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The House of Silk – a NEW Sherlock Holmes Novel

November 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: LitNews, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

House of SilkIn January of  this year Anthony Horowitz made a surprising announcement at a meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society.  The Conan Doyle Estate had authorized Horowitz to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel.    It was an absolutely unprecedented event.  The Estate had never before made such an arrangement.

The new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk, is now available and getting great reviews.

The Huffington Post ~ A book firmly rooted in the style of Doyle, faithful to the character as created and with just enough wiggle room to allow the author to say all the things he’s been longing to say about the world of 221B Baker Street…THE HOUSE OF SILK will satisfy.

Publishers Weekly (starred review) ~ The hype surrounding what’s being billed as the first pastiche ever officially approved by the Conan Doyle estate is amply justified … authentic. Horowitz gets everything right-the familiar narrative voice, brilliant deductions, a very active role for Watson, and a perplexing and disturbing series of puzzles to unravel-and the legion of fans of the originals will surely be begging for Horowitz to again dip into Watson’s trove of untold tales.

If you have a Kindleand are a little unsure about the whole Conan Doyle replacement issue, then you can download a sample chapter and check it out before you commit to buying the book.

Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes

October 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Arthur Conan Doyle didn’t just write mysteries, he actually solved a few.  One of his most famous cases is the George Edalji case.

Roger Oldfield has written a book about the case, Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes.  Mr. Oldfield brings a unique perspective to the case as someone who has met descendents of individuals involved in the case.  He’s also familiar with the area where the case took place.

Roger Oldfield recently told LitQuotes this about the case and about his new book:

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‘SHERLOCK HOLMES AT WORK’.  This was the headline in the Daily Telegraph on January 11 1907 when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the first of two articles announced to the world that he was taking up the case of George Edalji.    The great novelist George Meredith, one of the many literary friends who wrote to congratulate him, put it this way: Sherlock Holmes, he said, had shown ‘what can be done in the life of breath’.

There had already been a national outcry in 1903 when George Edalji of Great Wyrley in Staffordshire had been convicted of wounding a pony, the 8th of a series of barbarous outrages against animals in his home village.  The fact however that the very creator of Sherlock Holmes seemed in 1907 to be acting out the part of his own creation, the most famous character in British fiction, gave George Edalji’s cause worldwide fame: newspapers from New York to Paris to Mumbai reported the developing events of 1907 with fascination.  Conan Doyle not only acted as sleuth, scouring the scene of the crime and interviewing the major players;  he also had his real-life Inspector Lestrade as adversary, in the shape of George Anson, Chief Constable of Staffordshire, whom he blamed for George Edalji’s wrongful conviction.

The shadow of Sherlock Holmes has hung over the story every since. ‘It is a blot upon the record of English Justice,’ Conan Doyle wrote in his Memories and Adventures in 1924, ‘and even now it should be wiped out.’ This was the verdict which echoed for decades through the pens of many of the dozens of his admirers and biographers – ‘a very gentle, perfect knight (Lamond, 1931), a ‘brilliant vindication of Edalji’ (Pemberton, 1936), ‘the incarnation of the English conscience’ (Nordon, 1968).  Even Julian Barnes, who has revived worldwide interest in the story in his novel Arthur & George (2005), the bookies’ favourite for the top literary prize in Britain in 2005, does not question Conan Doyle’s view that Edalji was innocent.

There is evidence, however, which runs counter to the Conan Doyle view, as the local historian Michael Harley suggested in the 1980s.   Roger Oldfield’s book Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes, Vanguard Press, 2010, is the first to go behind the scenes and assess the evidence for and against George Edalji in full.  A conclusion is reached on whether the man who believed in fairies had been taken in by the mild-mannered, middle class myopic from Great Wyrley.   As for Julian Barnes’s novel, that too is subjected to rigorous scrutiny and the general reader is given a glimpse into how far it remains true to the actual historical record.

Also new, and of special interest for Conan Doyle addicts, is an account of the extraordinary secret war which broke out between Conan Doyle and Chief Constable Anson.  At one point their furious dispute led each of them to appeal to Winston Churchill for support.   Anson was utterly contemptuous of the detective skills of the man many thought actually was Sherlock Holmes, and his seething hatred for the world-famous writer lasted until his death.

Roger Oldfield’s book suggests that the shadow of Sherlock Holmes hanging over the story has obscured the fascinating history of the Edalji family as a whole.  His research has uncovered a mass of new material about all five members of the family which has never been published before.

For full details of the book see www.outrage-rogeroldfield.co.uk

‘unlikely to be surpassed as a comprehensive, intelligent, balanced and intensely readable account’ ~ The Newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

‘certainly the best thing there is concerning the Edalji case on every count’ ~ D. Michael Risinger, Professor of Law, Newark, USA.

Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini

September 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry HoudiniFans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will be happy to hear that a new book about his life will soon be published. Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini tells about the friendship and conflict between Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini.

People unfamiliar with Conan Doyle’s life may be surprised to learn that he was a proponent of Spiritualism.  He firmly believed that it was possible to communicate with those who had passed over to the other side.

Houdini, who was hit hard by the death of his beloved mother, was outraged at the tricks mediums used during their seances.  He used his experience as a magician and illusionist to expose the fraudulent spiritualists.

Amazon says this about the book:

Renowned mystery author Arthur Conan Doyle and famous illusionist Harry Houdini first met in 1920, during the magician’s tour of England. At the time, Conan Doyle had given up his lucrative writing career, killing off Sherlock Holmes in the process, in order to concentrate on his increasingly manic interest in Spiritualism. Houdini, who regularly conducted séances in an attempt to reach his late mother, was also infatuated with the idea of what he called a “living afterlife,” though his enthusiasm came to be tempered by his ability to expose fraudulent mediums, many of whom employed crude variations of his own well-known illusions. Using previously unpublished material on the murky relationship between Houdini and Conan Doyle, this sometimes macabre, sometimes comic tale tells the fascinating story of the relationship between two of the most loved figures of the 20th century and their pursuit of magic and lost loved ones.

Learn More:

Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders

July 19, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders – In the latest in the series of Oscar Wilde murder mysteries,  Wilde and his good friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle face something very odd indeed.  A duchess is found murdered—with two tiny puncture marks on her throat. Hmm . . . I wonder what that could mean?

You May Also Like:

Sherlock Season 1

SherlockIf you haven’t seen this modern day retelling of the Sherlock Holmes stories then you’re in for a treat.  Sherlock brilliantly walks the line between staying true to the works of Conan Doyle and giving the tale a new twist.

Wait until you see what they did with the phrase “three pipe problem.” Here’s the original quote:

“It is quite a three pipe problem.” ~ The Red-Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Conan Doyle Speaks

March 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Check out this fascinating YouTube video showing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle talking about how he came up with the idea for Sherlock Holmes.

Learn more about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

LitQuotes Blog

February 5, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Site News 

LitQuotesWelcome to the new LitQuotes blog! While LitQuotes has been a source of quotations for years, the blog is brand new.

So what are we going to talk about here? I’m sure that things will change over time, but as of right now I plan to blog about:

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