Pursuing Sherlock Holmes by Bill E. Mason, JHWS “Billy”

Pursuing Sherlock Holmes

Written by Bill E. Mason, JHWS “Billy,” The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem. Published by Xlibris 2010. Available from Amazon.

From the back dust jacket:

In Pursuing Sherlock Holmes, Bill Mason uncovers seething sex in The Hound of the Baskervilles, observes Professor Moriarty through the eyes of Generation X, reveals a hidden “formula of death”, explains the mystic effects of colors on the mind of Sherlock Holmes, exposes Conan Doyle’s “theft” of the plot of Dracula, resurrects ten compelling characters from their graves, and visits the mind of Sherlock Holmes to find his true thoughts about romantic love. This collection of innovative essay, stories and even poetry approaches Sherlock Holmes from a thoroughly unique perspective that combines humor with literature and classic tales with familiar aspects of modern culture.


“In these essays, some appearing in print for the first time, others from The Holmes & Watson Report or delivered at symposia or scion meetings, Bill Mason explores the Canon Doylean (“A Tale from the Crypt: Unearthing Dracula in Sherlock Holmes”) and Sherlockian (“Deeper Shades: The Dressing-Gowns of Sherlock Holmes and the Psychology of Color”), in pastiche (“My Arrangement with Mr. Holmes by Mrs. Neville St. Clair”) and poetry (“Horror of the Hound”, “A Musical Toast to Nathan Garrideb”) and with tongue implanted firmly in cheek (“Doctor Sterndale, the African Explorer”). While I’m unable to judge the poetry, the essays are uniformly excellent. “A Chill on the Moor”, “The Rule of Three”, and “A Tale from the Crypt” are important contributions to the study of the Canon, while “Deeper Shades” is bound to be the “last word” on Holmes’ dressing-gowns for years to come. A line like’ “The possibility that Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Roundhay and Dr. Sterndale—even Dr. Moore Agar—were part of an undercover operation of international intrigue involving the race for empire in Africa is not at all farfetched” (“Doctor Sterndale, the African Explorer”) is the very definition of “farfetched” that it claims not to be; a laugh-out-loud line in an essay that claims Sterndale as one of England’s first “license to kill” secret agents under M (Mycroft, that is). This is a worthy addition to any Watsonian’s library.”

Welcome to Six New Accomplished Charter Members

Sheila Holtgrieve, JHWS “Daisy”

Sheila joins us from Seattle where she is a member of The Sound of the Baskervilles. She writes:

“I am the librarian of the Sound of the Baskervilles in Seattle, WA. I received the
“Footprints of the Gigantic Hound” award from the club in 2012 for service to
the club. I subscribe to the Baker Street Journal; I am a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and a member of the Hounds of the Internet. My canonical name is Annie Harrison.”

We are most pleased to have Sheila as a new member and look forward to her participation.

Linnea Dodson, JHWS “Dixie”

Linnea joins us from Maryland where she is a technical writer with a  Master of Science in Writing. She is a member of Watson’s Tin Box, The Red Circle, and Sherlock DC. Linnea is also on the Convention Committee of the Scintillion of Scions.

We look forward to Linnea’s participation in the Society and her contributions to The Watsonian.

Denny Dobry, JHWS “Kirby”

Mr Dobry resides in Reading, Pennsylvania. He has a most interesting expertise in The Game: a full-size replica of the sitting room at 221B Baker Street. He writes:

“My Sherlockian background includes Current Gasogene of the White Rose  Irregulars of York, PA, which I consider my ‘Home’ Scion. I regularly attend meetings of Watson’s Tin Box in Baltimore; The Denizens of the Bar of Gold in Cambridge, Md; and the Regency Irregulars of Phoenixville, PA.  I have most
recently attended meetings of the Six Napoleons of Baltimore and The Epilogues
of Sherlock Holmes in Chatham, NJ.

I contributed a chapter to the BSI’s latest publication of its Manuscript Series-“The Wrong Passage,” and will have an article published next month in the Watson’s Tin Box annual publication, “Irene’s Cabinet”.

