Monday, February 9, 2015

Always “the women”

“To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.  I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name.  In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.”

Irene Adler has remained a central character in the Holmes canon despite the fact that she appeared in only one Sherlock Holmes story – A Scandal in Bohemia. She is mentioned, in passing, in only three other stories. Nonetheless, she continues to capture the interest and imagination of Sherlock Holmes fans new and old. This may be because she is only one of four people, and the only women, to have ever outwitted the sleuth of Baker Street. But more likely, it is because she represents an elusive love interest for the stoical Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes's seeming lack of interest in romance seems to be too tempting for writers, as well as film and television dramatists. Irene Adler has been portrayed as everything from vamp to Holmes’s arch-villain. I have yet to see a characterization of Irene Adler on the silver screen that echoes with the character Doyle created.

Fortunately, as a writer of Holmes pastiches, I am able to explore and address the Holmes–Adler relationship in the manner I felt it deserved.  I wanted Irene Adler to show up in Holmes’s life in a exciting, believable and satisfying manner.

In Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years, Irene Adler is reprised – and not simply as a character in the background. Her presence and spirit find their way into all five of the tales in my book – although not always in a way you might suppose. I endeavored to remain true the Irene Adler Doyle created. Likewise, I wanted Holmes to be true to himself. Nonetheless, my treatment of Irene Adler Norton, and her relationship with Sherlock Holmes, has become one of the most controversial aspects witin my collection.

I am pleased that Sherlockian scholar Philip K. Jones, as heartily endorsed my book, and my stories have received a nod from the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. A quick glance at on-line bookstores reveal that my book has garnered a majority of 5-star reviews.  However, as is to be expected, there are a few readers who find it difficult to believe that Holmes’s relationship with Irene Adler could be anything beyond Platonic, collegial, and distant.

If you are an avid fan, you know that Holmes has a wonderful heart. Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years gives him an opportunity to reveal a, hereto hidden, part of his inner-life.  I wish I could share details, but anything more would be a “spoiler” for my readers. If you are curious, you may wish to pick up a copy – or download one.

The book Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years is AVAILABLE ON AMAZON and most on-line and main-street bookstores.

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