Busy busy

I have now submitted reviews for two of the three radio plays on my list. Now I look back I have written an awful lot over the past two years. In addition to my forthcoming book I have written three book reviews, two radio play reviews and an article on Conan Doyle biographies.

Much of this output will appear in December's Sherlock Holmes Journal.

Sherlockology Interview - Opposition

Well it seems that after a lot of 'likes' and agreements there is finally someone who disagrees with most of what I said. In the interests of even-handedness I provide the link here.

The odd question as well as my answers come in for criticism.

Does this lady have a point? Discuss.

An Entirely New Country

In the interests of fairness the following link utilises to show price comparisons for my new book.

This is for UK delivery only at present. If you follow the link you can change currency and destination country after the page loads.

Sherlockology Interview

Yesterday I gave an interview to the principal fansite for BBC's Sherlock. - update

It would appear that have removed the ability to pre-order copies of my latest book via Book Depository.

Making progress

Well I have devoted most of today to reading Christopher Sandford's book on Houdini and Conan Doyle.

I am now firmly in the part of the book that details the deterioration in the friendship between the two men.

Alas I can say no more as my review is destined for the Winter edition of the Sherlock Holmes Journal. All being well the journal will feature this review along with that I wrote for Barefoot on Baker Street. It will also feature a special supplement which will feature an article by me.

Amusing Press Inaccuracy

I am informed by my publisher that the local press in Tower Hamlets have just discovered that I won the Tony & Freda Howlett Award back in May.

I find this small quote rather amusing:

"On his personal blog, Alistair Duncan or ‘Sherlockian’ as he calls himself, wrote: ‘I am very pleased and proud that my book ‘The Norwood Author’ won the Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award 2011’."

Somehow I think that the Tower Hamlets press don't realise that "Sherlockian" is something of a general term and not some sort of super hero name I have awarded myself.

I did have to laugh.

A Game of Shadows Trailer 2​=XKu0y1SXcVw

Enjoy (or not, depending on your preference). users can now order An Entirely New County customers can now place pre-order for my new book An Entirely New Country. The following link will do the trick

However you should note that the orders are actually being placed with Book Depository. At least you can order in US dollars. You are given the impression that you will get delivery quickly but please bear in mind that the release date is still December 5th.

Further images from the Sherlock Holmes Pub night

Some further images from last Thursday evening. All courtesy of Roger Johnson / Jean Upton.

Holmes and Watson collecting for the raffle

Assistant manager Richard and our David Jones

Watson wooing his next potential wife?

Judi Ellis and Jean Upton

Holmes and Watson with the winner of the bubbly

Who says Holmes does not get on with the ladies?


I forgot to mention that at last night's event Roger Johnson furnished me with not only the book on Houdini and Conan Doyle but also a series of audio plays of Sherlock Holmes by the Old Court Radio Company.

Reviews of all of these items are to appear in the Winter Sherlock Holmes Journal along with (hopefully) my review of Barefoot on Baker Street.

The Sherlock Holmes Pub - Event

Last night I was one of a number of Sherlockians who visited the Sherlock Holmes pub to officially celebrate its reopening following refurbishment.

Regrettably I did not see the dining area but the bar has been given a good spruce up. The layout has not changed but it does feel a lot cleaner and roomy that it did before. I was also reliably informed that the facilities (if you catch my drift) are a wonder to behold.

Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue put in a brief appearance and I managed a few brief words with them - sorry folks no juicy spoilers (alas).

It was also an opportunity for many Sherlockians to finally meet my publisher Steve Emecz of MX Publishing, The picture below of Roger Johnson, myself and Steve does not do us any justice taken, as it was, on an iPhone without flash.

Finally where would we have been without Holmes and Watson themselves who went round collecting entries for the raffle. Alas I cannot tell you who won as I had to leave before the draw.

The Great Holmes Debate - Team 3 and a shift of position

The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate has gained a third team (see here) and this has forced me to look again and add to my initial thoughts (see here).

