cover image From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon

From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon

Mattias Boström, trans. from the Swedish by Michael Gallagher. Mysterious, $27 (544p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2660-3

This exhaustive study of the 130-year Sherlock Holmes phenomenon spans Arthur Conan Doyle’s earliest inspirations up to today’s two successful Holmes-inspired TV shows. Boström begins with Conan Doyle’s pre-Sherlock life, explaining how the fledgling author struggled to place his early fiction in the popular magazines of the day. He goes on to show how Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr. John Watson have been represented in every imaginable medium: plays, radio, film, TV, and even podcasts. The keepers of the flame have been the “Sherlockians,” the individuals who analyze Conan Doyle’s works and collect memorabilia. Boström narrates Holmes’s pervasive and global influence after Conan Doyle’s death in 1930; screen adaptations were even produced behind the Iron Curtain. He also lays out the bungling efforts of Conan Doyle’s children to control the portrayal of his creations and ensure they got a share of the profits. The book occasionally bogs down in their legal skirmishing, but always gets back on track as it explores the world’s continuing fascination with fiction’s leading detective hero. The informal, accessible style of Gallagher’s translation makes for an easy, if lengthy, read. [em]Elin Hellström, Brandt New Agency (Spain). (Aug.) [/em]