Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My Sherlock Holmes book

I promised to say something about the collection of Finnish Sherlock Holmes stories I edited. The book will be out next Tuesday, with this great cover by Anssi Rauhala. I posted my short foreword and the table of contents here, on one of my other blogs, and here is also the afterword Petri Salin wrote for the book - it's about the world of Holmes pastiches.

This is the first time this kind of book has been done in Finland. I don't know why, since Holmes pastiches are pretty popular in the UK and the USA. Holmes has been loved by the Finns for almost 100 years now, you'd think someone would've come up with this idea before. I got the idea when I noticed that Petri Salin, a writer of great skill and flair for old school adventure and crime, had a Holmes story in one of the issues of the Usva magazine. Then I noticed he had one even earlier in the nineties, in the science fiction magazine, Portti. And then I found two Finnish Holmes parodies in a Finnish pulp mag from the fourties, the other story being an anonymous "Sherlock Holmes in Finland" (Holmes gets lost in Finland and a Finn helps him out using his common sense) and the other being a parody by pulp writer Tuuri Heporauta (under the pseudonym of Ilkka Pilkka), with the hero's name altered into Herlock Sholmes. Then I knew I had to do this book. And I knew it would be a mix of old and new.

It wasn't very hard to get people to write for this book. Almost everyone I asked was enthusiastic, and that shows. The stories I got are very good and I'm sure not many would recognize them being not written by Doyle. Some of the stories are of course parodies, especially the one written by Jari Tammi, in which Holmes seemingly gets spanked with a whip by two young ladies.... There's also one SF/horror story set in an alternate history, written by Anne Leinonen.

Thanks to Risto Raitio I got some great old stories thrown in. And I really like the play that concludes the book: Sherlock Mopsi, written by one Arvo Salmivaara, a totally forgotten writer of plays and radio plays from the thirties and fourties. Sherlock Mopsi is very funny, and I sure hope someone will pick it up from this!

I sure hope this book will find its audience. It was fun to do and I'm sure it shows! Holmes, mainly due to the Downey film, has been regaining his stature lately, and two other Finnish publishers are bringing out new Holmes books this Summer: from Teos we will have the collection of Doyle's all Holmes stories and from Bookkari will come a new edition of the Holmes stories written by Adrian Doyle and John Dickson Carr.

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