Before 221b

Just up the road from us here in the festival office sits Baskerville Hall – sound familiar at all?  Thomas Mynors Baskerville built the stately pile in 1839 for his second wife, Elizabeth.  It just so happened that Arthur Conan Doyle was a close family friend who often came to stay. During his many visits he learnt of the local legend of the hounds stalking nearby Hergest Ridge and was so inspired by the rumour he incorporated it into perhaps most famous outing of his keen eyed, hawked nosed detective, Sherlock Holmes. However, and this is one of the bests bits, at the request of his friends, the Baskervilles, he set the book in Devon “to ward off tourists”.

We have no such qualms about bigging up the connection and as we love the good old fashioned detective novels (Agatha being the queen obviously) there are a few Holmes events this year.

First up the Conan Doyle estate has taken a leaf out of the Ian Fleming estate’s book and authorised Sherlock’s first outing as a teenager.  Andrew Lane, a self-confessed Sherlockian (that’s what they’re called, honestly), took up the mantle and is coming to give us the very first low down (it’s published just the day before – so we’re super lucky.)

So if you’re a fan of Young Bond and Alex Rider, or generally just love a good mystery this might just be the one for you!

We’re also loving the SelfMadeHero graphic novels of Holmes’ exploits.  The genius writer and illustrator team will be in Hay to discuss adapting Hound of the Baskervilles and A Study in Scarlet.

The nutshell:

The year is 1868 and Sherlock Holmes is 14.  We meet him in boarding school, as his brother Mycroft informs him that their father has suddenly been posted to India.  Sherlock is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire for the summer. Cue murder, kidnap, corruption and a rip roaring adventure of deduction and wit.

Over the fence:

The book trailer

My Favourite Books review

Official website, which at the moment only houses the trailer, but we hope more will come with the release.

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