Monday, January 16, 2017

Sherlock Holmes and Me

By Vicki Delany

There is, as we are always being told in creative writing classes, no such thing as a new idea.

It’s all been done before. Take the story of an orphaned boy: a lowly (and lonely) childhood; a secret, ever-watchful guardian; dangerous times; an eternal enemy; the big reveal of the boy’s true identity; armed with knowledge of his destiny, boy saves world.

It’s been written a hundred times, from the tales of King Arthur to Star Wars.

The trick is not to come up with an original idea, because you probably can’t, but to make it your own.

Enter Sherlock Holmes. I don’t have to tell you how popular Sherlock is right now, from movies to TV (two series!) to more books than you can count. Colouring books, puzzles, mugs.  Old books reissued and re-illustrated, new ones being written.

Favourite characters reimagined.

Vicki Writing (not exactly as shown)
Vicki Reading (not exactly as shown)

Make it your own.

And I have. 

Meet Gemma Doyle, transplanted Englishwoman, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium in the Cape Cod town of West London. Gemma is also the co-owner of the business next door, Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, with her best friend Jayne Wilson.

Gemma is highly observant and has an incredible memory (for things she wants to remember).  She is, shall we say, occasionally lacking in the finer points of social niceties.

Jayne is ever-confused, but loyal.

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, reimagined as modern young women just trying to get on with life.

Like the Benedict Cumberbatch character, Gemma deciphers cell phone signals and finds clues on the Internet. Like that Sherlock, Gemma’s relationship with the local police is complicated, but unlike that character, in her case it’s because she’s in love with the lead detective, but he can’t trust her because she seems to always know more about his cases than she should.

Elementary She Read, the first in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane Books, will be released on March 14th.  I’ve taken a very light hand with this series, just having fun with it, and it falls firmly in the category of cozy. It’s now available for pre-order in ebook and hardcover formats at all the usual sources.

If you’d like a sneak peek at the first chapter, I’ve posted it on my web page.
I’ll be running contests up to the release date; to catch all the news (if you don’t already) please like my Facebook page ( or sign up for my newsletter (send an email to vicki at vickidelany dot com)

1 comment:

Donis Casey said...

What a great idea. However do you keep coming up with them?