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Which author would be recommended for reading the "Missing Cases of Sherlock Holmes"?

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7 hours ago, besleybean said:

Anyhow, it was very hopeful and positive at the end. 

Yes, that little postscript was nice.  If they'd just stopped abruptly after dealing with Eurus, that would not have been a good place to leave them -- temporarily or otherwise.

54 minutes ago, Hikari said:

Jekyll was made in 2007 (6 episodes of 60 minutes each.)  Apart from one guest role in Touching Evil, I had not seen anything else from Mr. Nesbitt (more recently made famous as Bofur of the funny hat in the dwarfish band).  James is fantastic at creating two entirely different personas with only the tiniest of makeup/hair changes to suggest Hyde.  Highly recommended

I may check into that -- truly adored him as Bofur.

As for Moftiss's Dracula, though, I haven't seen it either, other than one minor clip.  Doesn't seem to be my cuppa.

57 minutes ago, Hikari said:

I think it's precisely because Martin actually didn't enjoy being shoehorned into those mild nice-guy parts (himself being neither mild nor particularly nice.

Hmm, maybe.  But my impression, based on what he's said, is that he simply gets bored playing the same sort of character all the time.  He's outspoken, yes, and easily irritated by other people's assumptions about him, and doesn't have much of a filter -- but judging by the actual content of his comments he seems to be a decent fellow.

 

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On 3/19/2021 at 10:46 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I may check into that -- truly adored him as Bofur.

Carol,

I just discovered over the weekend that Jekyll is free on YouTube.  I couldn't find a full episode listing so you have to enter 'Jekyll Episode #' to find them individually.  They are 53 minutes long.  This was a Moffat solo project, executive produced by Beryl Vertue.  

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2 hours ago, Hikari said:

Jekyll is free on YouTube

Cool!  Will have a look.  :D

Added:  Here's the collection: [link]

 

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Found this article today:

https://www.thecuriousreader.in/bookrack/sherlock-holmes-pastiches/

The 8 top Holmes pastiches as rated by one reader.

I have read most, though not all of these.  I can vouch for Lyndsay Faye (BSI), though I do not recall reading Dust and Shadow.  If you do not already own a copy of The Whole Art of Detection, I recommend that one highly.  It's a collection of short stories comprising the further adventures of SH, including many that are passing references in Canon stories, like the man who went back into his house after an umbrella and never came out and Col. Warburton's madness.

I confess to being underwhelmed by Anthony Horowitz's House of Silk.  It wasn't awful, but I didn't think it rated quite as much buzz as it received.  His follow-up, though--Moriarty--is a must-read.

Bonnie MacBird is an avid Sherlockian with a flat on Baker Street and the hostess of the Sherlock Breakfast Club of London that meets every Saturday, or did, pre-pandemic.  Maybe the breakfast meetings are carrying on via Zoom.  Her essay on The Naval Treaty in the About Sixty anthology is one of the standouts of that volume. The cover art was fantastic.  How sad was I to be more disappointed in Art in the Blood than I have in any Sherlockian pastiche effort apart from the more egregious efforts of Laurie King.  Promising set up but it really and truly was bad.

Nothing on this list by Donald Thomas or Michael Kurland--an oversight, for sure.  Both are wonderful authors who really get into the esprit of Sherlock, and in Kurland's case, Moriarty.

Michael Kurland has also edited the fine short story collections: Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Years and Sherlock Holmes: The American Years.

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5 hours ago, Hikari said:

I confess to being underwhelmed by Anthony Horowitz's House of Silk.

Me too, for a couple of reasons:  1. The author telegraphed the ending from very early on, and 2. I can't imagine ACD so much as *hinting* at that sort of plot.  Really not my cuppa, so I'd have a hard time convincing myself to read anything else by that author.

 

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OMG...

Isn't life strange?

I absolutely adore House of Silk and you guys are the first I have met who don't love it.

I thought his Moriarty was ok, but House of Silk is excellent-

very ACD, I thought.

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41 minutes ago, besleybean said:

Isn't life strange?

