In 1887, an eye doctor with no patients had his first story published about a ‘consulting detective’ who would one day take over the world. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet the world’ gets its first glimpse at what would become the most famous detective in crime fiction, Sherlock Holmes.
There had been a handful of detectives in fiction before Holmes, but no one came close to his popularity. Even today, readers often consider him as the quintessential detective who many of today’s mystery writers try to emulate.
The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars was written by Anthony Boucher and published in 1940. The Case was a tribute to Sherlock Holmes.
Set in 1939, Hollywood, Metropolis Pictures plans to produce a movie based on one of Sherlock Holmes’s stories. However, they are getting backlash from the fans Holmes because the writer, Worth, wants to change the story to make it a tough, hard-boiled rendition. The executive at Metropolis discovers that, by contract, he cannot replace the hated writer. So, they decide to invite some of the members of The Baker Street Irregulars to oversee the production and give the film their stamp of approval. ￼
Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell Story in Transylvania
The Mystery Writers of America announced that they have chosen Laurie R. King to be their 2022 Grand Master at this year’s conference. The awards she’s won, how her novels have influenced the crime fiction canon, and her writing longevity, all together make her a fitting recipient.
Laurie R. King was born in 1952 in Oakland, California. On her website, she said she was the third generation in her family native to the San Francisco area. Her family moved so much as she was growing up that it wasn’t until she was in high school that she attended the same school in consecutive years.
In an interview for Mystery Scene in 2009, she said, “That, if nothing else, turned me into a reader, which turned me into a writer.” On her website, she said she read through libraries up and down the west coast. Continue reading
Mystery readers have long named Dorothy Leigh Sayers as one of the queens of the Golden Age of British detective writing. Best known for her Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, Sayers had a very full and interesting life.
Oxford University, England
Dorothy was born on June 13, 1893, in Oxford, England. Her father was a chaplain of Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, and headmaster of the Cathedral Choir School. Her mother was the daughter of a solicitor.
An only child, her father started teaching her Latin at six years old. She grew up in the village of Bluntisham and the graveyard next to the rectory has tombstones with many of the surnames used in her books.
In 1912, Sayers received the Gilchrist Scholarship for modern languages to Somerville College, Oxford. She studied in modern language and medieval literature and graduated with first-class honors in 1915. However, Oxford did not award degrees to women at that time. Continue reading