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.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

A Sherlockian Christmas Triptych

 One of my Christmas presents came early this year.

A Three-Pipe Christmas, now available on Amazon (click here), is a long-held dream of mine come to fruition in a way that exceeded my expectations.

 Some years ago, I noticed the intersection of three wonderful stories related to Sherlock Holmes: “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” is the only canonical Holmes tale set during Christmas. August Derleth’s Solar Pons story, “The Adventure of the Unique Dickensians,” is also set at Christmas and plays off of Vincent Starrett’s classic pastiche, “The Adventure of the Unique Hamlet.” The latter two stories were both first published at Christmas as chapbooks in very limited editions – “Hamlet” in 1920 and “Dickensians” in 1968.

My dream was to put the three stories together in one book, along with three essays on each – reflections by top-notch Sherlockians. Derrick and Brian Belanger, of Belanger Books, liked the idea and ran with it, creating a beautiful book with five illustrations for each story.

But A Three-Pipe Christmas isn’t just another pretty face. The lineup of writers is incredibly strong – Julie McKuras, Monica M. Schmidt, and Shannon Carlisle on “The Blue Carbuncle”; Susan Rice, your humble servant, and Randall Stock on “Hamlet,” and David Marcum, Bob Byrne, and Roger Johnson on “Dickensians.” I’m grateful that they all agreed to play in my sandbox.

The brilliant and elegant essay by the legendary Susan Rice, “The Unique Starrett,” holds a special meaning for me. It was her final work. Susan sent it to me on March 28 of this year and crossed beyond the Reichenbach on September 28. I didn’t know her well, but I will always remember her kindness as well as her scholarship.

Needless to say (but I’ll say it!), this book is just made for a spot under your favorite Sherlockian’s Christmas tree. Proceeds will be donated to the R. Joel Senter Essay Contest of the Beacon Society, which provides cash prizes to students who write winning essays about Sherlock Holmes. In that sense, it will be a gift that keeps on giving!