I am also a member of the Baker Street Builders, qualifying for membership by constructing a full size re-creation of the 221b Baker Street sitting room in my home in Reading, PA.  Some photos are available as a link to the White Rose Irregular webpage: ”  [Ed. note: You’ve GOT to see these!]


We look forward to hearing more about Denny’s sitting room recreation and period furnishings in issues of The Watsonian.

Robert Ryan, JHWS “Caesar”

Mr Ryan joins us from North London, England where he is a very successful and eclectic writer. His extensive biography is fascinating for its diversity:

Robert Ryan was born in Liverpool and moved south to attend university. He graduated from Brunel with a M.Sc. in Environmental Pollution Science, intending to go into teaching. Instead, he spent two years as a mechanic for a Hot Rod team, racing highly tuned Fords (“the fag-end of motorsport”, as Bernie
Ecclestone calls it) where he became addicted to the smell of Castrol R. Weaning
himself off that, he became a lecturer in Natural Sciences in Kent, while dabbling in journalism. His articles on comic (or graphic novels as they were just becoming known) gurus Alan Moore and Frank Miller found their way into Nick Logan’s The Face magazine, which led to work for the American edition of GQ, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Telegraph and Arena.

Eventually he took a position on staff at The Sunday Times as Deputy Travel
Editor. It was while on assignment in Seattle that he came across the setting
for his first novel, Underdogs – the ‘lost’ city beneath the sidewalks of downtown – that was called ‘Alice in Wonderland meets Assault on Precinct 13’ by Esquire.

While learning to play the trumpet for his third book, Trans Am, Ryan met Guy
Barker, who, as well as being a great jazz trumpeter, had worked with Anthony
Mingella, notably on “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Guy read Underdogs and wrote a
‘theme’ for the book, which opened his Mercury-nominated album Soundtrack.
‘Underdogs’ eventually became a fifty-minute suite, featuring extracts from the
book read by RSC actor Anthony Higgins (most recently seen in Michael Dibdin’s
‘Zen’ on BBC), and was performed at The Barbican and the Brecon Jazz Festival
and filmed by the BBC.

Ryan’s next book, Early One Morning, broke into The Sunday Times’ top ten
bestsellers’ list, and began a sequence of historical dramas set in the 20th

He collaborated again with Barker on “dZf,” a film noir-ish reworking of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” which had its World Premiere at Wakefield Rugby Club and its final outing, twenty performances later, in Hong Kong. It was narrated by actor Michael Brandon (“Jerry Springer The Opera,” “Dempsey and Makepeace,” and “Captain America”) and is available on Guy’s double CD, “The Amadeus Project.”

Ryan’s previous book, Signal Red, a novel based on “The Great Train Robbery,” has been optioned by World Pictures and the writing-production team behind the TV drama United, starring David Tennant.

His latest novel, Dead Man’s Land (Simon & Schuster) takes Dr John Watson
to the Western Front of WW1, where he has to solve a crime without the benefit
of his old colleague Sherlock Holmes.

He continues to contribute to The Sunday Times and is working on further jazz
projects with Guy Barker. He lives in North London with his wife, three children, a dog and a deaf cat.

The Society looks forward to Robert’s contributions to The Watsonian and to the furtherance of Dr Watson’s place in the literature.

J. Randolph Cox, JHWS “Champ”

We await Mr Cox’s biography and will expand upon it when received.

Bill Mason, JHWS “Billy”

Bill Mason of Green brier, TN, is the author of Pursuing Sherlock Holmes, a collection of essays and sketches collected from among his articles and conference presentations in the U.S. and Canada. He has been an enthusiastic Sherlockian since age 13 when his mother gave him a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. He is the Founder of The Fresh Rashers of Nashville, and his writing has appeared in The Baker Street Journal, Canadian Holmes, The Serpentine Muse, Beaton’s Christmas Annual, and others.

Mr Mason is retired from government service as an employee of the U.S. Congress and the White House. He is presenting at the 2013 Minneapolis Sherlockian conference.

How delightful to welcome these six accomplished Watsonians and Holmesians/Sherlockians into Charter Membership.