Vampires not being my long suit, that was never a temptation for me.
But that e-mail got me to thinking about Loren D. Estleman’s Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula: The Adventure of the Sanguinary Count. I can’t say for sure that this 1978 book was the first pastiche with that theme, but it may have been. And it’s certainly among the best.
When the book first came out I was reviewing mysteries for The Cincinnati Post. My comments about it were so positive that were used as a blurb on some of the paperback editions.
I met Estleman, who later became a fine writer of private eye novels and westerns, at a mystery writer’s conference in June 1989. The following month he sent me a letter, which read in part:
Thanks too for that good review of SH vs. D ten years ago. I remember most of the reviews for that book because it was my first work to receive critical notice of any sort; my first novel, THE OKLAHOMA PUNK, died a painless paperback death without tears or joy from the journals and my second, THE HIDER, was a hardcover western, hence no heraldry. To this day, in fact, SH remains my bestselling book, still paying royalties after all this time.
I hope it still is. Estleman, who is 13 days older than I am, has now written nearly 70 books – all of them on a manual typewriter.
|Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula is in there somewhere.|