That's what makes the world go 'round, isn't it?

 

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I remembered that I have indeed read Lyndsay Faye's Dust and Shadow, and in fact Herl and I have conversed about it right here.

That's a Sherlock vs. Jack the Ripper story, and I've read a number of those and got my details mixed up.  Around the same time, I also read Laura Joh Rowland's The Ripper's Shadow, which was the first book in a series dedicated to female photographer Sarah Bain's adventures in late Victorian London.  Photography was in its infancy and not only was the equipment extremely expensive, unwieldy and rare, but photographers (all male) were considered disreputable.  In many quarters, they still are.

https://www.laurajohrowland.com/ripper.php

SH vs. Saucy Jack has become irresistible to writers and filmmakers, since Jack's bloody reign of terror corresponds precisely to SH's best and most active years in London.  It seems inconceivable that Holmes wouldn't have inserted  himself into the Scotland Yard investigation.  But I understand Conan Doyle's reasons for staying far away from such a topical matter.  He wasn't a tabloid journalist but a creator of escapist fiction, and the Jack murders were too raw and recent, and the crimes too sordid.  Conan Doyle didn't want to have his fastidious and resolutely celibate detective embroiled in sadosexual murders of prostitutes and be tainted by association as a muckraker.  That hasn't stopped generations of imitators from making a buck by having Sherlock gamely get on the tail of Saucy Jack.  Conan Doyle's other glaring issue was--The Great Detective always gets his man (or woman).  Had he taken on Jack the Ripper the public would have expected to see Holmes unmask the Ripper and bring him to justice, even though only one of those contemporaries was, strictly speaking, real.  In our time, that would be like having Sherlock catch the killer of JonBenet Ramsey.  Though maybe someone has actually penned such a fan fiction someplace. 

Author Stephen Hunter identifies the Ripper as a real Victorian esteemed personage and that's definitely a surprise you don't see coming.  Blows the mind a little bit.

Michael Dibdin's Ripper suspect is even more astounding in The Last Sherlock Holmes Story.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Hikari said:

Jack's bloody reign of terror corresponds precisely to SH's best and most active years in London.

Oh, dear -- you don't suppose....   :blink:

4 hours ago, Hikari said:

Conan Doyle didn't want to have his fastidious and resolutely celibate detective embroiled in sadosexual murders of prostitutes and be tainted by association as a muckraker.

... which is analogous to the reason that I can't imagine Conan Doyle writing anything similar to The House of Silk.  (Anything more specific would be a spoiler, so I'll stop there.)

 

 

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Oh well, each to their own, I guess...

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8 hours ago, Hikari said:

I remembered that I have indeed read Lyndsay Faye's Dust and Shadow, and in fact Herl and I have conversed about it right here.

That's a Sherlock vs. Jack the Ripper story, and I've read a number of those and got my details mixed up.  Around the same time, I also read Laura Joh Rowland's The Ripper's Shadow, which was the first book in a series dedicated to female photographer Sarah Bain's adventures in late Victorian London.  Photography was in its infancy and not only was the equipment extremely expensive, unwieldy and rare, but photographers (all male) were considered disreputable.  In many quarters, they still are.

https://www.laurajohrowland.com/ripper.php

SH vs. Saucy Jack has become irresistible to writers and filmmakers, since Jack's bloody reign of terror corresponds precisely to SH's best and most active years in London.  It seems inconceivable that Holmes wouldn't have inserted  himself into the Scotland Yard investigation.  But I understand Conan Doyle's reasons for staying far away from such a topical matter.  He wasn't a tabloid journalist but a creator of escapist fiction, and the Jack murders were too raw and recent, and the crimes too sordid.  Conan Doyle didn't want to have his fastidious and resolutely celibate detective embroiled in sadosexual murders of prostitutes and be tainted by association as a muckraker.  That hasn't stopped generations of imitators from making a buck by having Sherlock gamely get on the tail of Saucy Jack.  Conan Doyle's other glaring issue was--The Great Detective always gets his man (or woman).  Had he taken on Jack the Ripper the public would have expected to see Holmes unmask the Ripper and bring him to justice, even though only one of those contemporaries was, strictly speaking, real.  In our time, that would be like having Sherlock catch the killer of JonBenet Ramsey.  Though maybe someone has actually penned such a fan fiction someplace. 

