Doyle’s locked rooms?

In the twenty years since The Beekeeper’s Apprentice introduced Mary Russell to the world, many questions have been raised about the good lady, and about her relationship with Sherlock Holmes, her religious beliefs, her Oxford college, what kind of car she drives—and just where on the Sussex Downs is that house of hers, anyway? 

In a fervent (if tongue in cheek) commitment to the Game, and in celebration of the anniversary, this year I assembled all those questions and more under one electronic roof.  Some of them even got answered.

Locked Rooms

First person ought to be the most intimate form of storytelling, but in fact, it is oddly distancing: How does one come to know a person while looking through their eyes?  Even a mirror reverses reality.

And to add to the confusion, Locked Rooms blends all sorts of real-life people and verified events with those previously unknown to the world.  Arthur Conan Doyle, for example, did visit San Francisco in 1923.  (A plaque at 2151 Sacramento Street declares that it was “occupied by” Doyle, which is true, although the occupation was brief.  More intriguing, the house is a stone’s throw away from Russell’s childhood home, just across Lafayette Park.)  Later, Doyle did write a book about his world tour promoting Spiritualism (Our American Adventure).  It was even published during the time Russell and Holmes were in San Francisco, when it was reviewed in the Chronicle.  But if Sherlock Holmes was in San Francisco to read the review, how on earth did the newspapers not catch on?

2151 Sacramento #2

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If you’d like to read more about the Russell Memoirs “Game”, The Mary Russell Companion

is available here.

mr-companion-cover

Comments

  1. Where on the peninsula is Russell’s lodge?

  2. Jimmie Lindsey says:

    As I have mentioned previously, & fell compelled to repeat, sounds delightful!!!
    Can’t wait till it is available in print format. Yes I own a Nook, a gift from Christmas
    when they first were introduced. Read one book on it & considered it dreadful.
    Have all your wonderful Russell books, enjoyed them totally. Will look forward to
    the “Companion”.

  3. Jimmie Lindsey says:

    As I have mentioned previously, & felt compelled to repeat, sounds delightful!!!
    Can’t wait till it is available in print format. Yes I own a Nook, a gift from Christmas
    when they first were introduced. Read one book on it & considered it dreadful.
    Have all your wonderful Russell books, enjoyed them totally. Will look forward to
    the “Companion”.

  4. “But if Sherlock Holmes was in San Francisco to read the review, how on earth did the newspapers not catch on?”

    Mrs. Greenfield knew where “Mary Russell” was staying because that information showed up in the society page in the “gossip from hotel lobbies” section. Presumably, the law firm made the reservation in its client’s name — and they call her Miss Russell — perhaps at her direction, precisely to avoid the papers’ (and others) learning that Holmes was in town.

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