liberties do we do so more on the basis of what they are (i.e. do they cross any of our personal red lines) or who it is that is taking them?





Not a bad opening

I said on Twitter this morning that I wouldn't blog today but what the hell. This will be the only one today.

My book An Entirely New Country is down to one available copy on Amazon UK. My other books have benefited from this as well with The Norwood Author also down to its last copy and sales increasing of Close to Holmes.

This is rather pleasing although I'll have to wait for the official sales figures before I know whether I am celebrating too early.

If you're in the UK and Amazon are sold out be sure to check Book Depository or Waterstones. With the former you don't need to have an account with them. You can make an unregistered purchase with Pay Pal.

Amazon UK - Nearly Sold Out

Good news. Amazon UK are down to their last two copies of An Entirely New Country.

Interesting - Book on sale now

Hi all. It would appear that Amazon UK are shipping my new book now.

This may seem odd but....

Yes - I've just written a book on Arthur Conan Doyle's years at Undershaw. I know, you don't need to remind me. However I do have a question which I need answers to.

Does anyone out there know anything about the design and layout of the house's garden? It was something I never came across in my researches and was, I will admit, something I wasn't overly concerned about.

I intend to raid the home library in an effort to unearth facts but if anyone out there knows anything it would be useful. It is for a little side project.

Thanks.

AENC Snippet - 4 Conan Doyle and Parliament

When Conan Doyle was campaigning to enter Parliament it was suggested that his conduct was inappropriate for a member of a certain London club. Conan Doyle was forced to defend himself in the press.

Want to know more. Order now.

Grrrrrr

I have recently taken delivery of three postcards. Not a newsworthy event as such but it is mildly irritating for me. The postcards depict the Beacon Hotel, The Hindhead Golf Club clubhouse and the home of Grant Allen.

The latter two in particular would have been fantastic for inclusion in the new book.

Oh well. Perhaps in the second edition......

AENC Snippet - 3 Conan Doyle during the Boer War

In 1900 Arthur Conan Doyle went out to South Africa to work at a field hospital. He did this because he was desperate to serve his country during the Boer War but was considered too old for active service.

In his autobiography and private letters he was rather disparaging about the head surgeon Robert O'Callaghan and his suitability for his position.

Was this justified? I think not....to find out more order now.

AENC Snippet - 2 Hound of the Baskervilles

Have you ever wondered where Conan Doyle got the idea for the Barrymores for The Hound of the Baskervilles? Have you ever wondered why the Barrymores talk of leaving Sir Henry's employment even though they won't leave before the end of the novel?

A theory can be found in my new book. Order here

AENC Snippet - 1 William Gillette

William Gillette, the American stage actor, brought Sherlock Holmes to London's Lyceum Theatre in September 1901. The play had done very well in the United States but its London debut was met with boos and shouting.

Many people have believed that this was due to people objecting to such an iconic British figure being portrayed by an American. The truth was somewhat different.

Want to know more?

Order now.

AENC - Snippets

I have decided, with just over a week to go until the release of my next book, to post some teaser items. First to follow shortly.

Editing hat on

As some of my Twitter followers will be aware I am trying my hand at a bit of editing. I freely admit that I have never edited for someone else before but this is not any old editing job. This is the editing of a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

I can say nothing specific about the title at this stage but the task has proved an eye-opener. It is one thing to self-edit, another to deal with an editor who is going through your work, it is quite another to do the editing for someone else.

The problem of course is that you have to be critical, bordering on nasty, about the things that don't seem right. I'm also putting a lot of myself into someone else's work and, even though my name will not appear on the end result, I feel that my reputation is on the line as much as that of the author.

Why? Simple. Not only am I doing the regular thing of hunting for typos and anachronistic language I am also having to recommend changes where my Sherlockian knowledge tells me things are amiss. So the part of my reputation that is on the line is not my reputation as an editor (I have none to damage) but my reputation as a Sherlock Holmes 'expert'.

Gulp!

Mysterious

I'm told that the Mysterious Bookshop in New York has placed an order for some copies of An Entirely New Country. Many thanks indeed.

Pipe Ashes to Ashes - an amusing thought


I have often wondered what it must have been like to be a person reading the Sherlock Holmes stories as they came out. Anybody that has come to Sherlock Holmes since 1927 has had the benefit of having all the stories instantly available, the entire canon has been there for us to dip into.

What must it have been like to be one of those people who had to wait for the next instalment to be published, one of those people who mourned the publication of The Final Problem without the assurance that Holmes would return?

