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

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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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