The Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes (Ghostwriter)
I wasn’t the right age for Ghostwriter, which is a shame, cause it sounds like I would have loved it. The original TV show ran 1992-1995, and it featured a group of kids solving mysteries with the aid of a ghost. Apple TV+ brought the series back a year and a half ago, as part of its service launch. To solve mysteries, the Ghostwriter team has to read books and meet characters from the stories, which is a great idea.
Even better is that one of the books released to tie in with the show is The Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. Although the book is mostly rewritten versions of three classic cases originally by Arthur Conan Doyle, there is one significant change, as you can see from this edition’s cover. (Art by Jennifer Bricking, who also provides several interior illustrations for each story.)
The cast, in a three-part episode arc in season 2 called “The Case of the Missing Ghost”, meet Dr. Joan Watson (Zoe Doyle), who is mourning the loss of her dear friend Sherlock “Shirl” Holmes (Camilla Arfwedson). On the show, they establish that the characters are women because they’re from an adaptation. (And the actresses do a great job capturing the characteristics of the classic versions.)
The first section of the book, as adapted by Margaret Dilloway, tells how the two met in a university biology class, the only two women there, and explains Watson’s Asian heritage. Then the reader jumps ahead to retellings of “The Blue Carbuncle” (the Christmas story with the goose and the stolen jewel), “The Redheaded League” (where the flame-haired client is named “Jezebel Wilson”), and “The Empty Room” (in which Watson helps Lestrade with the murder of Ronald Adair, since Shirl is thought dead).
The adaptations keep the excitement and clever twists of the original stories while modernizing some of the attitudes, and of course the language. I thought it was terrific, particularly as a way to share favorite characters with a new audience.
There’s also a section in the back of the book with some facts about the characters and original author, an observation quiz, some vocabulary words and logic puzzles, a fingerprint activity, and how to play a detective game. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)