Monday, February 5, 2018

Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen — A Rare Find


What am I celebrating this week? A rare literary treat for Sherlock Holmes lovers— Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen, written by Canadian author Wendy Heyman-Marsaw and edited by  JoAnn and Mark Alberstat.

Wendy Heyman-Marsaw
Mark Alberstat
Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen, is a treasure trove  for writers of Sherlock Holmes pastiches and fan fiction.  It's also sheer pleasure reading for those who simply like wondering about the fictitious people who lived at 221b Baker Street. Settling into these pages, it's easy to believe they actually existed.

Mrs. Hudson, readers will recall, was the patient landlady who rented rooms to Holmes and Watson. What's fun about this book is Mrs. Hudson's many observations on the habits of these gentlemen, what they preferred for breakfast, whether they took tea or coffee (coffee with breakfast, tea for special occasions), little gossipy tidbits like that. Obviously the landlady was an avid reader of Watson's stories, for she refers to various cases in little trips of her own down memory lane. Not surprisingly, her memories involve meals served, advances in kitchen gadgetry, recipes with instructions for preparing several recipes, and cleaning tips she and her maid, Molly used to keep 221b clean and sparkling.

Mrs. Hudson was well-read in general, and these memoirs provide her own slant on Victorian society, train travel, fashion, the history of certain buildings, and on Queen Victoria herself. We also get a glimpse into Mrs. Hudson's personal background — how she met her husband; how he died; why she never remarried. (Heyman-Marsaw provides a lovely portrait supposedly of Mrs. Hudson as a young woman.)

This delightful book both an enjoyable read and a truly useful handbook for anyone writing about the Victorian Era in general or Sherlock Holmes adventures in particular — all enhanced by newspaper photographs and advertisements of the time. Five stars to this fine book.

You can order Memoirs of Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen HERE
You can follow her on Facebook HERE or follow her on Twitter HERE


What are you celebrating today? Did you watch Victoria last night after the Super Bowl? Do you have a favorite book that provides examples of memorabilia and realia of a historical time?

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog(You can go to any of these sites to add your name to the links, if you want to participate.)

17 comments:

  1. Mrs. Hudson would just be another Victorian landlady were it not for Watson and Holmes. What a fun read I suspect this will be. You have really piqued my interest in this book, which sounds like one I would really enjoy. Thanks for the great review.

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    1. You are so right. Peripheral fame for those connected to a "celebrity". (There are several fun mysteries, too, by various authors featuring Mrs. Hudson as sleuth.) This is enjoyable for its informational rather than fictive aspects. I plan to dip into it often when I write the sequel to Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls.

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  2. This sounds like a great little book. I wish I'd thought of the idea!

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    1. I know what you mean, Julia. I wish I had, too. It's amazing that no one did before now. On the other hand, I'm just glad to have my copy to consult. It's a delightful way to visit an era.

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  3. This does look like a lot of fun. Thanks for the heads up.

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  4. It sounds like an interesting insight with lots of information and tidbits that are new. Thanks for your advice for helping to finish my manuscript, its sounds like a good idea, I shall give it a try. Thank you, Elizabeth.

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    1. Hi, Suzanne, Thanks for stopping by. Keep me posted on your manuscript. It really sounds like you are almost at the end of this draft. Best of luck.

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  5. This sounds like a great gift for Sherlock fans. Oddly, I haven't read any Sherlock- though of course I have heard of him and his cases. I do love mysteries- so I think I should add him to my TBR. I do know a lot of people that are big fans. Will recommend this to them. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Hi, Jess, your are right that it would be a good gift for Sherlock fans. I also think you should take a peek into the stories. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did so much in his writing that we read in writing advice today: The stories move, the characters are interesting, there are no wasted words, etc.

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  6. My dad has a collection of books including fiction and textbooks that go back over a hundred years and it's always fun to go through them for the illustrations.

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    1. Wow, I'm sure that would be a treasure trove if you are writing or illustrating historical fiction.

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  7. Oh this sounds like a fun read and don't you just love the cover.
    Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

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  8. His, Sandra, I agree. The cover is enticing right off. That's part of what attracted me to the book. It makes you realize the importance of cover design, doesn't it?

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  9. I find it fascinating that the author wrote from the landlady's perspective. What a unique idea.

    Thanks for stopping by Chrys' and the purchase:) Much appreciated.

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    1. I read a pair of mysteries once that were from Mrs. Hudson's perspective, where she turned out to be the mastermind behind Holmes and really was the one to solve the case each time. They both were very humorous books by Martin Davies: Mrs. Hudson and the Malabar Rose, and Mrs. Hudson and the Spirits' Curse. I've read them a few times, they were so enjoyable. You might like them.

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