Saturday, March 5, 2016

You Buy Bones, A New Book of Sherlock Stories


My apologies for not posting earlier yesterday -- medical appointments interfered, and I'll share more about that in a later post. But I have been enjoying reading a series of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, and this latest really absorbed my interest: 

Bones are at the crux of Marcia's main novella in this story collection. The title comes from a 17th-century English proverb: “You buy land, you buy stones; you buy meat, you buy bones.” Throughout, the stories give us Scotland Yard’s view of Holmes as being brilliant, but a bit crazy, while Dr. Watson wins the Yard’s sympathy and growing respect. Watson, in fact, is the hero of the title novella:

Watson has come across disturbing information at a medical convention—the skeleton of a young female exhibited by someone he knew in the past. Watson suspects the skeleton is that of someone related to Inspector Lestrade’s sidekick, Bradstreet. Since the suspect is in the medical profession and a fellow Scotsman, Watson feels personal responsibility to track him down. Because it may be a difficult case to prosecute, he leaves Holmes out of it to avoid jeopardizing the consulting detective’s career.

As the case progresses, body thieves, grave robbers, and ancient folklore about selkies (seal people) come into play, along with genetic traits inherited in certain North Sea cultures. To say more than that would involve spoilers.

What I particularly enjoyed in this collection of stories was the new take on Watson and Holmes, as well as the interplay between Lestrade and Gregson. The latter two show up in the cannon as inspectors working with Sherlock Holmes, but here we see their personal rivalry and individual personalities, with Lestrade the more complex and sympathetic lawman who shares Watson’s temperament and approach to things.

Watson himself becomes more three dimensional than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s returning war soldier. The cannon wavers between whether Watson’s leg or shoulder has been wounded. Given realities of modern warfare (of the 20th century), Wilson shows Watson suffering from recurring pain in both his leg and shoulder, as well as giving him a certain cynicism, despite his sturdiness of character. Watson becomes a modest hero one can root for without ever detracting from the brilliance of his roommate at 221b Baker Street. Additionally, Wilson gives a reader the texture of London’s backstreets, as well as that of late 19th century Edinburgh.


This fine story collection is a good addition for any collector of Sherlock Holmes fiction and a good find for anyone who enjoys a complex mystery.

You can buy this book at:
Amazon
and all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide

Do you have a favorite Holmes and Watson mystery to share here? Or even any mystery? I'm always on the lookout for recommendations.


12 comments:

  1. This sounds like a lot of fun. I'm not as much of a Sherlock fan as you are, but I do love a good mystery, so may check this collection out. Thanks for the heads up.

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  2. Hi, Rosi, thanks for stopping by. This was a very different Watson/Holmes mystery, in that Holmes wasn't involved in the solution at all, and Watson was much more well-rounded and more interesting than usual. Not jovial in this story.

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  3. Sounds like a book I'd love to read. Lestrade is one of my favorite supporting characters. :-)

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    1. Yes, I think Lestrade is a perfect foil for Sherlock -- although I suppose you could say Watson is, too. In Wilson's book, Lestrade and Watson are kindred spirits in their approach to things.

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  4. I had no idea there were so many takes on Sherlock and Watson. Pretty popular pair. I even have 2 characters in my book nicknaming each other S&W. Hi! Just stopping by to see how you're doing. I'm in the submission doldrums....

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  5. Hi, Sharon, I'm glad you stopped by. I've always liked the Sherlock Holmes stories and some of the earlier TV series and movies, but I didn't realize how popular they were, either. When I finally wrote Imogene, I started being aware of more and more pastiches. And then discovered MX Publishing, who published my book and specializes in Holmes-related fiction. A whole world of authors opened up to me. I also hadn't realized how many Sherlock Holmes societies there are -- even in India, where my husband is from. What a phenomenon Doyle created!

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  6. I haven't read a good mystery in a really long time. I have forgotten how much I love the Sherlock Holmes stories. I had no idea how popular they were either.
    Thank you for the suggestion!

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    1. Doreen, there are so many good Sherlock novels out there. An all time favorite of mine is Mrs. Hudson and the Malabar Rose, by Martin Davies. It's also very funny.

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  7. I don't have a favorite Sherlock and Watson story, but I have noticed several agents asking for things like Sherlock homes in space. Apparently the stories and character dynamics are still very much in demand, even across all genres.

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  8. Wow! I didn't know that! A space opera with Holmes and Watson! I'll have to pass that on to my Sherlockian colleagues. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. I am amazed at how many takes there are on Sherlock and Watson. I enjoy them all...the books, the tv shows, the movies. No doubt there are comics and other things too. Yikes! And a space opera. Why not?

    Hope all goes well, Elizabeth. I see you on FB and forget that I haven't visited your blog in awhile...:-)

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  10. Hi, Denise, great that you stopped by. I'm glad you enjoy all the Sherlockian stuff. There's a new anthology coming out soon -- Beyond Watson -- with stories about Sherlock written from a point of view not Watson's. One of my stories will be in it.

    Hope all is going we'll with your writing. And, yes, we do seem to connect more on FB than on blogs. Sometimes it gets hard to keep up with everything and still focus on writing. :-)

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