Saturday, March 08, 2008

In the shadow of Sherlock Holmes

The new Cozy Times Newsletter pointed me to a review of two Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-related books, the biography The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Free Press) and the a 706-page tome, Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters (Penguin Press). ("One Hit Wonder," New York Times) Although Doyle famously resented the enormous popularity of his legendery detective, reviewer Jeremy McCarter says the combined result of the two books is to prove the author should have been grateful for his lot:
... you begin to feel that a wiser man would have spent less time complaining about the shadow cast by Sherlock Holmes and more time feverishly thanking the literary gods for its existence. For in its absence, who would notice, let alone publish, humdrum notes like these?
(Which reminds me of the This Train lyric, "The One-Hit Wonders laugh at us / 'Cause at least they had a hit".) If there is a lesson in all this, it seems to be pray for that one hit -- and if, God willing, that happens, swim with the current ... not against it.

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Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.