Finnish Beauties Are the Inspiration for Romanov Sisters In two Sherlock Holmes Novels

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When Phil Growick looked for inspiration in writing about the beautiful Romanov sisters in his two Sherlock Holmes novels, he didn’t have to look far. Growick’s wife Maiju and her sister Kaarina are former models.

finnish models
Phil Growick comments: In the first book Holmes and Watson are sent to Russia by the King to save the Romanovs and they encounter the spy Sidney Reilly along the way. There’s action, tragedy and romance.

The former models have been Miss Helsinki with Kaarina going on to become Miss Finland, Miss Scandinavia and Miss World runner up. The novels have been translated into several languages – most notably the first book ‘The Secret Journal of Dr Watson’ has sold very well in both Russia and Italy.

The new book, released this spring, ‘The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes’, has Holmes travelling to the USA and getting involved with the birth of organised crime syndicates. Holmes meets Al Capone and a host of familiar gangsters.

The Finnish press has been rife with stories recently about the Romanovs and the spy Sidney Reilly who feature throughout the two novels. “They make for wonderful characters,” comments Growick. “In the first book Holmes and Watson are sent to Russia by the King to save the Romanovs and they encounter the spy Sidney Reilly along the way. There’s action, tragedy and romance,” he says, but is quick to point out that for Holmes there is no romantic interest. Each of the Romanov daughters are portrayed as beautiful women and Growick reveals that he based two of them on his wife and sister in law.

Growick’s writing is quite traditional in that it is true to the original characters of Holmes and Watson and that’s probably why the Conan Doyle Estate has granted both of the books the use of their seal – the same as was granted to Anthony Horowitz for his novel ‘The House of Silk’.

So what’s next for the books? Steve Emecz from MX Publishing the publishers hopes more countries and more languages. “We’ve just agreed terms for Revenge to be translated into Italian. The first book did really well in Italy so the second has been picked up by one of the largest publishing houses there for a mass market version. We’re in talks with publishers in Japan and India as well as preparing the audio book version.”

MX are now the largest specialist Holmes publishers in the world with over seventy authors writing mostly fiction. The phenomenal popularity of the Sherlock franchises has created millions of new fans across the globe. BBC Sherlock, CBS Elementary, the Warner Brothers movies and the new Russian series are all going strong with more episodes to come. Sherlock Holmes now holds the Guinness World Record for the most portrayed character on screen.

When asked if they have a favourite current Holmes adaptation, both Growick and Emecz agree on BBC Sherlock but remind us that Jeremy Brett was the closest anybody has ever come to a true to life portrayal of the great detective. “I would have loved to see Brett play my Holmes in a movie adaptation of Secret Journal,” comments Growick. “He would have fit the role perfectly.”

About Phil Growick
Phil Growick is the managing director of the Howard-Sloan-Killer Group in New York City, the retained executive search firm specializing in top talent in all forms of media. His friendships with some of the world's most influential advertising creatives led to two books opening the lid on the first experiences of leading executives. My First Time and My First Time W (women) are used by advertising schools around the world to inspire young execs. In 2012 Growick turned his writing hand to his beloved Sherlock Holmes with ‘The Secret Journal of Dr Watson’ with the sequel ‘The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes’ in spring 2014. Phil spends most of his time New York or Florida with his wife Maiju but has one foot firmly in the Victorian England of the 1890s.

About MX Publishing
MX Publishing is the award winning world’s largest Sherlock Holmes publishers. They are based in London, England, but their seventy plus authors are spread around the world. Most of their one hundred and fifty books are fiction, but they also have many biographical works on Conan Doyle including the 2011 Howlett Award winning ‘The Norwood Author’ by Alistair Duncan [who also edited Growicks first novel]. In 2013 MX exploded onto the international stage with the performance biography ‘Benedict Cumberbatch In Transition’ which has sold in its thousands in English, Japanese and Chinese.

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