A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes by Joseph R. G. DeMarco Review
Mar 8th, 2012 by Aldouspi

A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes by Joseph R. G. DeMarco Review

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Whenever I read a new collection of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, there are two aspects I hope to find. First that all the stories are well written and enjoyable. And that the stories provide new insights into Holmes and Watson or that a new twist will be provided ino their adventures.

In both categories, "A Study in Lavender" succeeds. Too often an editor places the best story at the beginning of a collection and the rest are go downhill from there. With this collection, all the stories provide a good read. As as for a twist, exploring the Victorian world of Sherlock Holmes where characters are homosexual - gay or lesbian, certainly provides new ways to understand Holmes and Watson as they either see these qualities within themselves are within their clients.

There is no overt sexual scenes in this anthology, instead the characters "gayness" provide new problems and crimes that must be dealt with. In some stories, it is Holmes or Watson or both that must deal with their hidden homosexuality.

For example, in "The Adventure of the Poesy Ring" by Elka Cloke, two men, two lovers, shared twin rings and now one is dead and his ring has vanished. While Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate the disappearance of the lover's ring, Watson recognizes his own inner love For Holmes and wonders if Holmes shares those feelings. As if doing a scientific experiment, Watson kisses Holmes and then must face the possibility that their friendship is over...

In "The Case of the Wounded Heart" by Rajan Khanna, Inspector Lestrade's police career is threatened as he investigates a murder that seems to involve another policeman - his lover.

And sometimes it is the villain who must come to terms, or not, of his homosexuality. In the story, "Whom God Destroys" by Ruth Sims, Sir Author Conan Doyle, unwittingly harbors a serial killer...

Each story in this collection works at the level of mystery and in revealing the difficulties of being "gay" in a Victorian Society...

Overall Rating (based on customer reviews): 4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

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The specs of 'A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes' are:

  • Publisher: Lethe Press (2011-06-05)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590210387
  • Product Dimensions: 9x5.9x0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Here are some more REAL customer reviews:

"Fun Read But No Sex Please, We're British"

I have to admit, this is a fun read. Somewhere between a good published pastiche short story collection and well-written fan fiction. I wasn't sure what to expect, thought there'd be more erotica, alright, porn. Slightly disappointed my more...Read more

"Sherlockian mysteries of alternative lifestyles"

It is not my practice to review Sherlockian fiction of such a specialized nature, however, I purchased this book because I collect Sherlockian pastiches and felt I needed to add the stories to my database. I made the mistake of reading the first and was...Read more

"Surprising lavender"

I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I read the introduction, and the editor pointed out specific points in the Canon that seemed to say that Doyle thought Holmes and Watson might be lovers. I figured that if Doyle hinted at it, I might as well...Read more

Get A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes at the best price available today.


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A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes by Joseph R. G. DeMarco Review related articles from the blogosphere...

    There is a surprising lack of Holmes-Watson romance in this given the subtext in the books, which was a little disappointing. However, the stories that the authors chose to tell instead were interesting and the characters appealing so overall it didn't matter.

eBook Addict: A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes

i-need-a-twelve-step-program.blogspot.com3/18/12

In A Study in Lavender, the Holmes universe is queered and ten authors have devised stories in which Holmes and Watson are lovers, or investigate mysteries of inverts hidden from the laws and cultures of the Victorian era; ...

2011 11 22 4 A Study in Lavender


    Scholars and fans have been arguing about the implications of queerness in the Holmes canon for a long time—it’s a popular topic. Two men in an intense emotional relationship, living together, sharing spaces and finances and their lives; well. It’s suggestive, and it’s intriguing. Both of the most recent big-name interpretations of the Holmes stories—the Robert Downey, Jr. movie and the BBC’s delightful Sherlock—have played with the intensity of the relationship between Holmes and Watson, explored it and made suggestions about it.

    This book seeks to do the same, but much more openly, as well as exploring the possibilities of other queer folks whose lives may have intersected that of the Great Detective.

A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes ed. by Joseph ...

www.tor.com12/23/11

A Study in Lavender, edited by Joseph DeMarco, is a 2011 anthology from Lethe Press that features a variety of queer-themed stories set in the Sherlock Holmes canon(s); some are (obviously) about Holmes and Watson's ...


A Study in Lavender « Weightless Books

    Includes work by J.R. Campbell, Elka Cloke, William P. Coleman, Michael G. Cornelius, Lyn C.A. Gardner, Rajan Khanna, Vincent Kovar, Stephen Osborne, Katie Raynes, and Ruth Sims.

weightlessbooks.com9/27/11

What other characters from English literature have captivated hearts and minds as thoroughly as Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion John Watson? M.

“Holmes of the Raj” by Vithal Rajan
Mar 26th, 2011 by Aldouspi


Here is the latest featured review of a Sherlock Holmes Pastiche: "Holmes of the Raj" by Vithal Rajan.

