Craig Stephen Copland is a man with a mission –to write 60 new Sherlock Holmes stories. He’s well on his way. Two of them take Holmes and Dr. John Watson well away from England – to the United States and Japan.
In The Hudson Valley Mystery, Holmes and Watson (ably assisted by Mrs. Watson) travel to New York to investigate what appears to be an open-and-shut case. Charles McCarthy, who had made a considerable fortune in the California Gold Rush, has been murdered, and his nineteen-year-old son James has confessed, pled insanity, and is now confined in a prison for the criminally insane. The widow (and mother) has retained Holmes, not believing that her son could have committed the deed.
Involved are the nearby neighbor and Gold Rush partner John Turner and his daughter, and Holmes and Watson soon learn that few of the people in both families are telling the truth. Something is being hidden, and Holmes is determined to discover what it is.
In The Yellow Farce, Holmes and Watson travel to Japan at the behest (actually, the demand) of Holmes’ brother Mycroft. It is 1905, Japan and Russia are at war, and the Russian fleet is sailing around the world to battle the Japanese fleet. The head of the British legation in Tokyo is married to an American who happens to be a former Russian, and it looks like the woman is up to no good in trying to tilt the British toward supporting the Russians.
|Craig Stephen Copland|
It’s a vastly different culture from England or the United States, and the detective duo find themselves confronting gun smuggling, spies everywhere, and even what looks to be a planned assassination. The climax will come at the summit of Mount Fuji.
Copland is a longtime fan of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. After he retired, he set himself a goal of writing a new Sherlock Holmes mystery related to and inspired by each of the 60 stories published by Conan Doyle. He’s also written monographs on Holmes and two non-Holmes mystery stories featuring a detective in the Old American West, the Reverend Ezekiel Black. He currently lives and writes in Toronto, Buenos Aires, New York, and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.
The stories are great fun, but readers should not expect an exact reproduction of Holmes and Watson. Copland’s Holmes make mistakes, and he often has to directed on to a better path by Watson and his wife. That said, it makes for a more realistic detective, one that is still paying homage to the original stories.