Jan 21, 2011

The Game's Afoot Again: Alex Rider Writer Lands Sherlock Holmes Gig

Reuters reports that Alex Rider and Foyle's War creator Anthony Horowitz has been tapped by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate to pen a new, officially endorsed Sherlock Holmes continuation novel.  The news story claims that "this is the first time the estate has given official approval for a story since [ACD's] last novel was published in 1915," but that doesn't sound right to me. Surely Adrian Conan Doyle's Exploits of Sherlock Holmes (written with John Dickson Carr) were approved by... him?  I always thought that Caleb Carr one, The Italian Secretary, was official, but I guess not.  Anyway, this new book is, and it will be published by Orion in September. Despite the fact that Horowitz is probably best known as a novelist for his Young Adult series, this is an adult novel and not associated with Andrew Lane's current Young Sherlock Holmes series another officially sanctioned project that seeks to capitalize on the success of Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels.  Recall that on television, Horowitz has displayed extraordinary talent with grown-up detective tales, writing for the terrific Poirot series based on Agatha Christie's famous mysteries and also creating the even more terrific Foyle's War, starring Pierce Brosnan's Bill Tanner, the great Michael Kitchen.  In my opinion, the creator of Chritopher Foyle is more than qualified to chronicle the greatest detective of all time!  "I fell in love with the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was 16 and I've read them many times since," Horowitz told Reuters. "I simply couldn't resist this opportunity to write a brand new adventure for this iconic figure and my aim is to produce a first rate mystery for a modern audience while remaining absolutely true to the spirit of the original." He doesn't reveal any details about the plot, but in his other work Horowitz has again and again displayed his affinity for espionage stories.  (I'd say at least half the Foyle's have some element of intrigue in them, and Alex Rider is obviously inspired by James Bond.)  So I wouldn't be surprised if that turns up in his Holmes novel as well.  Like Mark Gatiss on television's Sherlock, I doubt that Horowitz will be able to resist including Holmes's elder brother with a secretive government job, Mycroft.  And where there's Mycroft (at least in the world of pastiches, and often in Doyle's original stories), there's usually espionage afoot.

Horowitz's final Alex Rider adventure, Scorpia Rising, is due out on March 22, 2011.

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