By Kelly Bridgewater
This is my fourth month talking about certain writers and what they have meant to me as a writer. First, C.S. Lewis, in January, J. R. R. Tolkien in February, and J. K. Rowling in March. Now for April, I plan to talk about the most popular father of the detective novel. No, he didn’t write the first detective novel. That was Edgar Allan Poe. Yes, the man who wrote “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” penned the first detective novel with the creation of “The Murders of the Rue Morgue.”
But Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the most popular detective to the world. Every classic cartoon has done an episode where someone is Sherlock Holmes and Watson. It is funny to think about how popular Sherlock Holmes is today while Arthur Conan Doyle did not want to be famous for writing the detective. He wanted his other work to be more widely read and known. I bet you didn’t know he wrote a couple others works of writing, did you? He did. They weren’t as well-written, I promise you that.
Everyone in England swears by him and loves him, even though Arthur Conan Doyle is from Scotland, not England. I was introduced to Sherlock Holmes when I was in college. To escape the boring story of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald during a literary theory class to complete my undergraduate studies in English, I devoured The Complete Sherlock Holmes. It was more my taste. Adventure. Mystery. Non-stop action.
I still return to Sherlock Holmes once a year when I read my favorite books. I watched and loved the latest Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I’m fascinated by the great storytelling of the BBC Sherlock produced by Mark Gatiss. He has done a great job capturing the essence of Sherlock in the twenty-first century with text messages and similar technology like Watson keeping a blog to record his adventures.
Arthur Conan Doyle taught me that adventure is important to a great story that captures the readers’ attention for generations to come. A great story can surpass the changing time and move into the classics if the story is well-written. Doyle gave the world a gift of a classic detective named Sherlock Holmes who helped cement my love of Adventure, mystery, thrillers, and suspense in books and movies. Because of this, I’m not the type of girl who likes sappy, romance books or movies. Give me an action packed movie or book, and I’m there.
Any though most people have heard of Sherlock Holmes, have you, personally, sat down and read his books? What was your idea of a great book? Romance. Adventure. Fantasy. Mystery. Classics. Why?