Friday 24 July 2015

It could be you (not me)!

To coincide with William Gillette's birthday (born 24th July 1853) Flicker Alley are running a competition for their upcoming DVD / Blu-ray release of 'Sherlock Holmes' (1916).
Two lucky winners will be the proud recipients of Gillette's only ever appearance as Holmes on film. The competition is open to U.S. and Canada residents only (which sadly rules me out) and it closes on 7th August 2015.

Enter here.

Good luck.

Monday 18 May 2015

The Moonstone Plug

Okay, this post has nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes but it might be of interest to some nonetheless. To celebrate their fourth year, my publisher, Hidden Tiger are running a promotion on one of their earliest releases, namely 'Tales From the Moonstone Inn'. During the next five days (18th - 22nd May) you can download a Kindle copy of it completely free.

'Tales From the Moonstone Inn' is a collection of stories written in the 1920s and 1930s by my great-great uncle, Francis William Strapp, a down-on-his-luck Englishman living in Australia. He was a man who lived a life every bit as captivating and mysterious as the stories he wrote, from his near-death experience in Sydney to the reasons behind his decision to emigrate to Australia, leaving his wife behind.

For over eighty years the majority of his works remained unpublished, with his hand written manuscripts sitting in the bottom drawer of a family member's bureau. In 2011, seventy-four years after his death, his surviving works finally found their way into print.

The book contains two novella - 'The Moonstone Inn' and 'The Man Who Tossed a Sixpence', mystery adventures set in Australia and the South Pacific. In them, the reader will come across dark schemes and evil deeds, hidden hoards and guarded secrets, mixed in with a smattering of romance. The collection also contains two short stories, letters to the press, photographic illustrations and essays which focus on the author's life and the settings for his stories.

Pick up your copy here before it goes back to its regular price.

Saturday 16 May 2015

Gillette in HD (The Best a Fan Can Get)

William Gillette's 1916 film 'Sherlock Holmes' is coming to Blu-ray. The film which was rediscovered in the vaults of La Cinémathèque Française last year is being released as a Blu-ray / DVD combo on the 20th October 2015.

Bonus Features include:

  • Sherlock Holmes Baffled: a 30 second Mutoscope film from 1900 which features the earliest known portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on film.

  • A Canine Sherlock Holmes: a British silent film from 1912, starring Spot the Urbanora Dog in the title role.

  • Più forte che Sherlock Holmes: an Italian silent film from 1913 also know as Stronger Than Sherlock Holmes.

  • An Interview with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Outtakes from a 1930 broadcast with William Gillette.

  • PDF material: including a transcript of Gillette's 1899 play 'Sherlock Holmes: A Drama in Four Acts' and a copy of the original contract between Gillette and Essanay Films.

Also included is a booklet which gives information on the restoration project.

Roll on October.

Friday 15 May 2015

Requiem Goes Unlimited

Requiem for Sherlock Holmes has just been enrolled in Amazon's KDP Select programme, which means that Amazon Prime customers can now download a copy of it for free via Kindle Unlimited.

The book should have gone onto KDP Select last year but we've had no end of trouble getting one particular site to remove the book from their listings (as Amazon insist on exclusivity). I don't want to name names so I'll just call them Burns and Nibble.

Click here to get your copy.

Monday 13 April 2015

You Never Forget Your First Holmes

When it comes to Doctor Who they always say your favourite Doctor is the one you grew up with. For me it was Tom Baker, he was the first actor I saw play the Gallifreyan time traveller and curiously enough, he was also my first Holmes. He took on the role of the great detective in the 1982 BBC adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, working alongside Terence Rigby's Doctor Watson.

Okay, the production isn't held in the best regard in fandom these days (not to mention Tom himself, who later admitted the part came to him too soon after leaving Doctor Who) but it will always be one of my earliest introductions to Sherlock Holmes and it brings nothing but happy memories whenever I watch it (and the title music still sends chills down my spine after all these years).

Hopefully I'll be able to own it on DVD one day (sadly it's only available in Region 4 at the moment). In the meantime I'll just have to make do with the version that's up on youtube.

Saturday 4 April 2015

Fancy a piece of Benedict Cumberbatch?

You see a lot of weird things whilst surfing the web but this one definitely takes the biscuit - perhaps the chocolate biscuit (sorry).

Shoppers at Stratford's Westfield Shopping Centre were in for a treat (of sorts) when they popped down to get their Easter eggs this week - a life sized chocolate version of the Sherlock actor (although this one wasn't for sale).
The 6ft sculpture which was commissioned by the British television company UKTV, weighs in at 40kg,  took a team of eight artists over 250 hours to complete and was made from over 500 bars of Belgian chocolate.

One happy shopper with Benedict (minus some fingers)

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Sherlock Goes Back To The Future Past

It's finally been confirmed - the Sherlock special will be set in Victorian London. After a disappointing series three (in my opinion) I had all but given up on the show, but it appears they know exactly how to drag me back into the fold. Now I'm like a child again, waiting for Santa to pay a visit (only this time, instead of presents I just want him to bring me the Christmas special).
Roll on Christmas (only 282 days to go).