I also wonder what it must have been like for people when Holmes ceased to be contemporary. As I have mentioned before, Holmes began his adventures operating in the same world and age as his readers but as the world entered the 20th century Holmes remained largely in the 19th. By the time 1927 was reached Holmes had not had an adventure later in time than 1914 and his last published adventure Shoscombe Old Place was set at the turn of the century, nearly three decades prior to its publication date.

So, looked at another way, Holmes went from being a contemporary detective to being almost a retro detective. He operated in the past but it was a past that many of his readers were directly familiar with. Or, to put it yet another way, Holmes became trapped in the recent past - he entered his own version of Life on Mars.

How about that? A parallel between Sherlock Holmes and Gene Hunt.

 

Speaking with babes

Yesterday evening I spoke with the Baker Street Babes for their next podcast (number 13). My contribution to proceedings included the story of how I came to be interested in Sherlock Holmes, how I came to be involved with the Undershaw Preservation Trust and how I came to write my latest book An Entirely New Country.

I was joined in the discussion by Lynn Gale, known to many of you as one of the driving forces of the Undershaw Preservation Trust.

I understand the podcast will be released before the end of November.

Less than three weeks to go...

An Entirely New Country - my new book on the life of Arthur Conan Doyle during the Undershaw years will be available worldwide in just under three weeks time.

Get those pre-orders in. Links can be found at the foot of this blog. Remember that 50% of net royalties will be placed at the disposal of the Undershaw Preservation Trust.

Speaking to the Babes


I hope, this Sunday, to be speaking to the Baker Street Babes for part of a future podcast.


I see that episode 12 is already announced so I guess that I'll be featuring on unlucky number 13. I'm just guessing but there's a fair bet they'll quiz me about Undershaw and my new book.

A wee trip to Hindhead



Yesterday took me to Hindhead to see Lynn Gale and hand over an early copy of An Entirely New Country. It was a suitably foggy day.

We then proceeded to a nearby hostelry where we had a little chat about the book and our hopes for its success. You can help....buy now - links here.



One sneaked out


A certain lucky(?) individual received a copy of my book from Amazon.com yesterday. Thanks to a small oversight on Amazon's part they released a copy (at least one that we know of) before the official date. A few words in the right ear and this has been halted.

Just goes to show that automated systems are not a substitute for a good old fashioned human being.

The debate draws near

The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate draws near. Yesterday I put together my thoughts for team three and submitted them for inclusion in the team's slides.

My fear for The House of Silk


There has been much raving in the press about the new Sherlock Holmes story The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. Journalists seem to be lining up to report that it is excellent. They also seem to be saying that Horowitz writes in the style of Conan Doyle which begs the question - are they qualified to judge that? To my mind, the individual reader will decide that for themselves and the opinions are bound to be wide ranging.


I am still waiting for my copy to arrive but a day does not seem to go by where I don't see a sign proclaiming it to be Holmes's darkest case and so on.






I fear that these adverts are raising my expectations to a level where it may not be possible for the book to reach. Much is also being made of this being the first Conan Doyle Estate sanctioned book. Why? Is it a guarantee of quality? What level of input did the estate have?

Please don't get me wrong. I am not condemning the book. That would be daft as I am yet to read it. My fear is that the publicity surrounding it will do more harm than good.

Have you read it? Does it live up to the hype? Please let me know - just don't write any spoilers.

Happy birthday Mr Brett


As you will have read elsewhere today is Jeremy Brett's birthday. For my generation this great man IS Sherlock Holmes and no one has come close to matching him. Older generations may adore Douglas Wilmer or Basil Rathbone - younger generations love Benedict Cumberbatch but, for me and countless others, Brett is best (although the others are good).


As I've stated elsewhere, it was Basil Rathbone that first got me interested in Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle but it was Jeremy Brett that made me stay the course. It was Brett who ultimately caused me to be sat here writing this blog entry with nearly three decades of fandom and four books behind me.

For that, and so much more, my thanks sir. May you rest in peace - that peace is richly deserved.

More can be read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Brett

Look what has just arrived


The 'author copies' have arrived.


Sorry folks they are all taken.

Not long now

It is a little over a month now before An Entirely New Country is released. I imagine that the first batch of review copies will be heading out soon.

Links to it and my other books can be found here. The links are all Amazon but the books can of course be purchased from other retailers such as Book Depository, Play.Com and Barnes and Noble.

Phew!

I have just submitted my last radio play review. This was for The Old Court Theatre Radio Company production of Sherlock Holmes - A Drama in Four Acts. The decks are now clear.


