“————“ is to Sherlock Holmes, as xXx is to James Bond. answer: Arrowood! well...that probably puts you off this book, so forget that. the point is, Arrowood gets the clients who can’t afford Holmes, Arrowood works with his assistant, Barnett (narrator), out of a ‘dark corner of Southwark’ and doesn’t get the recognition Holmes, Arrowood in fact starts the book fuming about Holmes, and then his newest case intrudes, and we’re off at a fast pace. this seems like it’s going to be a fun alternative to Sherlock, and I’m left wondering if the Great Detective might actually make a cameo appearance! even if he doesn’t, I have s good feeling about this one based on the first exciting chapters.
Three moonlighting characters:
1. Dr. John Watson: The good doctor actually has a full-time practice as an MD -- which doesn't stop him from routinely going sleuthing with London's self-declared "only consulting detectivie", however.
Since "moonlighting" is built into the character profile of pretty much every amateur detective (and if not into theirs, at the very least into that of their sidekicks), I could probably just go on listing cozy mysteries ... but just to keep it varied, I'll add instead:
2. Jack Walser: Journalist by trade, who joins Sophie Fevvers's circus and moonlights there as a clown in order to be able to finish Sophie's biography (and just generally be close to her) in Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus.
3. Rincewind: Discworld's most hapless wizard, who is pressed into moonlighting as Twoflower's (and his luggage's) tourist guide in Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic.
It's probably no secret that my comfort reads are Golden Age mysteries -- I'm slowly making my way through the works of the members of the Detection Club, including the forgotten and recently republished ones, but most of all, I keep coming back to, again and again:
Arthur Conan Doyle / Sherlock Holmes: Still the grand master -- both the detective and his creator -- that no serious reader of mysteries can or should even try to side-step. I've read, own, and have reread countless times all 4 novels and 56 short stories constituting the Sherlock Holmes canon, and am now making my way through some of the better-known /-reputed Holmes pastiches (only to find -- not exactly to my surprise -- that none of them can hold a candle to the original), as well as Conan Doyle's "non-Holmes" fiction.
And, of course --
The Golden Age Queens of Crime
Agatha Christie: Like Sherlock Holmes, part of my personal canon from very early on. I've read and, in many cases, reread more than once and own (largely as part of a series of anniversary omnibus editions published by HarperCollins some 10 years ago) all of Agatha Christie's novels and short stories published under this name, as well as her autobiography, with only those of her books published under other names (e.g., the Mary Westmacott romances) left to read.
Dorothy L. Sayers: My mom turned me onto Sayers when I was in my teens, and I have never looked back. I've read all of her Lord Peter Wimsey novels and short stories, volume 1 of her collected letters (which covers her correspondence from childhood to the end of her career as a mystery writer), and some of her non-Wimsey short stories and essays. Gaudy Night and the two addresses jointly published under the title Are Women Human? are among my all-time favorite books; not least because they address women's position in society decades before feminism even became a mass movement to be reckoned with, and with a validity vastly transcending both Sayers's own lifetime and our own. -- Next steps: The remainder of Sayers's non-Wimsey stories and of her essays, as well as her plays.
Ngaio Marsh: A somewhat later entry into my personal canon, but definitely a fixture now. I've read all of her Inspector Alleyn books and short stories and reread many of them. Still on my TBR: her autobiography (which happily is contained in the last installments of the series of 3-book-each omnibus volumes I own).
Patricia Wentworth: Of the Golden Age Queens of Crime, the most recent entry into my personal canon. I'd read two books by her a few years ago and liked one a lot, the other one considerably less, but Tigus expertly steered the resident mystery fans on Booklikes to all the best entries in the Miss Silver series, which I'm now very much looking forward to completing -- along with some of Wentworth's other fiction.
Georgette Heyer: I'm not a romance reader, so I doubt that I'll ever go anywhere near her Regency romances. But I'm becoming more and more of a fan of her mysteries; if for no other reason than that nobody, not even Agatha Christie, did viciously bickering families as well as her.
Margery Allingham: I'm actually more of a fan of Albert Campion as portrayed by Peter Davison in the TV adaptations of some of Allingham's mysteries than of her Campion books as such, but I like at least some of those well enough to eventually want to complete the series -- God knows I've read enough of them at this point for the completist in me to have kicked in long ago. I've also got Allingham's very first novel, Blackerchief Dick (non-Campion; historical fiction involving pirates) sitting on my audio TBR.
Task 3: Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)?
I'm a completist and a re-reader-ist so there are a few authors I could use for this task, but really there can be only one. And he's Scottish, so the possibly obscure movie/TV reference works.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes. The former one of only two authors I'd go out of my way for the chance to have dinner with (assuming death is not an obstacle) and the latter my numero uno literary hero.
I have read the entire Sherlock Holmes canon multiple times and as you can see above, I own several editions of both the complete works and individual titles. I'm pretty sure they're just the beginning too, because if I thought it was hard to pass by additional editions of Jane Austen's works (I have at least 2 of all her works, 3 of some, and I think I'm up to 4 P&P editions) it's downright impossible for me to pass by a good Sherlock Holmes - especially an older edition.
Even though I've read all the stories at least 4 times, there is a lot I learn every time - things I've forgotten or overlooked, or simply 'get' because of new life experiences. This makes me hesitant to go toe-to-toe with anyone over most of the stories themselves, but I definitely consider myself enough of a 'veteran' to wade into any conversation about Holmes and Watson as characters with confidence.