Author Stephen Hunter identifies the Ripper as a real Victorian esteemed personage and that's definitely a surprise you don't see coming.  Blows the mind a little bit.

Michael Dibdin's Ripper suspect is even more astounding in The Last Sherlock Holmes Story.

 

 

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin.........noooooooo!!!🙁

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2 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin.........noooooooo!!!🙁

Are you objecting to the title on general principles, or did you read the story and not care for it?

 

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14 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Are you objecting to the title on general principles, or did you read the story and not care for it?

 

It was the ending I hated Carol.

Spoiler

Holmes the ripper!

It was a well written book though.👍

 

 

Edited by Carol the Dabbler
Added spoiler box
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On 3/27/2021 at 8:05 AM, HerlockSholmes said:

It was the ending I hated Carol.

  Reveal hidden contents

Holmes the ripper!

It was a well written book though.👍

 

 

The following post does not contain any overt spoilers about The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, but certain plot points can be deduced by armchair detectives.  I will leave it to the moderators to determine whether the entire thing belongs in a spoiler box, but I think we are all adults here and can determine for ourselves how much opinion about a book we have not read we are willing to accommodate.  If you haven't read it and think you would like to, and you really, really want to go in absolutely blind, I suggest you go read it first and then come back to my comment.

**************************************************

Michael Dibdin (RIP) was barely past 30 when that book--his first--was published.   I don't know if the subsequent furore over this book was the cause of him leaving England to live in Italy for four years . . Italia is a lovely place,  much favored as a holiday/retirement spot by Britons, but this was a young, first-time author making this move.  Was he hiding out from enraged Sherlockians, one wonders . . ?  Italy would prove to be fertile ground for inspiration because Dibdin is not remembered for his notorious freshman effort (except among dedicated Sherlockians); he is famous for his original detective character, Det. Aurelio Zen, a Venetian native working for the Carabinieri di Roma.  Zen has some Sherlockian characteristics:  he's a loner, very fond of deduction and resolutely incorruptible, which is blasted inconvenient for an Italian policeman.  

I read Michael's book very early on in my renewed Sherlockian period.  I recognized Dibdin's name from the Aurelio Zen books (the most famous trilogy of which have been turned into films starring Rufus Sewell as Zen.  That set is worth every penny) . . and it's a very slim book--200 pages or thereabouts.  I figured it would be an easy breezy read before I dove back into Leslie Klinger's Annotated Sherlock Holmes.

I was very wrong.  It is neither easy nor breezy, though one can certainly read it in its entirety in under two hours.  I was so gutted by it I had to  reread the entire thing again immediately, just to be sure I hadn't hallucinated certain outcomes.  I revisit the horrors of that book periodically just because I have a temperamental disposition to the Romanticism of making myself suffer.

I think as I told Herlock Sholmes at the time,  I have never both loved and hated a book so much simultaneously.   Michael Dibdin may have succeeded in writing Dr. Watson better than Conan Doyle himself.  It really is an outstanding piece of literary craftsmanship--pastiche done at a supremely high level that may have been equaled but never bettered, by anyone before or since.  It is astounding that a first-time author, only in his 20s when composing it, would have blown onto the scene with such a masterful work.  Or to have had the cojones at the very start of his career to publish a manuscript that was not going to be anything less than controversial.   In the genre of Sherlockian lore, Michael Dibdin is both genius and heretic.  His book is an apocryphal Gospel of Sherlock Holmes--as written by a Judas.  I hate the nihilism of it but can't help but admire the sheer guts it would have taken to defiantly carry out his vision to its singular conclusion.   His publisher was pretty ballsy, too, taking this on from a new author who was an untested commodity.  There's a bit of cosmic irony--some might say karma--in Dibdin dying young, at only 60 (incidentally, SH's age in the last published canonical case His Last Bow) while Sherlock Holmes continues to 'live' on and go from strength to strength across pieces of three centuries.  

