Tuesday, December 11, 2018

OFFTOPIC: A Baker Street Wedding (novel, m/f)

A BAKER STREET WEDDING begins like a combination of an English cozy and a decades old mystery novel series like the Saint, the Toff, or especially the Baron (in the later stories when the eponymous hero was happily married). The tone is light, clever turns-of-phrase abound, and author Michael Robertson only occasionally over-eggs the pudding.

 The opening scene in flashback is especially charming and the mystery, as Laura and Reggie embark on it, has elements of interest. Towards the end, the story takes a peculiar turn as both protagonists are replaced by supporting characters including a coyly described version of Holmes himself. Maybe it was not my best decision to jump into a series with the sixth installment. If I had a longer history with these characters I might have been less disappointed with their ultimate lack of agency, the rather hand-wavy explanation of the sinister goings-on, and borderline deus ex machina resolution. 

On the whole this book was extremely entertaining to read but ultimately less than the sum of its parts. Its strengths are charm, wit, and modernized version of ye olde pulp-paperback page-turning prose. But despite the review clip's promises, I doubt Conan Doyle would be overly impressed as his emphasis was more often on a tightly written mystery than lovable characters with adorable foibles who--left to their own devices--would have been effortlessly murdered by the villains and their inexplicably loyal and committed henchmen. (8/10)

Monday, December 10, 2018

VIOLIN OF THE NIGHT by Natasha Rosegold

VIOLIN OF THE NIGHT is a reasonably plausible short story tracking the development of an intimate relationship between Holmes and Watson to their first sexual encounter.  However, rather reaching any conclusion it terminates with a "to be continued".  The price  is$3.99 and you would need to spend another $2.99 on a sequel (DESIRE IN THE DARKNESS) published two days later--almost seven dollars for what is, altogether, still a short story.

I don't think so.

Monday, December 3, 2018

A CASE OF DOMESTIC PILFERING


A CASE OF DOMESTIC PILFERING has a plot roughly in the form of a Victorian farce.  Holmes and Watson, and original characters Guy, Max and Madeleine are involved in untangling the criss-crossed paths of stolen war office plans and (possibly fake) diamonds.

Unfortunately, I found Max, and especially Guy, banal and unpleasant characters.  They aren’t virtuous, they aren’t clever, and their mannerisms are cloying.  The plot while sound, lacks humor, and depends on some unlikely events.  Even Holmes comes out of it looking like his famous intellect is sputtering somewhat.

While an interesting exercise in Holmes x Watson + OC x OC is ultimately = much ado about nothing.  If you like shallow Victorian sophisticates swanning around with green carnations and bickering, you may love this.  If you hate head-hopping and deus ex machina, not so much.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Sherlock's World by Ann J McClellan


I was actually rather disappointed by this book.  While the tone is densely academic, the structure and coverage seems undisciplined.  For example, why are a few specific stories covered in such depth?  Neither objective more qualitative reasons are given for their selection or any specific reason why they are chosen as representative, examples of important themes, or… anything?  This is a big fandom there needs to be a reason other than whim to choose only a handful of works to focus on in each chapter.

In chapter three the authors also choose and describe one theory of why “straight” women (a questionable assumption-slash-stereotype) write homoerotic fan-works, but does not mention the many others or give a reason for picking this one. Nor is the later discussion of specific works based substantially on this theory. Or any other obvious framework. Qualitative research has developed well beyond the narrative essay but this book is essential just one enormous narrative essay, with a structure and path of the prose determined seemingly based on the author’s personal enthusiasms and implicit biases.

As a person with a non-academic interest in this subject, but plenty of familiarity with scholarly works and assessing theses – I found little in the way of original contributions.  It is a fair summary of the subject but what does it contribute beyond that?  It is written too inaccessibly to be a book to introduce people to these ideas for the first time, but is unlikely to reveal anything new to readers already somewhat au fait with JohnLock. Ultimately SHERLOCK’S WORLD describes much but illuminates little.

Review copy courtesy of Netgalley, 3/5

Monday, September 3, 2018

Dyad #6

Dyad #6 is a 158 page comb-bound, letter-sized, one-column zine released in 1991. It contains 15 stories, on3 of which is Holmes/Watson. (This zine is 7% H/W)

Other Things in Life Than Tea is a 6-page story written by Robbie.  It is a Holmes POV first time story--a fairly classic, if overly melodramatic, example of the type.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Improbable Press

Improbable Press describe themselves as "new publishing imprint, specialising in Sherlock Holmes romance and erotica."

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New GSH Anthology Seeking Submissions

From their website: "In 2011, Lethe Press queered the Sherlock Holmes canon with A Study in Lavender, and now we’re putting together a new collection on the theme, A Scandal In Gomorrah."

You can see my review of the previous anthology here. This anthology will be edited by Matt Bright. The theme jumps of from the previous anthology but has a wider scope: " I’d love to see stories that transpose the time, setting or genre; gender-queering or –swapping; metafiction; stories that explore the myriad iterations and pop-culture associations of Sherlock: television/radio/cinema adaptations, animal detectives, iconography, ‘shipping’, fanfiction, imitations, art…"