Alphabetical Index of Mystery Reviews

Sherlock Holmes Officially Public Domain

Yay! One of the best-known characters worldwide is now officially in the public domain. (I’m not trying to “steal” property from literary heirs, but I do think that a character that first appeared 126 years ago has had plenty of time under ownership.) A judge has ruled, “stating that Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, the dastardly Professor Moriarty, and other elements included in the 50 Holmes works that Arthur Conan Doyle published before Jan. 1, 1923, are no longer covered […]

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Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly

Agatha Christie fans will be pleased to know that HarperCollins has made available as an ebook this oddity, an early draft story that later became the novel Dead Man’s Folly. According to the publisher, the genesis of Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly was an attempt by Christie to raise money for stained glass windows in her local church. She was going to write a story called “The Greenshore Folly” and give the rights to a fund for that purpose. […]

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The Impersonator

Although in her 20s, Leah works as a teen dancer in vaudeville until the family act breaks up. With no other options, she takes a job from “Uncle Oliver” — who wants her to impersonate his long-lost niece Jessie, sole heir to millions of dollars (which means even more in 1924) and missing for almost seven years. It seems mostly harmless, a way to share the inheritance, although Oliver has secrets of his own and, Leah suspects, a mean streak. […]

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Prep School Confidential

Anne is the new girl at an exclusive Boston boarding school because she accidentally set her New York school on fire, and her parents have shipped her out of town to avoid bad influences. After only a week, her new roommate Isabella is found in the woods, murdered. Anne was quickly fitting in with the popular crowd, but she also had a real fondness for the geekier Isabella. In spite of the school authorities trying to close ranks against the […]

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Is Sherlock Holmes Public Domain?

Techdirt sums up a recent request for courts to declare that Sherlock Holmes is now public domain. Of course, the estate of writer Arthur Conan Doyle wants to claim otherwise, because they’re still making licensing fees from the character. And that’s what drives restrictive intellectual property — there’s nothing easier than letting money roll in from other people’s creativity, over 120 years since the character was first created. What drove this particular challenge was an upcoming book by Leslie S. […]

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