In that post I provided my thoughts on the great Sherlock Holmes debate. Those of you who have read it will know that despite it being, in my opinion, a close call - I came down on the side of the modern BBC adaptation.

However, we now have a new team in the form of the ‘Traditional Adaptations’. This camp covers the adaptations (radio and screen) that are both true to the spirit of the canon (like BBC’s Sherlock - BBCS) and in the right era (like Warner Bros - WBS). In other words this camp represents the BBC’s (Victorian) screen and radio adaptations along with the iconic Granada series with Jeremy Brett.

I have declared on more than one occasion my reverence for Brett and my equal reverence for faithful (as much as possible) Victorian adaptations. I wrote a whole chapter on the subject in my first book Eliminate the Impossible.

Please understand that I take nothing back from my earlier post as it dealt with the only two options on the table at the time and is still representative of my opinion of those adaptations.

However, now that they have arrived, the traditional camp must get my vote. To not reallocate my vote, now that this option is available, would be to go against my long established position.

I confess to having little familiarity with the various radio incarnations of Holmes. While I have listened to one or two of the Basil Rathbone broadcasts I have not listened to those produced by the BBC. The primary reason for this being that, for me, a radio adaptation of Holmes is as inadequate as a silent movie of Holmes. Both forms are missing a vital ingredient. The former is missing the visuals and the latter the audio. Before the mobs start massing at the gates I reiterate that this is my personal view and I accept that others love the radio adaptations. I also promise that I will get round to giving them a go.

For me the Granada Holmes series from 1984-1994 still stands as the best and most faithful interpretation of Holmes to ever grace the screen. I will be the first to concede that the series slipped from its initial high standards as time went on but this was largely down to the declining health of Jeremy Brett combined with the fact that the producers used up all the most adaptable stories in the first three or so series. This led to some questionable decisions such as the padding out of stories such as The Sussex Vampire and The Noble Bachelor (into The Last Vampyre and The Eligible Bachelor respectively) and the merging of others such as The Mazarin Stone and The Three Garridebs.

However, if you base your opinion on the first two series with David Burke as Doctor Watson and Edward Hardwicke’s appearances up to and including The Sign of Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles, it is hard to deny the level of canonical fidelity and attention to detail. You might argue that including Granada is inappropriate due to the time that has passed since the series first aired. I would counter that the repeated showing of the series (in the UK on channel ITV3) permits it to be included.

So I now place myself in team 'Traditional' which will surprise no one who is familiar with my writing (or indeed this blog). However I should not be seen as hostile to BBCS because I am not.

Save Undershaw has a bookshop

The Save Undershaw campaign now has a bookshop courtesy of MX Publishing:

You can get my next book An Entirely New Country slightly ahead of release if you order it through this site.

A question re the next Warner Bros Holmes film

Here's a question for you all. Most people are agreed that there were things wrong with Warner Bros' Sherlock Holmes film. Some thought it so bad that the film out to be set alight. Others thought it was good apart from the odd irritation.

So - what things do you really hope they have sorted out with the sequel?

Discuss. - Update

I'm afraid that are still not permitting pre-orders for An Entirely New Country. If you are outside of the UK you can pre-order the book from Book Depository who deliver free worldwide.

Proof positive

Well my proof copy has found its way into my hands today.

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that this copy's cover is missing mention of the foreword by Mark Gatiss. Rest assured that this will be corrected.


On October 13th the Sherlock Holmes Pub reopens after refurbishment. They are holding a small 'invitation only' event to mark the occasion and I have been asked to attend.

At the request of the Undershaw Preservation Trust I shall be flying their flag. If you are attending the event and desire to know about Undershaw - ask me on the day and I'll tell you what I can.

Holmes Debate

I see that my comments on the Great Holmes Debate are shaping up to be my most read blog entry since I began. My thanks to you all. Comments to-date suggest that most of you agree with my position to some extent or other.

The review pile grows

I have been requested by Roger Johnson to review Houdini and Conan Doyle by Christopher Sandford for the Winter Sherlock Holmes Journal.

I am very interested in seeing how even-handed this book is with regards to how Spiritualism is portrayed.