Next!

Busy busy

I have now submitted reviews for two of the three radio plays on my list. Now I look back I have written an awful lot over the past two years. In addition to my forthcoming book I have written three book reviews, two radio play reviews and an article on Conan Doyle biographies.

Much of this output will appear in December's Sherlock Holmes Journal.

Sherlockology Interview - Opposition

Well it seems that after a lot of 'likes' and agreements there is finally someone who disagrees with most of what I said. In the interests of even-handedness I provide the link here.

http://cuddlytogas.tumblr.com/post/12030275901/i-dont-feel-like-sleeping-talking-sherlock-holmes

The odd question as well as my answers come in for criticism.

Does this lady have a point? Discuss.

An Entirely New Country

In the interests of fairness the following link utilises BookButler.com to show price comparisons for my new book.

http://www.bookbutler.com/compare.html?searchFor=1908218193&searchIn=uk&amountIn=gbp&shipTo=gb&zip=

This is for UK delivery only at present. If you follow the link you can change currency and destination country after the page loads.

Sherlockology Interview

Yesterday I gave an interview to Sherlockology.com the principal fansite for BBC's Sherlock.

http://sherlockology.tumblr.com/post/11958038371/alistairduncan

Amazon.com - update

It would appear that Amazon.com have removed the ability to pre-order copies of my latest book via Book Depository.

Making progress

Well I have devoted most of today to reading Christopher Sandford's book on Houdini and Conan Doyle.

I am now firmly in the part of the book that details the deterioration in the friendship between the two men.

Alas I can say no more as my review is destined for the Winter edition of the Sherlock Holmes Journal. All being well the journal will feature this review along with that I wrote for Barefoot on Baker Street. It will also feature a special supplement which will feature an article by me.



Amusing Press Inaccuracy

I am informed by my publisher that the local press in Tower Hamlets have just discovered that I won the Tony & Freda Howlett Award back in May.

http://www.mytowerhamlets.co.uk/news/local-sherlock-holmes-author-wins-literary-prize

I find this small quote rather amusing:

"On his personal blog, Alistair Duncan or ‘Sherlockian’ as he calls himself, wrote: ‘I am very pleased and proud that my book ‘The Norwood Author’ won the Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award 2011’."

Somehow I think that the Tower Hamlets press don't realise that "Sherlockian" is something of a general term and not some sort of super hero name I have awarded myself.

I did have to laugh.

A Game of Shadows Trailer 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=XKu0y1SXcVw

Enjoy (or not, depending on your preference).

Amazon.com users can now order An Entirely New County

Amazon.com customers can now place pre-order for my new book An Entirely New Country. The following link will do the trick

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1908218193/sr=8-1/qid=1319200248/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1319200248&sr=8-1&seller=

However you should note that the orders are actually being placed with Book Depository. At least you can order in US dollars. You are given the impression that you will get delivery quickly but please bear in mind that the release date is still December 5th.

Further images from the Sherlock Holmes Pub night

Some further images from last Thursday evening. All courtesy of Roger Johnson / Jean Upton.

Holmes and Watson collecting for the raffle

Assistant manager Richard and our David Jones

Watson wooing his next potential wife?

Judi Ellis and Jean Upton

Holmes and Watson with the winner of the bubbly

Who says Holmes does not get on with the ladies?

Homework

I forgot to mention that at last night's event Roger Johnson furnished me with not only the book on Houdini and Conan Doyle but also a series of audio plays of Sherlock Holmes by the Old Court Radio Company.

Reviews of all of these items are to appear in the Winter Sherlock Holmes Journal along with (hopefully) my review of Barefoot on Baker Street.

The Sherlock Holmes Pub - Event


Last night I was one of a number of Sherlockians who visited the Sherlock Holmes pub to officially celebrate its reopening following refurbishment.


Regrettably I did not see the dining area but the bar has been given a good spruce up. The layout has not changed but it does feel a lot cleaner and roomy that it did before. I was also reliably informed that the facilities (if you catch my drift) are a wonder to behold.

Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue put in a brief appearance and I managed a few brief words with them - sorry folks no juicy spoilers (alas).

It was also an opportunity for many Sherlockians to finally meet my publisher Steve Emecz of MX Publishing, The picture below of Roger Johnson, myself and Steve does not do us any justice taken, as it was, on an iPhone without flash.



Finally where would we have been without Holmes and Watson themselves who went round collecting entries for the raffle. Alas I cannot tell you who won as I had to leave before the draw.