I did manage to see part of another program during the Sherlock Holmes weekend. This was entitled the Shackles of Sherlock, which told of the attempts by Arthur Conan Doyle to be regarded as a serious writer of historical novels, and escape from his Great Detective.
I do remember that my father loved Conan Doyle's Brigadier Gerard stories set during the Napoleonic Wars.
His efforts were not rewarded as his readers were obsessed with Holmes and objected when he killed him off at the Reichenbach Falls in 1893.
The publication of the Final Problem cost the Strand Magazine twenty thousand subscribers, and lead to an outbreak of black armbands.
If those that are obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, and believe that he was a real, get short shrift from Richard A. Posner then I wonder what he would make of the Wolfe Pack.
Rex Stout, the creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, was a longtime member of the Baker Street Irregulars. His enormously fat practically immovable detective who solved crimes with his brain, was yet another tribute to the Holmes intellect.
Just as Dr Watson is the narrator in the Conan Doyle stories, Archie Goodwin narrates for Rex Stout.
There are some conflicting theories about whether Sherlock Holmes had an affair with Irene Adler [A Scandal in Bohemia], and the product of that union was Nero Wolfe.
Was Wolfe born in Montenegro, or Trenton, New Jersey?
Well it does not matter because it is believed he fought in the Montenegrin Army in the Great War, and in the novel The Black Mountain Wolfe and Archie attempt to avenge the death of Wolfe's old friend Marko Vukvic, and his adopted daughter Carla Britton, in a story set in Montenegro.
The Wolfe Pack meet on the 1 December to award an Archie Lifetime Achievement Award, and the speakers will include the Montenegrin Ambassador!
The present holders of an Archie are an exclusive group:
Rex Stout, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie
The contenders to join them are:
Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ngaio Marsh, Edgar Allen Poe and Dorothy L. Sayers
I was trying to think of a modern crime fiction author whose creation had assumed a sort of existence beyond the pages of his books. An author whose work is linked with his city so firmly in the mind that one can't think about that city without thinking of the detective.
It has to be Edinburgh, and Ian Rankin's detective John Rebus.
But is Ian Rankin overrated? Is John Rebus such an eccentric figure and such a unique creation as to warrant Rankin's inclusion into the most exhalted company of crime fiction writers?
Or is Rankin just a nice guy who writes about yet another world weary detective?
to be continued............