The plan was to put up a linked index of all three years of The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes posts today, but I didn’t get it finished. Hopefully, the powers that be at Black Gate will let me post an irregular PLoSH column now and then and I’ll get that up. As well as the ‘Sherlock Holmes: A to Z’ post that never quite got written.
When I started this column three years ago, the BBC’s immensely popular Sherlock had just finished the divisive season three, from which it never recovered, and CBS’ Elementary was in season two. Sherlock seems to be done after four episodes in the past three years and the fans are still in opposing camps (love/hate). Elementary is finishing up season five with ratings way down and may well not be back for another year, though it will have run for over 100 episodes and made it to syndication.
Robert Downey Jr., who revived the onscreen life of Holmes with his 2009 movie (and a 2011 sequel) is in the early stages of a third Holmes big screen effort. If Sherlock and Elementary truly are done, then the Downey Jr. movie may jumpstart Holmes in the public culture, though many fans don’t like his action hero portrayal.
The Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sued, and lost, to have Holmes declared under copyright. He and Watson, and the stories before The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, remain in the public domain.
A Holmes short story, supposedly written by Doyle, was discovered. Its provenance remains doubtful. Quite.
The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories series, edited by my friend David Marcum, has produced six volumes, with more in the works (I’m in volumes three through six so far). Volume VII will push the collection over two hundred new Holmes stories. It’s not nearly done yet.
That’s a lot of Holmes activity going on.
Having sold Black Gate on the need for a mystery column at a fantasy website (don’t minimize my skill in pulling that one off!), they proceeded to let me roam all over the place. Naturally, I wrote about Solar Pons. And other great detectives like Nero Wolfe and Hercule Poirot and…
I indulged in my love of hard boiled private eye fiction and intend to write more posts about that genre. I have an essay in the upcoming second issue of the relaunched Black Mask. Yep – I got to write for the legendary Black Mask. Me and Dashiell Hammett!
I wrote about fantasy, Humphrey Bogart, the great John D. MacDonald – even the Beach Boys. And putting together the Discovering Robert E Howard series was quite a treat. I learned a whole lot about REH from our awesome guest posts.
Black Gate was a place I could write about gaming and RPGs and I’ve definitely got more of those coming. That’s been a life-long interest.
All this means that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to write the Monday morning post here at Black Gate. And hopefully some of the stuff I like was some of the stuff you readers liked as well. Putting up a post and seeing comments about it has been extremely rewarding. Of course, the BG crowd is quite well-behaved – it’s not like FB. There a slew of excellent bloggers here at Black Gate and I look forward to reading more great stuff from them. This is a top flight site. You know — a World Fantasy Award winning one. And I wrote mystery stuff…
And in spite of this post’s title, like Doyle with Holmes, I don’t think you’ve seen the last of The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes moniker…
Bob Byrne’s ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate from March 10, 2014 through March 20, 2017.