By popular demand, A Study in Style is back, and I found some more famous authors who were willing to try their hands at novelizing BBC's Sherlock.
(Translation: I spent way too much time pulling my hair out, hunched at my computer keyboard trying to figure out how this nonsense should appear in print. It was fun.)
A quick note-- in the last installment of this feature I tried to keep the characters' dialogue completely faithful to the lines spoken in the show. This time I have tossed caution to the wind, and, in most cases, retained the general essence of the dialogue while modifying the language to fit each author's particular method. Hopefully you will not find much madness therein.
It isn't so much the violin playing I mind, when it's all said and done. A chap can endure a bit of violin playing now and again, so long as it doesn't screech and howl and sigh and nag at him every confounded moment of the day. The old eardrums can only handle so much, you know. And I have to admit, dashed hard as it is to do, that Sherlock wasn't the worst violinist I'd ever heard. That distinction belongs solely to Brunnhilde Ovenbottom, my third cousin twice removed on my mother's side, and by gum she'd earned it through all the torturous string-scrape sessions she'd performed at family gatherings in bygone days. Mind you, this was when I was Young and Youthful and Better Able to Bear It. A fellow's ears age along with the rest of him, so I am told, and I doubt I'd be able to endure Brunnhilde's ghastly instrument-wheezing these days. Lucky for the rest of us, the last I'd heard of her she eloped with a tone-deaf cable repairman. They'll be happy together.
But I'm wandering from the subject. What I mean to say is that the noise issuing from Sherlock's musical contraption was, when you get right down to it, the least offensive of his habits as a flatmate. When one is going halfsies on living quarters, he'd said, one wants to know the worst of the other, and I agreed with him. Jolly sensible, he is, from time to time. But the violin playing wasn't the worst of it. No, it was the severed heads in the icebox (fancy opening up the old i.b., all set for a nice cold ham sandwich or something of that delectable sort, mouth simply watering as one contemplated, and then being greeted face-to-face by the ugly mug of some poor chap whose body is looking for its topmost part-- I don't know why it is, but such things always seem to put me off my feed for some reason). It was the callers coming at all odd hours of the day or not, sometimes to sob out a story of Woe and Loss and Mysterious Death, and sometimes just to say "what ho" and tell Sherlock what they thought of him, which wasn't much. It was the unexpected jumping into cabs and sallying forth with a hoot and a holler to who-knows-where, often with the old Life placed precariously and without permission on the Line, with never a by-your-leave or are-you-comfortable-John or shall-we-stop-and-have-our-tea-before-you-go-berserk.
Enough to drive any chap mad, I tell you, unless he's there already.
~general internal complaining by John in the first series
A brilliant, surging, lightning-quick, cunning, crafty mind, a mind above all others that surround it, conscious of its own genius, yet not above the doubts and fears that plague the mind of every man in his turn, the mind of a great man and perhaps even a good one.
And on that bleak, rain-swept day in London-- that seat of thronging, swarming human beings where crime and justice intertwined so minutely as to make the difference between the two almost incomprehensible-- the owner of that mind stood in a mortuary, a riding crop clasped in one powerful hand, about to exact vengeance upon the lifeless body of one poor soul who had given his own earthly cage for the benefit and good of that great master, Science.
White-coated like an angel of mercy, hovering near yet not too near, a young woman stood watching him, love and pity and perplexity all at war within her heart, as she summoned the courage to speak to the man she silently, devoutly, hopelessly adored.
"If you please," she said, with a tremble of her lovely rouged lips, "I could not help but wonder if perhaps you would like to have coffee."
~A Study in Pink
I was being asked so if I didn't understand
best man to be,
it is because
be best friend I never expected to anybody's.
certainly of not the best friend and
wisest and human being
I have ever knowing had of the good fortune.
John, I man am a ridiculous.
Redeemed the warmth and constancy only by
But as I apparently your best friend am
Congratulate you I can not
on of companion your choice.
