The Female Sherlock Holmes – Mrs.Watson’s Debut In ‘The Sign Of Fear’ Shows That Women Detectives Are More Sophisticated Than Men

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Hats off to Molly Carr whose debut novel ‘The Sign Of Fear‘ (http://www.mxpublishing.co.uk) is a wonderful tale that charts the adventures of Mrs.Watson, the wife of Dr.Watson and her sidekick Emily Fanshaw. With a supporting cast of Sherlock Holmes, Dr.Watson and Moriarty it is a great story and a fresh uniquely female approach to the Holmes canon.

Hats off to Molly Carr whose debut novel ‘The Sign Of Fear‘ (http://www.mxpublishing.co.uk) is a wonderful tale that charts the adventures of Mrs.Watson, the wife of Dr.Watson and her sidekick Emily Fanshaw. With a supporting cast of Sherlock Holmes, Dr.Watson and Moriarty it is a great story and a fresh uniquely female approach to the Holmes canon.

The number of female crime writers is rising with the increasing popularity of Tess Gerritsen, Elizabeth George, Karen Rose, Lynda La Plante and Kathy Reichs among others. However, one genre within mystery fiction has remained largely male dominated – that of Sherlock Holmes.

One look at the top 100 books for Sherlock Holmes will have you struggling to find any female authors, let alone the share that mainstream crime fiction now has – and that’s a real shame. As soon as you get into ‘The Sign Of Fear’ you can see and feel the female perspective and it’s fascinating to experience Victorian England from a woman’s point of view.

Molly's local paper the Abergavenney Focus describes the leading lady:

"Don't be fooled by the sweet womanly appearance of Mary Watson (nee Morstan) on the cover. There's a dark side to her. She too has had her moments, and is at one point quite ready to be one of Moriaty's agents. The book is almost unique in giving a leading role to Mrs.Watson".

Followers of mystery fiction will know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes is widely recognised as the father of all modern crime fiction – the genre didn’t really exist until The Hound Of The Baskervilles became a worldwide phenomenon at the turn of the century, and made Sherlock Holmes a household name in the UK, USA and worldwide.

Molly’s main character is Mrs.Watson and the old phrase ‘behind every great man there is a great woman’ is very true here as she cuts to the chase as a formidable leading lady in her own right.

A great detective needs a sidekick and Mrs.Watson is no exception. Emily Fanshaw does however spend a good part of the book disguised as a man – a necessity born out of the time. Some of the most interesting and amusing action takes place in France giving Molly a chance to throw out some lovely stereotypes from her English characters.

The story is told through the first person of Mrs.Watson is a delightful Victorian manner and use of language is excellent and refreshingly traditional – the use of words like ‘retort’ and ‘exude’ bring a smile to your face . There is much of the ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ style here and I am sure Molly won’t mind being compared to PG Wodehouse.

The Sign of Fear is a fun read for both the traditional Sherlock Holmes enthusiast and the new breed fuelled by the recent Guy Richie reincarnation in the Hollywood movie Sherlock Holmes starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Junior. Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes has won many awards already including the best action film at the 2010 National Movie Awards , a Golden Globe, IFTA and Empire awards. Quite what Mrs.Watson would have made of Jude Law’s performance as her husband Dr.Watson we can but speculate. One thing is for certain, we would encourage Mr.Richie to consider a leading lady role for Molly Carr’s Mrs.Watson in a future sequel.

Molly Carr was born in London but now lives with her husband in a small village in the beautiful Golden Valley on the borders of Wales in Herefordshire. Molly has always been interested in Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective fiction but became passionate about Watson after a visit to Beverley Minster where she saw the memorial to a real-life John Watson who died marching up from India to relieve a British Garrison under siege in Kandahar after the disastrous battle of Maiwand in 1880 - at the same time as Roberts was marching from Kabul. Work in progress includes a modern detective novel (The Feast of Purim) and another Mary Watson effort. Molly’s latest achievement a Distinction in Watsonian Knowledge from The Friends of Doctor Watson.

MX Publishing is the UK’s leading Victorian Literature and Sherlock Holmes Publisher based in London. With a dozen new Holmes related titles in the last twelve months MX have several international bestsellers within the genre including the acclaimed ‘Close To Holmes’ guide to London through the eyes of Sherlock Holmes. Review copies available from the publishers.

The Sign of Fear
GB£12.99, Euro 16.99, $19.95
320 Pages
ISBN 9781907685002
MX Publishing, London
http://www.mxpublishing.co.uk

The book will also be relased in September 2010 on Amazon Kindle and iPad via iBooks.

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Steve Emecz
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