As for the reasons why such an obviously well-versed Sherlockian disciple would have engineered that level of betrayal toward his Master, those Mr. Dibdin has taken to his grave.   It was a bravura turn--into Hell.  The book, I mean . .not Mr. Dibdin's life, though some really hardcore Sherlockians might say he deserved nothing less than to be consigned there.  I am not that angry, because Sherlock Lives . . he's bounced back a treat from the paces MD put him through.  I would very much like to hear from MD himself over a pint about his process of creating this story and and even more . . .Why? . . .but mostly I admire the confidence it would have taken to pull it off, and then go on to a distinguished career creating his own signature detective.  In my library, DIBDIN is shelved right alongside DEXTER, creator of Inspector Morse, which is a bit of serendipity.  

It occurs to me that the writers of Sherlock BBC, Sherlockians which they are, must have been aware of this story, and might have even derived elements from it for their take on The Reichenbach Fall.  Steve Thompson was listed as the primary writer on that episode, which narrowly missed being my favorite episode of the series.  (In the end, A Scandal in Belgravia edged it out for its greater humor and more positive ending . . I really hate seeing Watson cry) . .but he certainly consulted with the showrunners on the direction the episode would take.  The similarities are there. 

We can rejoice that like Jesus busting out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, Sherlock Holmes did not stay dead.  We like him much better that way.

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Controversial: comparing Holmes and Jesus? One real!

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On 3/27/2021 at 12:05 PM, HerlockSholmes said:

It was the ending I hated Carol.

  Reveal hidden contents

Holmes the ripper!

It was a well written book though.👍

 

 

Oops.

My apologies Carol, I didn’t consider the ‘spoiler alert’ aspect of my post.

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3 hours ago, besleybean said:

Controversial: comparing Holmes and Jesus? One real!

Well, yes.  It is just a comparison for literary purposes.  I was trying to describe a feeling in reaction to a story, not trying to equate both central figures as being equal in humanity, ie. 'realness'.  I would hope that would be understood.

Though when it comes to a certain breed of diehard Sherlockian, such as the type that becomes inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars Society, one must never discount that for those people, Sherlock Holmes is absolutely real.  Certain individuals have been known to become unhinged if it is suggested in their hearing that Sherlock Holmes is not currently alive and hale and tending bees on the Sussex Downs.  I am serious.

Membership in the secular Church of the Great Detective is a religion a number of people hold dear; for them Sherlock Holmes goes way beyond a hobby or an admirable character from literature.  For some really diehard Sherlock believers, he is real and has become real in the same way the Velveteen Rabbit became real: by being loved that much by enough of his readers.

Sherlock Holmes cannot give one eternal life . . but many of his followers believe that he possesses it, or at least, give the appearance of it through their devotion to The Great Game.  (in which disciples of Sherlock Holmes conduct their meetings and all their discourse, both oral and written as though the person they are discussing and writing adventures for not only lived for real on Baker Street during Victoria's reign and had a great pal called Watson, but is in fact, alive now and still working on behalf of Her Majesty's government in between bouts of beekeeping. ) Like Santa Claus, he is steadfastly real to those who believe in him and to those that don't . . well, it just looks like imagination or insanity, depending on the age of the believer.  The lines get blurry.  Because the chief tenet of the Great Game is never admitting, to outsiders or even within the circle that one is playing a game at all.

Michael Dibdin was absolutely a Sherlockian, but his actions had a similar effect on his brotherhood of believers as Judas's did.  An insider who went renegade and cast himself irredeemably into exile.  Let's just say I don't think Michael was welcomed into any Sherlock scion society meetings after 1978.

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I’m wondering if the shock ending of The Last Sherlock Holmes Story was echoed by DC Donovan when she warned John about what might eventually happen if he continues his association with Sherlock?🤔

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Hmm, could be -- at least regarding why the Moftisses had her say that.  As for Sally's personal motivation for saying it, her opinion of Sherlock is probably influenced by Anderson's opinion of him.

