Monday, June 27, 2016

Beyond Watson Stories

This post is not a "celebration" post (although a few weeks ago I did celebrate the publication of Beyond Watson.) In the coming weeks, though, in addition to Friday celebrations, I'm going to be posting about the other stories in this great collection.

With much pleasure, I'm working my way through them. I'm purposely going slowly, as I want to appreciate each story for itself. So far I've read three, and each is a gem:


Geri Shear's "Mrs. Hudson's Lodger" tells how Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock Holmes met. You'd be surprised. One of my favorite painters, the English landscapist William Turner (or J. M. W. Turner, more formally) is involved. The characterizations of Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock Holmes are excellent. The story, charming and completely engrossing, flows beautifully.

Marcia Wilson's "The Mortal Condition," takes place during a stake-out on a cold winter night. In this atmospheric tale, a reader sees Sherlock Holmes through the eyes of Lestrade, the inspector who is so often overshadowed by Holmes. Lestrade turns out to be a deeply philosophical and sympathetic character whose observations cast new light on The Great Detective and his partner, Watson. By the time I finished the story, Wilson's setting was so real that I felt I had actually been there and experienced the cold and damp, the ominous shadows.


Richard Paolinelli's "A Lesson in Mercy" is a brilliant reminiscence by none other than Sir Winston Churchill. (I love it when historical figures are pulled into a Sherlock Holmes story!) The famous prime minister shares an incident that he considers "the darkest time in my career." What that event was, you'll just have to read the story to find out. But the characters are engaging, and we get young Churchill's view of both Holmes and Watson.


Now I'm starting Derrick Belanger's "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Sherlock Holmes." (Belanger as in Belanger Books.) With typical modesty and support of the other authors, Belanger put his story last in the anthology. Reading the collection, I started at the beginning, and was working my way down. But then my husband read "Yes, Virginia . . ." and his reactions were such that I simply had to skip ahead and read it now. I'll be sharing that and other stories next time.


Meanwhile, you can order Beyond Watson at:

AMAZON

How about you? Do you have any story collections to recommend? Do you like the idea of seeing Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson through new eyes?




22 comments:

  1. I'd love read a book with Winston Churchill as a character. Any of these sound so interesting. Love fictionalized versions of real people in stories.

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    1. I do, too, Lee. It really helps ground a story in the era. Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy mysteries have Molly encountering famous people of the time. I love that!

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  2. I'm a Sherlock Holmes fan, but I usually don't like 'fan fiction' or stories written about well-established characters by others than the original. I didn't like the stories written about 'the woman' in the Sherlock mystique either, which were from her POV. I'm a purist in that I almost always like the originals better, be it writing or music (covers). I'm sure there are enough fans of the Sherlock world that many will love this anthology, and I hope the book does well.

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    1. Thanks, D. G. I hope it does, too. I know what you mean about liking the original characters untampered with. I haven't like the Sherlock series that pop him and Watson into another era. I do like them to stay in the Victorian England Doyle set his stories in.

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  3. Sounds like you're having a lot of fun with this series.

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  4. Hi, Sandra, indeed I am. Reading one of these is the perfect relaxation at the end of the day. Long enough to tell a good tale; short enough to finish in one sitting. :-)

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  5. These stories sound fascinating. Thank you for telling us about them. I enjoy short stories too. They fit my attention span. Have a great day.

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    1. Hi, Beverly, your mention of attention span is an interesting point. In this busy era, I think everyone's attention span has shortened, and that may be behind the resurgence of the short story. It's making an interesting comeback.

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  6. I haven't read Sherlock Holmes' stories, but it sounds like you are enjoying this collection. I'm reading a beautiful collection by Annalisa Crawford called That Sadie Thing--outstanding writing here. I'm involved in a couple of collections: Parallels: Felix Was Here for science fiction and Heart Stopper and Other Stories for suspense.

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  7. Hi, Tamara, these all sound good. Thanks for the recommendations, particularly the Sadie Thing and the suspense collection. I'll look for these. The other sounds good too, but these days I'm not that into Sci Fi.

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  8. I can see why you are enjoying this collection. All the stories sound great.

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  9. I just read two more, and they are equally enjoyable. I love seeing how others use interesting twists in their mysteries. So far, I've been surprised every time. :-)

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  10. I've always thought the Lestrade character should be fleshed out. I'm glad Marcia did it, and very glad you're enjoying the stories!

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  11. Hi, Lexa. Yes, poor Lestrade gets such dismissive treatment so often. He's actually (in this story) an intriguing character with problems of his own. Even though he feels overshadowed by an awestruck by Holmes, he has such an interesting slant on him that makes Lestrade himself seem so real.

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  12. Glad to hear you're enjoying the series. I know what you mean about wanting to make something you are enjoying last. Happy reading.

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  13. That's it, Suzanne--making them last. Like candies in a box. :-)

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  14. I'm also a fan of fictionalized real characters. I've been reading Bob Mayer's novels about the Civil War in which Ulysses S. Grant, among others, are fictionalized. Bob graduated from West Point and was Green Beret so he knows what he is writing about. I've read a few Sherlock take offs. I loved the ones by Nicholas Meyer. Sigmund Freud was a character in one of those, too.

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    1. Yes, I like it, woo, when real life figures appear in a historical novel. It adds one more layer of enjoyment. Hope you have a good Fourth.

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  15. Hope you have a fabulous Fourth of July weekend.

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  16. I'm going to have to take note of these stories. They sound intriguing!

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  17. Hi, T. What's particularly enjoyable about them is that each is from a different perspective, even though the Sherlock and Watson are on the scene solving things.

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