New Paradigm is debuting a twist on an old favorite. Take Sherlock Homes, change the setting to NYC ‘s Harlem area, make the main detective Watson and the assistant a dreadlock-wearing Holmes. Now you’ve switched the characters, the place, the time, and, the publishers hope, the audience. By offering updated mysteries in a new digital format with a modern theme Paradigm is optimistic about encouraging new readers to enjoy Sherlock Holmes.
Scott Lynch’s long-awaited and long-delayed third volume in his Gentlemen Bastards series is finally out! The Republic of Thieves hit the shelves on October 8. Fans familiar with the series will need no encouragement to rush right out to discover what the Gentlemen Bastards have gotten themselves into this time. For those unacquainted with these particular “gentlemen,” I suggest starting with the first book in the series, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and continuing on to Red Seas Under Red Skies. These books are set in a fantasy world where the rich live in magnificent buildings made of some material no longer recognized, by builders no longer remembered, while the poor struggle along in a more prosaic underworld. Locke Lamora is – or was – one of the poor, but he is determined to change that situation, by hook or by crook. Mostly by crook (although hooks may come in handy), in the form of his gang of con men, the Gentlemen Bastards.
Although these are fantasy novels, the books they most remind me of are the classic adventure novels of the 19th century. There are shades of The Count of Monte Cristo, Oliver Twist, and Treasure Island (not to mention heists that would put anything the boys of Oceans Eleven could come up with to shame). In The Republic of Thieves, we are even promised a meeting with Locke Lamora’s long lost love/chief rival, Sabetha. Not since Sherlock Holmes met up with Irene Adler has a literary encounter been so fraught with possibilities…
– Lorena N.
The Conan Doyle estate has asked author Anthony Horowitz to write a new Sherlock Holmes book for adult readers to be set in traditional Victorian London. Read more in today’s NYT article. (Laura H.)
After hearing at least two programs speaking about the new Sherlock, I decided it was a good time to mention it here. The BBC‘s 3 part series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead and Martin Freeman as Watson has become quite famous in Britain over the past few months. Sunday night, on Oct. 24th at 9 pm, it will start airing on PBS. Apparently, you can expect a terrific production. Some reviewers were concerned that a contemporary Holmes might detract from the essence of Conan Doyle’s character, however, the writers have updated the detective in clever ways. As David Bianculli says, the new Sherlock doesn’t rely on cocaine when he’s nervous, he prefers to slap nicotine patches on his arm. Reviews indicate the characters are funnier than in past versions, also.
Robin Young, host of Here and Now on WBUR presented a discussion on the 21st century Sherlock Holmes. NPR’s David Bianculli absolutely raved about the show.