 

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I think Ms Donovan has to take responsibility for her own actions.

Calling anybody a freak is unacceptable.

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True.  Though to be completely accurate, she didn't call him "a freak" or even "the freak," she called him "Freak" as though that were his name.  Not sure that's any better, but it is a bit different.

 

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But it isn't his name and is both the same and worse.

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14 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Hmm, could be -- at least regarding why the Moftisses had her say that.  As for Sally's personal motivation for saying it, her opinion of Sherlock is probably influenced by Anderson's opinion of him.

 

I may have asked this before but does anyone know if there was any reason given that Donovan didn’t endure as a character? To be honest I’ve only re-watched A Study In Pink so I can’t recall how many episodes she was actually in?

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19 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I’m wondering if the shock ending of The Last Sherlock Holmes Story was echoed by DC Donovan when she warned John about what might eventually happen if he continues his association with Sherlock?🤔

Seems very likely, Herl.  Though Moffat may not have been referencing TLSHS in particular that time.  Isn't there a passage (or more than one) in a story/stories in which other characters (I'm thinking Lestrade and Watson), and even SH himself muse on what Holmes might have done if he'd opted to turn his prodigious mind to committing crimes instead of solving them?  I'm sure there is, but I couldn't tell you where it appears just now.  

The Reichenbach Fall presents us with a scenario where Moriarty, posing as 'Rich Brook' convincingly casts doubt upon Sherlock's sanity and makes himself into a figment of SH's imagination as far as others are concerned.  Watson & Molly are the only ones who have actually met 'Jim' to know any different.  The scene on the roof of Barts could be read as the two sides of Sherlock's nature dueling it out for supremacy  "Just because I'm on the side of the angels, don't think for a moment that I AM one of them".  There's a very similar handling of the character of Moriarty and an eerily similar visceral shock ending to this episode as in Dibdin's story, wherein one of the main characters makes a shocking choice to self-annihilate for an ultimate goal.

Sherlock Holmes always redeems himself in the end; even Mr. Dibdin put that in.

11 hours ago, besleybean said:

I think Ms Donovan has to take responsibility for her own actions.

Calling anybody a freak is unacceptable.

Sally may be a good policewoman; Lestrade certainly relies on her, and she's his right-hand officer, so she's got skills, apparently.  But they are hard to discern owing to her really unprofessional behavior toward Sherlock.  It may be human to think of him as Freak, because, let's be honest--his personality and methods are completely his own, openly defiant of proper police procedure and equally antisocial in presentation.  But Donovan and Anderson fan the flames with their snarky insults and open hostility and jealousy toward their boss's civilian consultant.  They behave in an unprofessional, childish manner toward him and that only succeeds in bringing out the worst in SH.  If they would have been polite in their dealings with him, one supposes that he might have given more politeness back to them.  Sherlock is fully aware of social norms; when he ignores them and insults people, that is a conscious choice.  I actually think he secretly relishes being called Freak and knowing that he gets under their skin that much.  But you are correct that such verbal bullying is unacceptable behavior from law enforcement officers, and it's a failing of Lestrade's leadership as their boss that he didn't nip that in the bud earlier.  He could have made it plain that Donovan & Anderson, as the two senior members of his team, could either be professional toward the consultant or be assigned to another division after a disciplinary leave and obligatory seminar on appropriate language in the workplace.  That said, Donovan was right to force her boss to confront the valid possibility that his pet consultant might actually be responsible for the very crimes he was purportedly investigating.  Donovan is a good officer in other respects, but she's always been such a b--- to Sherlock that it's hard to accept her criticisms of him as anything less than sour grapes.  Lestrade is too indulgent of SH because he likes him, and he's far more likely to excuse SH's flaws.  Sherlock gets results but at a great cost to Lestrade personally and to his division with the unconventional behavior and the animosity he sows among Lestrade's official subordinates.  Greg gives the unpaid civilian a LOT of leeway, probably harming his own advancement in the process, and displays pretty blatant favoritism toward him.  He calls in SH at the drop of a hat, undermining the morale of his actual team who are all sworn officers and can't get away with most of the cr*p that SH pulls--like B&E--because they are obliged to uphold the law.  There is definitely legitimate cause for resentment among Greg's staff, but they all like him, apart from this one blind spot, so it's easier to target the source of their anger directly and call him names.  