I can, actually, no.
Mary, you deserve this man, when I say,
of which I am capable it is the highest compliment.
~The Sign of Three
Mr. Philip Anderson was the kind of man whom everybody noticed as they rushed to and from the office (everyone rushing, rushing, rushing, and to where? and what?), and who made himself noticed when no one was kind enough to do it for him, but nobody paid much attention to him on the whole. He was a mild, quickly-moving, pale-browed sort of person, with a face nearly forgettable (he had grown a beard to make himself more apparent in a crowd, though it did little for his appearance), but his character was one of interest, intensity and interjection. His opinions, though many, were not often heard, and so he had learned to insert himself into conversation whenever the flow opened up sufficiently for him to do so. In the past, doors had both metaphorically and literally been closed in his face, but why should that deter him? The world should listen, the world should hear, the world should comprehend, the world should know and understand and acknowledge and take to heart the words of even the lowliest forensic specialist. For why should his thoughts and theories be of less import than those of the head Detective Inspector? Nay, my lords and gentlemen, my inspectors and investigators, my graces and majesties, it will not do to ignore, to turn away from the truth you know to be sound-- the voice of a man is a voice no matter who the man may be, and Anderson's voice is as plausible a thing as Sherlock Holmes', be it never half so deep and commanding.
"The thing is clear as crystal," Anderson said earnestly to Lestrade one afternoon in the street, "as crystal, I say. That's the only way he could have done it. It's plain as the nose on your face."
The nose on Anderson's face was undeniably plainer than that on Lestrade's, but Lestrade was a prudent man and made no remark in that regard. Instead he shook his head, drank his coffee, and said no, that Sherlock Holmes was dead, and the matter ought to lay to rest once and for all.
~The Empty Hearse
Mr. Mycroft Holmes had spent a quarter of an hour in his younger brother's drawing-room, attempting to convince him to take on a case of national importance. He was as yet unsuccessful, for with every persuasive argument he made, the younger Mr. Holmes merely shook his dark curls in defiance and would not listen to reason. Indeed, he replied to the cajoling of his brother with rank falsehoods, which fell so heavy on the ear of his friend Mr. Watson as to make him tremble from head to toe. Furthermore, he made insinuating remarks as to the nature of the elder Mr. Holmes' diet-- it saddens me, gentle reader, to relate that the elder Mr. Holmes ate hot bread every morning for breakfast and further ruined his health with cream candy and coffee, for he had neglected the training of his parents in his boyhood and had refused stewed fruit ever since his days at university.
"The name of the gentleman in question is Andrew West," said the elder Mr. Holmes, "and he was found... dead... by Battersea Station this morning with a deep wound to the temple, administered so violently as to--"
Here he was interrupted by Mr. Watson, who, upon hearing the gruesome words, burst into an agony of sobs and tears in pity for the poor deceased man, even though he was merely a train-man and not a plantation owner.
"Here, here," said the elder Mr. Holmes impatiently, with that callous nature so natural to him, "none of that. This tragic death is directly related to the missing battle plans of which I have told you. These plans must be found, Sherlock, and you must do the finding."
The younger Mr. Holmes gave his brother a look of grave displeasure. "Shan't," said he, and turned down his lower lip in an expression of petulance.
The elder Mr. Holmes uttered two or three oaths, stopping only when he saw what distress he was causing to the gentle Mr. Watson, and turned back to his brother. "Do not make me order you, Sherlock," said he, coldly, "or I shall send you to your room on bread and water, for disobedience is above all things most displeasing to me."
Mr. Watson resolved, that very afternoon, to plead with his wayward friend.
~The Great Game
I have to confess I rather like doing these-- any further suggestions for something I could adapt to suit various authors? Sherlock seems to be exhausted for now-- or at least my creative capacities are beginning to go kaput in that direction. Ideas would be welcome! :D