In his biography, Rex Stout, the late John McAleer records that he once asked the creator of Nero Wolfe this question:
Anthony Burgess says that those who write series detective stories are artists -- like Wodehouse and Faulkner -- building a world. Do you agree?
Stout responded tersely, "Depends on the writer. Doyle or Simenon, yes; Christie or Gardner, no." (He might well have included himself in the "yes" category, of course.)
For many of us, this is world-building part of the appeal of Sherlock Holmes: He takes us into a defined world of continuing characters, relationships, and places where "it is always 1895."
Jaime N. Mahoney, on her Better Holmes & Gardens blog, recently offered a typically insightful post about how important setting is to Holmes. To take him out of Victorian England in those "fish out of water" stories where he wakes up in the future or is taken there by time machine severely weakens him, she correctly notes.
This is a tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle's success in building a world. My fan Nuno Robles of Lisbon, Portugal, was kind enough to say that in my two Sebastian McCabe - Jeff Cody mystery novels I have "created a great, mysterious, fascinating and familiar (it seems we could be there ourselves...) universe that I honestly hope will continue for many volumes in the (very near) future."
I can't think of a greater compliment for my books!
What's your favorite mystery world?
Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.