I'm an American now apparently

Well I was much amused to be told (and later read) that I am now an American 'Internet writer'.

It appears that the Haslemere Herald, in one of its many pieces on Undershaw, has described me as an American Internet Writer in their latest piece.

I have just now received an email of apology from said paper.

It's refreshing to know that our country's journalists diligently check their facts before going to print.

I wonder nationality I'll be next.

Sit rep

Just shy of 800 words written today. Plus some research and new leads to follow up.

My books on ebay - a warning

I have noticed that a number of sellers are selling copies of my books on ebay. What disturbs me is the number that are selling them at above the RRP.

Please remember that my royalties are fixed so when you pay over the odds this is going into the pocket of the seller not me. These people have no justification that I can see for overcharging.

I implore anyone who wants my books to order them from a proper bookshop or conventional on-line retailer. Don't be persuaded to pay over the odds.


Some people just don't get it

Well I have to report that I am stunned.

I have just popped to Amazon's UK website and read some of the negative reviews of "Sherlock". I have to say that I am taken aback by how some people can be so negative.

I am a traditionalist (as I said on Radio 5) and I am on record (in my first book) as saying that only a Victorian set Holmes series could ever have a chance of laying claim to the title of "definitive". However this new series has no ambition to be definitive. Consequently I don't rate it on its ability to be classed as such.

Instead I look at it for what it is - a modern day version of a 19th century classic. On that basis it is very good (episode 2 aside - fire that writer) but it should never be compared against Granada's series. That would be a perfect example of apples and oranges.

Right now the Holmes pantheon is dominated by two figures. Jeremy Brett remains unrivalled for his true Victorian portrayal and Basil Rathbone stands alone for his Nazi fighting Holmes.

If BC continues on his present course he will very likely join Brett and Rathbone in the pantheon as the ultimate 21st century Holmes.


Milestone passed

I have now reached a significant milestone with my book on the Undershaw years. There is now something written for every single year from 1897 to 1907. The entire foundations are there.

Thank you

Many thanks to the person (people) who answer my cry for help yesterday, and it seems, bought all three of my books.

A mistake perhaps

It is perhaps dangerous to admit this but it seems my latest tome "The Norwood Author" is struggling. There could of course be many reasons for this. It could be an awful book or it could be that I was simply silly to release a mini-biography of Arthur Conan Doyle so soon after two full-life biographies. Those books, written by Russell Miller and Andrew Lycett, have probably cast a long shadow over my little tome.

I cannot blame public perception for this. Why would you buy a biography covering only three and a half years when there are two covering the subject's entire life?

However, I should point out that my book contains information that is absent from these two other tomes. With my much narrower focus I have been able to describe many details that the other biographies simply would not have had the space to cover. It is worth buying and you don't have to take my word for it.
Read the Amazon reviews (both U.S. and U.K.).

The sluggish sales somewhat deter me from my latest project which is to do pretty much the same thing for the Undershaw years of 1897 - 1907. Go on, show me that my efforts are appreciated. Buy my book.

*grovel grovel*


Drip drip drip

Work on my latest book is coming along slowly. I hope to be making a visit to Hindhead in the near future in order to pursue one or two research angles. I'm having second thoughts about my current choice of title. Although it is a good in-joke I feel it might be too obscure for some. I shall give some thought to other options.


Sherlock Episode Three

Well last night we had a return to form. You can see what difference it makes when a real fan is behind a script. Mark Gatiss turned in an excellent episode largely based on the original story "The Bruce Partington Plans" but with a little "Final Problem" thrown in. Having canvassed opinion, people seem to be agreed that the episodes are too long. I don't agree with that but I do think that I would prefer series two to be a greater number of shorter episodes - say six one-hour episodes. I feel that three is not enough. However I suppose they did adhere to the showbiz maxim of  "always leave them wanting more".

My only complaint with last night's episode was Moriarty. If that really is Moriarty I am disappointed. To me the actor was playing the role far too much like John Simms' Master from Doctor Who. I remain hopeful that this man is just a front for the real Moriarty.

Letter in The Times

A letter I wrote in response to an enquiry in The Times has been published today. It concerns the naming of Undershaw.

British Library

Hurrah. The British Library have finally got around to listing Close to Holmes in their catalogue. It's only taken a year and a half :-)

CTH on iPad

Hopefully my second book "Close to Holmes" will be available on the iPad very soon. Please check back to learn when it has been released.

Sherlock - Episode Two.

Well I feel it is time to review Sherlock - Episode Two.

The creators of this series have mentioned their fondness for the Rathbone films and their intention to be just as irreverant with their new series. I think they have achieved this but not in the way they might have wished.

The Rathbone films (and I'm talking about those made by Universal) went from the entertaining to the absurd. In my opinion, the best were those that were largely devoid of any obvious references to the period in which they were set (the 1940s). The worst Rathbone films were those that were too rooted in the 40s. The most striking example of these being "The Voice of Terror" where Nazis were practically falling out of the trees by the end.

With the second episode of the new Sherlock we seem to have swapped Nazis for Chinese gang members. I was honestly waiting for Charlie Chan to make an appearance at some point. After the excellent start with "A Study in Pink" we have gone downhill. I can only hope the last episode takes us back to the original heights.

If I were feeling ungenerous I would be forced to say that this most recent episode was written by someone who is not a major Holmes fan but who loves Dan Brown. The reason being that the symbology and the visual effect of having the symbols hanging in the air around the characters reminded me very much of Tom Hanks in the Da Vinci Code.

I don't think you need to be a Holmes fan to write for this new series but you do at least need to understand the original stories. Without understanding their essence you simply cannot write Holmes adventures  (Victorian or modern). If we wanted Dan Brown we'd read his books or watch the films.