Monday, December 8, 2014

Sherlock Through The Ages

Bouchercon, the world's mystery convention, had a wonderful Sherlockian panel called Sherlock through the Ages featuring five authors who's fiction involves or is about Holmes: Michael Kurland, Lindsay Faye, Leslie Klinger, Laurie R. King and Michael Robertson (pictured above). 

Moderator, Leslie Klinger, started out the panel by talking about the recent lawsuit against the estate of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. The estate, which still owns rights to ten Sherlock Holmes stories, sought to charge licensing fees to anyone writing about Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Leslie Klinger and Laurie R. King brought a suit saying those characters are out of copyright. Klinger and King have won the suit and the court has ordered the estate to pay Leslie Klinger's court fees. You can find out more about the case here. The book that started the litigation is an anthology called In The Company of Sherlock Holmes and it was launched at a party at Bouchercon. 

Here's Les Klinger making the launch announcement out by the pool in Long Beach. 

Leslie Klinger at the In The Company of Sherlock Holmes launch party

The book, edited by Laurie R. King and Les Klinger, features stories by Harlan Ellison, Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connolly, John Lescroat and others. Authors didn't have to write specifically about Holmes, just be inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories. 

One of my favorite writers is Laurie R. King. I love her protagonist Mary Russell, who is the female match for Holmes. Here she talks about what moved her to create Mary Russell, how nothing catches you if you're not ready for it and how complex the character of Holmes truly is.

Laurie R. King's next Mary Russell book is called Dreaming Spies and it comes out in Feb 2015. We'll have more on Dreaming Spies later. 

So what else did we learn:

  • One of the panelists, author Michael Kurland, read a poem that he wrote about Sherlock. You can find that poem, here
  • Lindsay Faye, author of Seven for A Secret, among other books told us that Jeremy Brett, the actor who played Sherlock in 1980s and 90s in the Grenada Television productions carried around a dog-eared copy of the Sherlock canon with him to make sure his performance was true to Conan Doyle. I loved those old shows and watched most if not all of them on PBS. She said she thought House made a wonderful modern day Holmes inspired character and I agree.

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