One of the highlights for me of the past three weeks has been watching the cleverly updated version of Sherlock Holmes on PBS. There have been many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes and personal preference may have some saying Jeremy Brett is their favorite Holmes, while others may vote for Rupert Everett or even Basil Rathbone, but I’m now a die-hard fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. Even more surprising to me is how much I was captivated by Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson, a character who has never really interested me before. Writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have done a fabulous job bringing these characters into a reality of cell phones and blogs while still maintaining the richness of the original stories. I also love the fast-paced dialogue and dark humor. (The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a great summary for even more information).
If you missed any of the first three programs, you have until December 7 to watch them online – and the Library has ordered a copy of the DVD. If you become hooked, as I predict you will, you might as well know now that further episodes are being filmed and won’t be available until sometime in late 2011. But while you wait, you might want to try some of the original Holmes “canon” in print by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There are also some intriguing print variations on the Sherlock character, including Laurie R.King’s popular series featuring Mary Russell who partners with a retired Sherlock (series begins with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice), the more humorous homage to Holmes and Watson set in the American West in the late 1800s by Steve Hockensmith (start with Holmes on the Range), or the brand new mystery novel, The Strange Return of Sherlock Holmes by Barry Grant.
And finally, you might enjoy some other views on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, such as the book Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson (authored by Lyndsay Faye) or books about Doyle and the world of Holmes, including The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Martin Book (B DOYLE), Conan Doyle, Detective: True Crimes Investigated by the Creator of Sherlock Holmes by Peter Costello (363.25 COS) and The World of Sherlock Holmes: The Facts and Fiction Behind the World’s Greatest Detective by Martin Fido (823.8 FID).