About four years ago, my TV producer friend asked me to write a series about Sherlock Holmes. She wanted to produce a television series in which Holmes shows up in the 21st century in the San Francisco apartment of a young woman, and together they solve crimes. Her only other requirement was that there be another man involved, a younger man named Watson, whose job was to maintain some of the old Victorian houses in the city, and was so good at that, he was nicknamed “Doc.”
Having read all Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about the detective, I agreed to do it and I wrote three chapters of the first book of a series, which my friend hoped to use as a springboard to her TV show. Alas, less than a year later, it was announced that not one, but two, TV series featuring Holmes were underway. We know them now as the British SHERLOCK, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and ELEMENTARY, the American series.
However, the idea intrigued me and I decided to write a series of novellas based on Doyle’s stories. I finished writing the first book that year, and then, after January, 2014, when the courts declared Holmes was in the public domain, I wrote two more. My friend having retired and no longer interested, I invented the rest of the novella backstory myself. My young woman was an orphan adopted by a Hollywood movie star, who named her Sheridan Holmes and told her she was a descendant of the fictional Holmes. Besides “Doc” Watson, there’s a grandmother who writes romance novels and owns the Victorian house they live in and, when “Sherry” decorates her flat to resemble 221-B Baker Street in London, the ghost of Holmes himself appears. Plus, there’s both mystery and humor.
Why am I telling you all this? Because the three novellas are now available and, during July, they’re free, one at a time, as e-books on Amazon. A STUDY IN AMBER goes free tomorrow, June 25, until June 29, THE SIGN OF FIVE will be free July 2 through 6, and THE RED HERRING July 9 through 13.
Naturally, I’m not the only writer who took advantage of the Holmes character no longer being under copyright, and hundreds of books have made their debut. However, all of those stories keep Holmes in the 19th century. I reimagined them in the world of movies, automobiles, computers, microwave ovens and cell phones.
And what fun I’ve had. No trunks full of Spanish coins and jewels. No pirates, no horse-drawn carriages racing through foggy London streets, no kings who need Holmes’s advice and talent for deduction. Just a clever man with a sharp mind and a young woman who must carry out his wishes in her own clever, but modern, way.
And if you enjoy my take on the subject, do write a review.