Holmes of the Raj

Sherlock Holmes Pastiches and Reviews: 

"Holmes of the Raj" by Vithal Rajan

Reviewed By Scott Harker

Publisher: Writers Workshop, Copyright 2006, First Hardback (no dustjacket).

Here is a series of related stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in India. There have been many pastiches written about Sherlock Holmes in India and Tibet - almost all of them occurring during the Great Hiatus when the world thought Holmes was dead. It is rare indeed when both Holmes and Watson are in India at the same time...

The Story:  The first story in this collection starts out with Holmes and Watson being asked, by an emissary of the Ranne of Kanchee to investigate the case of the Shankaracharya, a holy, religious figure who appears to have been framed for murder. And thus the two become involved in the Great Game of politics and intrigue going on the subcontinent of India.

The case is resolved, but before Holmes and Watson can return to England, Dr. Watson is asked to treat a young boy who has contracted malaria. While doing so, Dr. Watson begins to research the possible connection of a particular breed of mosquito with the spread of the disease. Meanwhile another mystery occupies Holmes's time.

Other stories in this book involve important Indian and British historical figures of the late 1880's from Lord Ripon and Madame Blavatsky to Vivekananda, Aurobindo, and Tagore. These figures provide glimpses into the historical context and perhaps the mindset of India under British rule. Other stories involve Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli (the Jungle Book) and Kim.

All and all, Holmes and Watson romp over much of India showing us another part of the Victorian Age...

The Writing:  Vithal Rajan is has lead an active life promoting peace through the world. He served as a "mediator" in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was a founding faculty member of the School of Peace Studies, Bradford University, U.K. He eventually returned to India where he is now the volunteer chair of the Confederation of Voluntary Associations, which works for communal harmony between poor Hindu and Muslim communities...

While not a professional writer, Rajan is a man of letters and the writing in this book is well done. There are some odd sentence structures and word choices which I attribute more to the English of India flavoring the literature. I should note that the activities of Dr. Watson are the main focal points through out most of the stories, while Holmes makes his appearances to make sure the mysteries are solved... The characterizations of Holmes and Watson are within the parameters of most viewpoint of these characters, yet there is a uniqueness, that I found fascinating. So also was I intrigued the recreation of 1880's India and its political and social culture.

This hardback version of this book is limited to 500 copies and was handmade by the publisher in India. You will find that the book has a variety of different colored covers which maybe different than the one shown here. A paperback edition from Random house is now available.

The Rating: ... I give this book 3 "Pipes." This is not your typical collection of Sherlock Holmes adventures and mysteries. While I found it enjoyable, it may not be your cup of tea...

To Purchase on Amazon:  Holmes of the Raj by Vithal Rajan


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Dedicated to the World's First Consulting Detective:  Sherlock Holmes!

To see a listing of 100's of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches with abbreviated reviews,
please visit:  List of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches


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Sherlock Holmes and the Hentzau Affair by David Stuart Davies
Jan 27th, 2011 by Aldouspi


Here is the latest featured review of a Sherlock Holmes Pastiche: "Sherlock Holmes and the Hentzau Affair" by David Stuart Davies.

Hentzau Affair

Sherlock Holmes Pastiches and Reviews: 

"Sherlock Holmes and the Hentzau Affair" by David Stuart Davies

Reviewed By Scott Harker

Publisher:  Wordsworth Editions, Copyright 2007.

"Sherlock Holmes and the Hentzau Affair" is also a pastiche of "The Prisoner of Zenda" by Anthony Hope.

"The Prisoner of Zenda" tells the story of an Englishman, Rudolf Rassendyll who must sacrifice his own happiness and save a kingdom. A drugged and kidnapped monarch-to-be must be impersonated by look-alike (Rudolf Rassendyll) at the coronation, lest his kingdom fall into ruin at the hands of an evil half-brother.

The current story takes place a few years after the King of Ruritania has been crowned...

The Story:  Colonel Sapt of the Ruritanian Court has come to England to enlist once again the aid of Rudolf Rassendyll. He hopes that Rudolf will reenact his impersonation of the King, giving the monarch a chance to recover from a serious illness.

Unfortunately, Rassendyll cannot be found and Sapt goes to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to help find him. In the interveiw with Colonel Sapt, Holmes quickly realizes that serious and evil events have already taken place - a kidnapping has occurred which first must be resolved before Holmes can tackle the missing Rudolf.

Events take their course and soon Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to Ruritania where they believe Rassendyll is being held captive in the castle of Zenda or nearby. While seeking clues to the missing man's whereabouts, Holmes and Watson are attacked by agents of the King's evil brother, Rupert of Hentzau, who still wants the crown for himself.

Holmes and Watson face mystery, treachery and physical danger as they seek to save Ryssendyll, Queen Flavia of Ruritania and the kingdom itself...


