LRK on: Sherlock Holmes
When I first started writing the Russell stories, I was firm in my statements that I did not write Sherlock Holmes stories, I wrote Mary Russell stories. Having, I think, proven that fact over the course of twelve books, I am no longer quite so scrupulous about having nothing to say about the man with the pipe.
For a collection of my thoughts on Holmes, you can purchase my new ebook, Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes, on Amazon. Click here to find out more.
Any writer of crime fiction has to deal with the presence of Sherlock Holmes in the background, just as any serious artist has to know and acknowledge the greats who have gone before. This is why so many writers, even those who don’t generally get classified as mystery writers, touch down on the genre of the Sherlockian pastiche. Pulitzer prize winner Michael Chabon’s story of Holmes in his (gasp) dotage is but one example.
Mary Russell is who Holmes would be if the Victorian detective were young, female, and of the twentieth century. Conan Doyle’s stories cease to be set after the beginning of the Great War (he wrote stories after 1914, but they were invariably set long before) because that war killed off the world that was Sherlock Holmes. In the Russell stories, I look at what Holmes might have looked like after that huge change in his society. I honor and respect the character, and his creator, at all times, even when I tweak them for their male posturing and pretensions. Imitation may or may not be the sincerest form of flattery, but it is certainly a form of love.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Video of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle discussing Sherlock Holmes:
Essay by Fred Erisman, If Watson Were a Woman.
Holmes, the original forensic scientist.