As Canada Day approaches (July 1st for you non-Canadians), I was thinking of the two things that go well together : Canada and Sherlock Holmes.
My first Holmes adventure, The Canadian Adventures of Sherlock Holmes has the great detective travelling across Canada encountering fantastic adventures and mindful mysteries from Halifax to the prairies, from the nations capital to Victoria. Holmes and Watson even get a chance to place themselves in the service of Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier.
In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original canon, there are only a few references made to Canada.
In The Bruce Partington Plans, when Holmes was speaking of his brother, he inferred that Mycroft Holmes was an expert on Canada.
In The Adventure of Black Peter, Holmes suggested that C.P.R. stood for the great transcontinental railway, Canadian Pacific Railway.
Colonel Spence Munroe was said to receive an appointment in Nova Scotia in The Adventure of The Copper Beeches.
Probably the most distinctive reference to Canada was in the famous The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Henry Baskerville had been farming in Canada before returning to England to claim his inheritance. When Holmes retrieved Sir Henry’s missing black boot, he read the label where it had been purchased; Meyers, Toronto.
The reference to Canada in The Hound of the Baskervilles played a large part in my book, The Canadian Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In that book Holmes and Watson travel to Canada at the urging of Sir Henry who has returned to Canada to oversee his rather large western ranch, and who seems to be plagued once more by the legend of the hound.
When considering a second Sherlock Holmes adventure, I wanted some Canadian connection as well, and chose the backdrop of the Great Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1899). In Cold-Hearted Murder Holmes does not go to Canada, but a great deal of the story takes place in the Yukon Territory.
Both The Canadian Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Cold-Hearted Murder are available on Kindle.
Sherlock Holmes books on Kindle