When I first started writing the Russell books, I took great care to assert that these were not Sherlock Holmes stories, that they were about Mary Russell, with Holmes a supporting actor. Which they are, clearly.
As I’ve mellowed, I have become more interested in the character of Holmes, curious about how this man with the brilliant mind and cold heart would be changed by his apprentice-turned-partner. I went so far as to write an actual Holmes pastiche, inserting it into the midst of a Martinelli novel (The Art of Detection.) And over the years, I’ve written a number of academic essays on The Gent With the Pipe, including “Watson’s War Wound,” “A Holmes Chronology,” and an introduction to The Hound of the Baskervilles (collected in Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes—not to be mistaken for anyone else’s Holmes.)
Still, it’s always a bit of a thrill to be taken (or, mistaken?) for a Holmes expert. Two such thrills came up recently. First, I shall speak to the assembled masses, or however many of them manage to crawl from their beds for a Sunday morning panel, at Bay Area Sherlock:
And two, “I” am being taught in the course on Sherlock Holmes at Politics and Prose in DC this fall, when Beekeeper’s Apprentice joins Michael Chabon’s Final Solution and Anthony Horowitz’s House of Silk in what promises to be a fascinating discussion of, Interpretations of Sherlock Holmes II, beginning September 8.
If anyone joins in at either of these, do let me know how it went!