What’s Coming Here on Monday Mornings…

What’s Coming Here on Monday Mornings…

So, you’re wondering, “What’s Bob gonna write about in the coming months?”

Actually, not one of you is wondering that, but this is my column. So… Writing about a thousand words a week often involves picking a topic on Saturday morning, and having something ready to go on Monday morning. I’ve actually been working on a few things ahead of time this year, which is kinda cool.

“Really, Bob? You mean, some stuff, you’re not just totally winging?”

Well, I wouldn’t put it so crudely, but yes. I’m trying to go a little deeper on a few things. Including number two below, which I am THRILLED with.



For the entire month of April and into May, The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes returns to Monday mornings. Peter Haining’s The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a nifty book which had been published by Barnes and Noble. It has several items which are included in Jack Tracy’s foundational Sherlock Holmes: The Published Apocrypha.

It also has several additional items worth reading. Doyle wrote some essays regarding Sherlock Holmes, and I’m going to do a series on those. The posts will quote liberally from Doyle’s essays, with my own input. I suspect even serious Sherlockians haven’t read Doyle’s essays in some time.

And if you aren’t familiar with The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes, then you missed my first three years here at Black Gate, as that was the name of my column.


I’ve written essays here, and here, on Cook’s terrific Garrett, PI series. I just finished a series re-read and enjoyed it more than ever. After the Doyle on Holmes series, A (Black) Gat in the Hand will be proud to present a brand new Q&A with Glen, talking about Garrett. I’m really excited about that one.



In April I’m going to a Nero Wolfe fan gathering at the ‘real’ Kanawha Spa, in West Virginia. It’s gonna be fun. I previously took two of the old Sidney Greenstreet radio shows, and wrote them up as Wolfe pastiches. The shows were not very Stout-like, and I worked on making them sound more authentic. A third pastiche is underway, though it hit such an unrealistic point I haven’t figured out how to fix it yet, and still keep the rest of the plot.

(In case you’re curious – Wolfe intentionally leaves the safe unlocked, somebody breaks into the Brownstone middle of the night, clubs Archie in the back of the head, and steals something and gets away. I mean, c’mon…)

I am doing the same with an episode from William Conrad’s TV show. The radio Matt Dillon, perhaps best known for Cannon (or maybe Jake and the Fat Man), starred as the corpulent detective in a short-lived 1981 series. Looking the part, he played a warmer Wolfe. With Lee Horsley (Matt Houston) as a very good Archie, and including Theodore Horstmann in the plant rooms, it’s an enjoyable watch. I am writing up one of the episodes as a full-blown pastiche:” again doing my best to emulate Rex Stout.



I wrote my best intro for Steeger Books’ first volume of Continental Op stories. I’m working on the intro for volume two. It will be an A (Black) Gat in the Hand entry after the book comes out later this year.



Of course, things are always jumping in and out of my thoughts. Having enjoyed Will Thomas’ Barker and Llewelyn novel, Anatomy of Evil, I’d like to write something about my fairly extensive Jack the Ripper library sometime.

A thoughtful essay on Raoul Whitfield’s hardboiled Hercule Poirot, Jo Gar, is a major goal for A (Black) Gat in the Hand. As is one on Wade Miller’s Max Thursday.

Multi-contributor series’ like Hither Came Conan, and Talking Tolkien, take a lot of focus and recruiting effort. I’ve tentatively tried, then abandoned, ones for John D. MacDonald, and Columbo. And a serious Solomon Kane attempt has been on my drawing board for several years now. Maybe we’ll see something for one of those in 2025.

And I’d like to at least commend Wheel of Time, which has been one hundred times better than the fan fic that is Rings of Power.

Ah well – so little time, so much to read and write!

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Bob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ made its Black Gate debut in 2018 and has returned every summer since.

His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate from March, 2014 through March, 2017. And he irregularly posts on Rex Stout’s gargantuan detective in ‘Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone.’ He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded www.SolarPons.com (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He organized Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series, as well as the award-winning ‘Hither Came Conan’ series. Which is now part of THE DEFINITIVE guide to Conan. He also organized 2023’s ‘Talking Tolkien.’

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IV, V, VI, XXI, and XXXIII.

He has written introductions for Steeger Books, and appeared in several magazines, including Black Mask, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, The Strand Magazine, and Sherlock Magazine.

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Thomas Parker

I’m on board for MacDonald and Columbo any time you give the word, Mon Capitan. In fact, the only time I can get anything written quickly is when I’m doing it for you!

Thomas Parker

I visited a Westwood cemetery a couple of years ago; there were a ton of people there (well, they weren’t really “there”, but you know what I mean), including Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, Farrah Fawcett, Ray Bradbury etc. One of them was Peter Falk. After I turned to walk away from the headstone, I should have turned around and said, “There’s just one more thing…” but I didn’t think of it until I was halfway home.

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