The Writing:  It is always nice when you open a book and by the end of the first page you are already carried away into the world of Sherlock Holmes and are eagerly waiting to see what happens.

David Stuart Davies writes well. His Holmes and Watson are excellent creations that match up nicely with how the characters are portrayed by Doyle. Holmes is insightful, inventive and adventurous in just the right combination.

David Stuart Davies works hard to stay within the world and parameters that Conan Doyle's novels and stories created. He has written other Sherlock Holmes pastiches as well a biography of Jeremy Brett. His knowledge and his feel for the world of Sherlock Holmes is well represented here.

The Rating:  ... This novel has a rating of 3 "Pipes." If you do not have a copy of this book already, you should get one.

To purchase this book on Amazon, visit:  Sherlock Holmes and the Hentzau Affair

By the way, click here to get a copy of the book, The Prisoner of Zenda (Penguin Red Classics) or the movies starring Ronald Coleman or Stewart Granger: The Prisoner of Zenda (1937 and 1952 Versions)


Dedicated to the World's First Consulting Detective:  Sherlock Holmes!

To see a listing of 100's of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches with abbreviated reviews,
please visit:  List of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches


The Prisoner Of Zenda 1937 (Part 1)

Ronald Colman, C. Aubrey Smith, Douglas Fairbanks jr. David Niven, Madeleine Carroll, Raymond Massey and Mary Astor star in the 1937 film adaptation of Anthony Hope's classic novel.


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Boy Sherlock Holmes: Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock
Dec 1st, 2010 by Aldouspi


Here is the latest featured review of a Sherlock Holmes Pastiche: "The Boy Sherlock Holmes: Eye of the Crow" by Shane Peacock.

Eye of the Crow

Sherlock Holmes Pastiches and Reviews: 

"The Boy Sherlock Holmes: Eye of the Crow" by Shane Peacock.

Reviewed By Scott Harker

Publisher:  Tundra Books, Copyright 2007.

"The Boy Sherlock Holmes | His 1st Case: Eye of the Crow" is the story of a young Sherlock Holmes, aged 13.

There have been other Sherlock Holmes pastiches that have dealt with the development of Sherlock Holmes in his childhood and those that look at his family. Each seems to want to explain why Sherlock became the man that Conan Doyle wrote about. This novel is no exception.

If you have ever pondered on why Holmes is emotionally detached - this story provides an answer. It also explains why he is so logical, which is due to his father's teachings...

Of course, you may disagree with Shane Peacock's explanations, but that is why the world of Sherlock Holmes is so fascinating - there are so many ways to interpret the character.

The Story:  Sherlock Holmes is a 13-year-old, living in a poorer section of London with his ex-professor father and his disinherited mother. As he has been doing lately, Sherlock is playing hooky from school, preferring to wander the streets of London instead.

After reading about a murder of woman, the boy Holmes manages to be present when the accused murderer is being brought to gaol. In an unexpected encounter, the prisoner has a brief conversation with Holmes in which he declares his innocence. And thus Sherlock Holmes is drawn into his first case.

Holmes goes to the murder site, an alley in Whitechapel. Observing the behavior of nearby crows, he discovers a clue to the real murderer overlooked by the police - a glass eye.

As the young Holmes pursues the case - he is assisted reluctantly by a local gang leader of boys or Irregulars by the name of "Malefactor." Another unexpected aid to this cause is the young daughter of a "do-gooder" by the name of Irene Doyle. And eventually Holmes's mother, who teaches music lessons, is also enlisted to solve the case.

Holmes, himself, is arrested as a potential accessory to the crime by a Scotland Yard Detective named Lestrade. But Holmes manages to escape his prison cell and continue with the case.

Unfortunately, for Holmes and those around him, the murderer realizes that he is being pursued and strikes back...


The Writing:  I must admit of a little reluctance to taking up this book, although I have had a copy for some time. Despite my hesitation, I found the writing by Shane Peacock to be quite good. Expecting a work for a more juvenile audience, this may actually be geared towards the adult reader.

Shane Peacock's version of Sherlock Holmes's youth is different than the one that I imagined, but he treats the subject fairly and the characters are well drawn. There are some plot devices that are obvious and I do which the path of the plot had gone differently, but that is due to my own inner vision of Holmes and not the fault of the author.

The Rating:  ... This novel has a rating of 3 "Pipes." This is a book to add to your collection of Sherlock Holmes pastiches. It provides a different look at Sherlock Holmes than most pastiches.

To purchase this book on Amazon, visit:  Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His First Case


Dedicated to the World's First Consulting Detective:  Sherlock Holmes!

To see a listing of 100's of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches with abbreviated reviews,
please visit:  List of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches


Ceremony Scene from Young Sherlock Holmes

More Sherlock Holmes related videos can be found at Sherlock Holmes Videos


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