The "Real" Sherlock Holmes - Give us a break!

If you're writing a book with "Sherlock Holmes" on the cover at least make sure it is actually linked solidly to Sherlock Holmes.

As others have commented, author Angela Buckley has written a book about one Jerome Caminada. Caminada was a Manchester policeman who exhibited, according to Buckley, a range of characteristics in common with Holmes.

The book is entitled The Real Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Story of Jerome Caminada and this annoys me. This comes across as nothing more than a cynical attempt to draw people to a book that they might otherwise not have bothered with (unless they had a general interest in Victorian crime) by attaching the immensely popular Holmes name to it.

If the book had been about Holmes it would have been fine. Instead we're basically getting a book where Caminada's activities are detailed and we get regularly reminded "that's a lot like Sherlock Holmes isn't it?".

There may well be strong similarities but that does not mean there is a link. Conan Doyle has been very clear about the inspirations behind his detective and there is no reason to suspect that he knew about Caminada much less that he used his exploits as a model.

This is not a comment on the book's contents which I've not read and which may well be excellent. This is a comment on a book using Sherlock Holmes to draw people into buying it by suggesting links that are simply not provable. The cover tells you all you need to know where the name Sherlock Holmes is in bigger letters than the name of the man about whom the book is supposed to be.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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1 comment:

  1. Sadly the case with many things to do with the great detective now, including adaptations in film and t.v. and podcasts that seem to think all is fair game with the detective.