Newcomers to the world of Sherlockiana may be surprised to know that there's more than one way to define the word "pastiche."
One dictionary definition, which I like, says a pastiche is a literary, artistic, or musical work that imitates the style of a previous work." This is consistent with the explanation that someone (I don't know who) long ago gave me that a Sherlock Holmes pastiche aims to imitate the ACD writing style, whereas not every Sherlock Holmes story has that goal.
By this definition, Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels, written by Dr. Watson, is definitely a pastiche. Almost no one would disagree. The Detective and the Woman, by contrast, arguably is not a pastiche because ACD never wrote a book partly in the narrative voice of Irene Adler.
I find this distinction helpful, but many Sherlockians disagree. Amy Thomas, for example, considers her fine book to be a pastiche. In researching the late critic and mystery writer Julian Symons, I read a Wikipedia article which referred to his enjoyable Sheridan Haynes novels as pastiches. But Haynes isn't Holmes under another name -- he's a modern-day actor who plays Holmes on television. So books not even about Holmes are being called Holmes pastiches.
Does it matter what one considers to be a pastiche? I don't think so, as long it doesn't lead to confusions and disappointment. Anyone who acquired one of my Sherlockian-friendly Sebastian McCabe - Jeff Cody mysteries thinking that it was a story featuring Holmes as the protagonist might be very disappointed indeed.
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