Tuesday, March 13, 2018


If you are a Sherlockian purist, I admire your standards, but please stop reading now. I am not a Sherlock Holmes purist. Heck, I was the one who suggested putting Sherlock in the boxing ring—An inspiration brought to life by the masterful Sherlockian pastiche scribe Andrew Salmon in three Fight Card: Sherlock Holmes novels (see Queensberry Rules: The Fight Card Sherlock Holmes Omnibus for a complete collection). The Guy Ritchie directed, Robert Downey Jr. starring, Sherlock movies, the Benedict Cumberbatch modern day Sherlock, the Jonny Lee Miller Sherlock of Elementary, I enjoy them all and many more. 
There have been uncountable variations on the Holmes theme, some brilliant, some terrible, most mundane. The most singular characteristic of Sherlock Holmes is how adaptable the world’s greatest consulting detective can be while still retaining a recognizable version of Sir Conan Doyle’s archetype. The background can change. The time period can change. The species can change—there have be mouse Sherlocks, vegetable Sherlocks, and even garden gnome Sherlocks. Actors’ and their interpretations of Sherlock can change like underwear. The medium used to deliver Sherlock can change—from short-stories to novels to plays to comics to movies to television to YouTube videos. Any or all of these things can change, but Sherlock remains constant—our rock in a world gone mad.
I’m always willing to give any new Sherlockian iteration a chance—even the current gender switching going on with Watson and with Sherlock himself, or herself—whatever. The first female Sherlock I encountered is in the ongoing contemporary young adult novels featuring the teenage Charlotte Holmes and her friend Jamie Watson. I found the trilogy of novels (a fourth is on the way) written by Brittany Cavallaro compelling and the nature of Holmes captured quite perfectly in Charlotte. 
But there is another Charlotte Holmes, this one Victorian set and written by Sherry Thomas, with currently three books in the series. In another variation, we meet the daughter of Sherlock’s Holmes—and Irene Adler (who else)—in two novels by Leonard Goldberg.
But the distaff Sherlock isn’t confined to the page. HBO Asia will be releasing Miss Sherlock in 20 countries this April. There is also an unsold pilot, Herlock, available on YouTube along with an unrelated short film, Herlock: The Parody.
If all of this is blasphemy to you, I warned you ahead of time to stop reading. But for Sherlock fans willing to stretch, some of you will enjoy some of these interpretations and perhaps be unmoved by others. The joy is in knowing the game is always afoot...
Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends...But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other...
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families...Jamie and Charlotte are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved Uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers...So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
It’s been a year since the shocking events recounted in The Last of August, and Jamie and Charlotte haven’t spoken...Jamie is going through the motions at Sherringford, trying to finish his senior year without incident, with a nice girlfriend he can’t seem to fall for...Charlotte is on the run, from Lucien Moriarty and from her own mistakes. No one has seen her since that fateful night on the lawn in Sussex—and Charlotte wants it that way. She knows she isn’t safe to be around. She knows her Watson can’t forgive her...Holmes and Watson may not be looking to reconcile, but when strange things start happening, it’s clear that someone wants the team back together. Someone who has been quietly observing them both. Making plans. Biding their time...Someone who wants to see one of them suffer and the other one dead.
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London...When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her...But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.
Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective, aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had great success helping with all manner of inquiries, but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street office…Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother...In the meanwhile, Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and an unidentified body surfaces where least expected. Charlotte’s investigative prowess is challenged as never before: Can she find her brother in time—or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London. 
Under the cover of Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective, Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don't. When her dear friend Lord Ingram stands accused of the murder of his estranged wife, Charlotte goes under disguise to help prove his innocence to Scotland Yard.
1914. Joanna Blalock’s keen mind and incredible insight lead her to become a highly-skilled nurse, one of the few professions that allow her to use her finely-tuned brain. But when she and her ten-year-old son witness a man fall to his death, apparently by suicide, they are visited by the elderly Dr. John Watson and his charming, handsome son, Dr. John Watson Jr. Impressed by her forensic skills, they invite her to become the third member of their investigative team...Caught up in a Holmesian mystery that spans from hidden treasure to the Second Afghan War of 1878-1880, Joanna and her companions must devise an ingenious plan to catch a murderer in the act while dodging familiar culprits, Scotland Yard, and members of the British aristocracy. Unbeknownst to her, Joanna harbors a mystery of her own. The product of a one-time assignation between the now dead Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, the only woman to ever outwit the famous detective, Joanna has unwittingly inherited her parents’ deductive genius.
The following case has not previously been disclosed to the public due to the sensitive information on foreign affairs. All those involved were previously bound by the Official Secrets Act. With the passage of time and the onset of the Great War, these impediments have been removed and the story can now be safely told...When an executed original of a secret treaty between England and France, known as the French Treaty, is stolen from the country estate of Lord Halifax, Scotland Yard asks Joanna, Dr. John Watson, Jr., and Dr. John Watson, Sr. to use their detective skills to participate in the hunt for the missing treaty. As the government becomes more restless to find the missing document and traditional investigative means fail to turn up the culprit, Joanna is forced to devise a clever plan to trap the thief and recover the missing treaty...Told from the point of view of Dr. John Watson, Jr. in a style similar to the original Sherlock Holmes stories, A Study in Treason is based partly on facts in our world and partly on the facts left to us by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...This cunning locked room mystery is sure to be enjoyed by fans of Sherlock Holmes.
The television screen has Lucy Liu as Watson (and a fine job she does), but gender switching Holmes on the small screen has not yet happened—or has it? In April, 2018, HBO Asia will be releasing Miss Sherlock in twenty countries. The eight-part drama will pay homage to the classic novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but will be set in modern-day Tokyo with both lead characters played by Japanese women – Yuko Takeuchi as Sherlock and Shihori Kanjiya as Watson (or Dr Wato Tachibana).

Following inspiration provided by his wife, Karen Dill-Shackleford), playwright and screenwriter Lee Shackleford (who starred as Holmes off Broadway in a play he wrote called Holmes & Watson) wrote the script for a TV pilot with a female Holmes and Watson. He then joined forces with colleague David Duncan who found and cast the actresses—Gia Mora as Sheridan Hume, and Alana Jordan as Jonny Watts...Below is the pilot episode, Silver Blade...


  1. Guess I'm a purist and always return to the originals.

  2. I enjoyed "The Adventures of Shirley Holmes" a U.S./Canadian TV series airing during the late 1990s, where the teenaged grand-niece of the Sherlock Holmes solved crimes. The series aired for three seasons on the Disney Channel and a fourth on a Canadian network.

  3. Thx, David...I had forgotten about Shirley Holmes...I appreciate you mentioning her...

  4. I wouldn't call it blasphemy as I've written two books myself about Mary Morstan and her friend Mrs St. Clair: "The Sign of Fear" and "A Study in Crimson".

  5. Thx, Molly...I'll look for them...


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