Publications by Bill Mason, BSI

Pursuing Sherlock Holmes

July 2010

A Holmes By Any Other Name

November 2018

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The influence of Sherlock Holmes can be found throughout the cultural landscape. From the Three Little Pigs to the ancient poetry of Horace, from John Wayne to Macbeth, from the sultry moves of Madonna to the theories of Sigmund Freud, the stories about the greatest of detectives link to just about any subject or situation.
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 effect 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 essays, 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.

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Sherlock Holmes is one of the most recognizable—and most parodied—names in western literature. Bill Mason, BSI, collects and annotates these parody names, from the first one that appeared in 1891, to the present day. As Mason says in his introduction:

One of the great aspects of Sherlock Holmes is the fact that, just as the character himself is subject to endless variation, so is his name. Ellery Queen noted that the name itself “is particularly susceptible to the twistings and mis-shapenings of burlesque minded authors.” Surely, Arthur Conan Doyle, who struggled a little with what he was going to call his detective hero, could not have known just how perfect the name he finally selected—Sherlock Holmes—would be for parody, for rhyme, for the transposing of letters and sounds, for the substitution of suggestive words in the name of a comic character.

Mason’s listings are an invaluable resource for the Holmsian scholar, researcher, or for those interested in whiling away a few hours with a delightful and chuckle-inspiring volume.


Mason recently appeared on Scott Monty's podcast, I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

Click here to hear.

Table of Contents
(Pursuing Sherlock Holmes)
  1. Young Adventures and Old Cases
  2. Trailblazers in the World of Ideas: Sherlock Holmes and the Poets Laureate
  3. My Arrangement with Mr. Holmes by Mrs. Neville St. Clair
  4. Sightings at Twilight
  5. A Chill on the Moor: Sex and Sadism in The Hound of the Baskervilles
  6. Horror of the Hound
  7. The Rule of Three: The Significance of Sherlockian Trios
  8. Deeper Shades: The Dressing-Gowns of Sherlock Holmes and the Psychology of Color
  9. Leading with the Chin: Careful Considerations Concerning Canonical Chins
  10. Dr. Sterndale, the African Explorer
  11. A Tale from the Crypt: Unearthing Dracula in "The Illustrious Client"
  12. A Musical Toast to Nathan Garrideb
  13. Between the Lines: Thoughts on Sherlock Holmes and Two Remarkable Women
  14. Dead? Not Hardly!


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See also--A Professor Reflects on Sherlock Holmes by Dr. Marino Alvarez, BSI

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