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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My Take on Taking on Sherlock Holmes

How should one write a Sherlock Holmes story?

The answers to that are as varied as the hundreds of writers who have taken up the task over the past century and a quarter. My own approach in my new novel was to write a story that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle might have written.

For me, that meant no shocking departures from what we know about Holmes and Watson, no revisionist history of earlier adventures. It also meant imitating the original stories in small ways and big ways. For example:

The title House of the Doomed follows the title pattern of the four Canonical Holmes novels in that it is four words long (The Sign of the Four is five, but the book is also known as The Sign of Four). Short nouns appear at the beginning and the end of the title.

Its length is 41,000 words, very close to the word-count of A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four. It is divided into 15 chapters, the same as The Hound and just one more than Study and The Valley of Fear.

Some of Holmes’s dialogue echoes familiar passages of the Canon without directly quoting, except in instances where the original text repeated the quote. (“How many times must I tell you, Watson . . .”)

A number of plot tropes that Conan Doyle used repeatedly show up this adventure as well. Without saying too much, the story features Holmes in disguise, Watson dispatched to gather information in Holmes’s place, secret writing, Gothic atmospherics (including a woman in peril), an American, a secret past, and burglary in a good cause.

I'm happy to say that my publisher also strove for authenticity in the design of the book. The fonts are wonderfully evocative of the late Victorian era!  

Did it all work? As Dr. Watson once said (GAR), “Well, you shall judge for yourself.”
House of the Doomed is available from Gasogene Books/ Wessex Press. You can order here.  

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly the kind of Holmes adventure that I support - It's what I buy, write, edit, and promote.

    I'm looking forward to getting this book. I try to buy or acquire all traditional pastiches, and I place an Amazon order about once a week, but this isn't on Amazon (yet), and ordering from Wessex is something I only do every once in a while. Hopefully I'll get this one in the next few months.