So, we’re getting closer to the release of the massive, three volume Sherlock Holmes anthology masterminded by my Solar Pons cohort, David Marcum. Derrick Belanger asked each author (and there are over SIXTY of us!) to tell a bit about their story and why it was set in the time frame it was.
Below is my response (I mean, it’s my blog) for The Adventure of the Parson’s Son. After that you’ll find links to all three posts Derrick did (one for each volume). These answers should certainly whet your appetite for the collection!
It’s well-known that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spent a great deal of time and effort fighting for justice on behalf of the wrongly convicted George Edalji. It was even recently a BBC miniseries. I’m a great Solar Pons fan and have researched the Edalji affair for a future Pons story: even writing about it in my The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes column over at Blackgate.
For David’s project, I thought I could try a story in which Holmes investigates the Edalji affair at the time it happened. So, ‘The Adventure of the Parson’s Son’ is about Holmes and Edalji, as opposed to Doyle and young George. Of course, I had to work around the fact that the ending was rather predetermined.
Since Edalji was arrested in 1903, that was an automatic choice for the year of the story.
David Marcum and I send each other long, rambling emails throughout the week; they’re more akin to novellas than short stories! He emailed me one early afternoon, saying he’d had a dream and had already sent an email off that morning to Steve Emecz, his publisher, proposing a collection of traditional Holmes stories. I still have his email, in which he wrote, “I plan on asking a small and select group of authors to participate.”
As we all know, his idea caught fire and more and more authors agreed to be a part of the project. I write mostly non-fiction these days but hit upon the idea of sort of a Holmes prequel to a Pons story, with Doyle as the bridge between the two detectives. Fortunately, since the project went to three volumes, I didn’t get cut for space!
I’m really impressed how David recruited so many authors, growing the anthology from his original idea and I’m happy to be included with so many folks whose books adorn my Sherlockian shelves!
Here is a link to the responses from the authors in Volume I.
And the responses from the authors in Volume II.
And finally, from the authors in Volume III (that’s my book!).