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Pastiche

I am occasionally asked what I think of Sherlock Holmes pastiche stories (i.e. Sherlock Holmes stories written by other authors). There is certainly a lot of them and, presumably, a market for them. One thing I do know is that Sir Arthur's daughter Dame Jean Conan Doyle was very much against them. In an interview given to the Arthur Conan Doyle Society she said:
"...one does feel that some of the pastiches that have been written would never have been published if they hadn't had the name Sherlock Holmes attached to them."
Dame Jean's comments are undoubetdly true but I don't take quite the same hard line. Providing the author sticks to the style and spirit of the books then I don't really have an issue and there have been many such stories that I have enjoyed.

The ones that annoy me are those that take a giant leap away from Conan Doyle's vision and bring Holmes into combat with demons and ghosts. Pastiches such as these are those which I feel Dame Jean's comments most apply to.

For the last word on the subject we can turn to the great detective himself. His opinion on the subject was put very concisely in 'The Sussex Vampire':
"This agency stands flat-footed upon the ground, and there it must remain. The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply."
Enough said I think.