Then there's the matter of Donovan and Anderson conducting an illicit workplace sexual affair.  The married Anderson is guilty of adultery and it just displays how rather desperate Donovan is for attention . . or maybe she just wants to destabilize Anderson's marriage and hurt his wife.  Sally seems like a pretty miserable cow.  Kudos to Vinette Robinson because it's not easy to play such an unlikeable character.  She really made us hate Sally, so, well done.

 

2 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I may have asked this before but does anyone know if there was any reason given that Donovan didn’t endure as a character? To be honest I’ve only re-watched A Study In Pink so I can’t recall how many episodes she was actually in?

Donovan of course has a significant role in The Reichenbach Fall, but we never see her again after that that I can recall.  I don't remember exactly, either, but she is not in the first two episodes of S2.  I do not recall her presence in the last two episodes of S1 specifically.  She may have been in as little as two episodes then.  She certainly made an impression as SH's primary antagonist on Lestrade's squad, until the focus shifted to Anderson for subsequent episodes in S3.  S4 is honestly a blank to me vis. Anderson's involvement, but I think Vinette Robinson had left for other pastures.  She turned up subsequently in an episode of Vera as a murder victim, which would represent KARMA! to a lot of Donovan haters.  In my mind palace, Donovan transferred to another division/jurisdiction in the wake of the Fall to take a Detective Inspector opening.  Lestrade will have recommended her highly for a promotion, if only to get her out of his sights.  I don't think he would have wanted to work with her after events of that episode.  Anderson had his own problems and was off the squad, too.

A lot of people may not realize this but the role of Sally Donovan was played by another black actress in the unaired pilot episode.  Zawe Ashton was the original Donovan, but was replaced by Vinette Robinson subsequently.  The two actresses look remarkably similar.  Ms. Ashton went on to a much beefier supporting role on Case Histories as Jackson Brodie's (Jason Isaacs) sassy secretary, Deborah over two seasons.  I have a feeling that Ms. Ashton was no longer available for Donovan, having accepted the Case Histories job, when shooting commenced on the Study in Pink episode that actually aired.  Moffat had to go back to the drawing board and produce a 90-minute script and completely redo the sets and wardrobe and everything.  Ashton made a good call, I think, since Sally Donovan was such a tiny supporting part.

P.S.  Displaying the 'It's a Small World' theme in British television, the second lead in Case Histories (in the Lestrade role) was none other than Amanda Abbington, playing Brodie's DI contact on the Lothian & Borders police force.  The two were former partners in the major case squad, until Brodie got fitted up by some fellow officers he testified against and was forced to leave the force and become a private detective.  So there are definite Sherlockian characteristics to Brodie--a pissed-off loner who is working outside of the official police structure and who can therefore take creative shortcuts in his investigations that may not be strictly legal.   Brodie and DI Louise Monroe appear to have a past history of being romantic partners or wanting to be, but Brodie has an ex-wife and a daughter, and the timing is always off for them.  Amanda A. does a bang-on Scots accent and looks really good with red hair--better than the blonde, IMO.

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1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I may have asked this before but does anyone know if there was any reason given that Donovan didn’t endure as a character? To be honest I’ve only re-watched A Study In Pink so I can’t recall how many episodes she was actually in?

Sally was a semi-regular with three appearances in the first two series, but then wandered off because Vinette Robinson was offered a steady job on another show.  They did manage to include her in one early scene of Sign of Three, but notice it was just her and Lestrade going after that wily family of bank robbers, and it was filmed on location somewhere, so they could have done that one scene before or after the main production, whenever the two of them were available.  Then she was supposed to be in a later episode, but again Robinson wasn't available, so they hired someone else to play a different policewoman instead.  Too bad -- Sally was a good character and well played.  She lives on in fan fiction!

 

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