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Pastiche or not pastiche?

It is pretty safe to say that we have seen an explosion in the production of Sherlock Holmes stories in recent years. The problem is that they are collectively referred to as pastiche stories when many (most?) are nothing of the kind.

Strictly speaking a pastiche is defined as follows:





Therefore, if you have not made every effort to match the style, in every sense, of Arthur Conan Doyle your work is not a pastiche it is more of a homage.

These are pastiche


These are homages


Is this distinction important? I would say that it is because the word pastiche makes a tacit promise to the would-be purchaser. If you state pastiche a person buying it will be doing so in the reasonable expectation that the story they are about to receive has made every effort to give them the same (or similar) experience to that they derived from the Canon. If that is not what you are giving them then you should be honest and label your effort a homage or certainly something other than a pastiche.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

The Norwood Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK, Amazon UK,  Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books, Nook.

Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UKAmazon KindleKoboNook  and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

1 comment:

  1. You make an important distinction. I have fallen into the trap of calling fictional works about Holmes and Watson pastiches, even though I knew at an unconscious level it was not the right word.

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