Thursday, November 10, 2005

Faux Conan Doyle

I wrote a small piece for the Finnish Whodunit Society's Ruumiin Kulttuuri magazine on two Finnish-language books that have been published as by Arthur Conan Doyle, but are not vintage Doyle.

The other one is one of the German Conan Doyles that were written by two guys, Kurt Matull and Theo Blankensee. It's already apparent from the outset that it's not a real thing - Watson has been replaced by Harry Taxon, young man who is an apprentice of Holmes. The Holmes is no real Holmes either, since he has loads of technical apparatus at his help. The German Holmeses appeared in 1907—1911, and Harry Taxon had his own mag, too, called Harry Taxon und sein Meister. It was published in 1908—1909. The Noble Thief is the one below.

The other one is a real mystery. The Victim of a Blood-Sucker a historical novel, set in the late 18th century and features one Luc de Kerjean. Baron Luc is setting up a conspiracy against the King. It sounds more like Alexandre Dumas or Ponson du Terrail than Conan Doyle.

The Victim of a Blood-Sucker (great title, huh?) was published in Wisconsin in 1907 in two parts by a American-Finnish publisher. I've been toying with the idea that this is a trunk novel that Doyle was able to sell only to the Wisconsin-based publisher to be translated into Finnish.. but then again, probably not.

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