Friday, May 1, 2009

Sherlock Holmes, Calvin Carter, and a Guy Named Mack

Mack, over at Mack Captures Crime, has embarked on a fun reading journey: read all the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in publication order. There's a reason for this and, to find out, you'll have to head on over to Mack's blog. In a separate entry, Mack lists Doyle's personal favorites Holmes stories and that of the Baker Street Irregulars. I'm looking forward to seeing what insights Mack discovers.

Today, in his entry to Patti Abbott's Friday Forgotten Books, David Cranmer writes about some Continental Op short stories by Dashiell Hammett. David laments that he's now read all of Hammett's published short stories. And he's 'sullen.' I can understand that feeling and it's one of the driving forces behind the reason I have never read all of the original 60 Holmes stories (4 novels and 56 short stories). I have my favorites and I've read them over and over again content with the knowledge that there are still more Doyle stories for me to read.

Ironically, Mack's reading challenge comes at a time when I have started reviewing the Holmes stories I know well. After the publication of my first short story, "You Don't Get Three Mistakes," over at Beat to a Pulp, I've created a character that I like and others seem to like as well. I am going to write more about my character, Calvin Carter, and have begun reseraching the structure of Doyle's stories to understand why they're so popular and long-lasting. It'll be a fun adventure and, you never know: I might just plow through all 60 stories to find out Doyle's secret.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I think that's a great idea. It gives you such a grounded beginning for a story.

David Cranmer said...

I'm looking forward to more Carter stories. That character has a lot more to do and say.

Scott Parker said...

Patti - Thanks again. This story did seem part of a larger one. I'm looking forward to the stories and adventures Calvin relates to me.

David - I think so, too. The more I read and the more our business goes electronic and all the new implications, the more I think some old-school storytelling, complete with cliffhangers and other obvious methods to keep a reader engaged, will resurface. And I can't help but wonder if series characters aren't a good way to build some sort of 'brand' loyalty like it was back in the day.