Bradley H. Sinor, Author of “The Adventure of the Other Detective”

Tell us a bit about your story. What’s it about?

“The Adventure of the Other Detective” is an alternate history story that is set only a few weeks after Holmes returns to London from the Great Hiatus. One night Watson is summoned to the scene of an accident, where his medical skills are required . When he returns to Baker Street he discovers that the world he knew is gone, someone else is living in 221 B and among other things John H. Watson, M.D. died during the battle of Maiwand.

What was the genesis of the story—what was the inspiration for it, or what prompted you to write it?

I had been a Holmes fan for many, many years and had been toying with the idea of writing a Holmes story for a long time. I began with the opening and Watson being summoned out on a medical emergency. At first I intended it to be a mystery, but since my primary interest is science fiction and fantasy as soon as I had Watson summoned to the scene of the accident I knew things were going to take a sharp left turn. That’s just the way my mind works.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

I reread a number of the Doyle stories to remind myself of the feel of the language that he used. I also did a lot of reading about the various theories concerning the true identity of Jack The Ripper, plus about the royal family of that period.

What is the appeal of Sherlock Holmes fiction? Why do so many writers–or you yourself–write about it? Why do readers and film viewers love it so much?

I suspect that it is because that from our point of view this was a simpler time (it actually wasn’t) and things were more black and white (they actually weren’t). Besides I think everyone would love to be able to walk up to a stranger and be able to proclaim “You have been in Afghanistan I perceive” and know they were right or to be awakened in the dark of the night to the call “The Game is Afoot!”

What are some of your favorite examples of Sherlock Holmes fiction (either original Doyle works or contemporary works) and what makes them your favorites?

Of course the original Doyle stories are the best. Of new Holmes stories one of my all time favorites is The Holmes-Dracula File by Fred Saberhagen. He captures the feel of a Holmes adventure almost from the first sentence. Two other excellent examples are the Irene Adler novels written by Carole Nelson Douglas and Laurie R king’s Mary Russell and Holmes novels. They all capture the aura of the world of Holmes, making it their own, telling their own story, out been slavishly imitative.