Monday, February 28, 2011

CONTEST: Win the “Better Holmes & Gardens” Prize Package

I was asked a lot of questions when I started this blog.  A lot.  Many of them were well-meaning, from friends and family who had always known that this was an area of (intense) interest for me, and were mostly concerned about what a blog would mean in terms of demands on my time and resources. 
But some of the questions were pointed, sharp questions with jagged edges that I could cut myself on, if I wasn’t careful about how I answered: Why?  Why this character, this subject, this time period, this genre?  Why now?  Why you, when others have said so much (and much better)?  And finally—my personal favorite—why would anyone care? 
“Why” is one of my favorite questions, but it is also one of the most dangerous. 
And to those asking why, I would say that the answer to that question is the point of my blog—the point of any blog really.  And I think I’ve gone a little way towards answering that question.  In short, I’ve found that I really enjoy the “why” questions—asking, answering, coming up with new ones—and I’ve learned that there are a lot of other people just like me.  A “why” question is fun because there is usually more than one right answer…there can be endless right answers, in fact. 
And so I’m holding a contest, and to win, all you have to do is provide me with one of your right answers to one of my “why” questions.  Here are the details:    

·         A new, hardcover edition of The Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes, by Paul D. Gilbert.  Gilbert’s new book, Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra, will be available in the United States on April 1, 2011 (though it is currently available in the United Kingdom); he is also the author of an additional Sherlock Holmes pastiche, The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes.  Fans of Sherlock Holmes should easily recognize the face on all of Gilbert’s covers, and Gilbert himself has spoken at length about the debt he owes to Jeremy Brett and the actor’s influence on his writing.  Therefore, I think it only appropriate that I also include:

·         A new copy of the soundtrack to Granada Television’s Sherlock Holmes series, starring Jeremy Brett, David Burke, and Edward Hardwicke (with music by Patrick Gowers).  If you haven’t heard any of Gowers’s compositions, they are a treat.  Each piece is lovely, and the opening theme is iconic.         
Sound good?  Wondering how you win?  Actually, it’s pretty easy, I think:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post, telling me in your own unique, substantive way, why you read Sherlock Holmes.  That’s all.  Couple words, couple sentences, couple paragraphs?  Your call.
2. Tweet about the contest on your page (make sure you’re following me, while you’re at it).  If you don’t have Twitter, post it on your Facebook instead.  I’ve provided some language below, but feel free to use your own:
I’ve entered to win the “Better Holmes & Gardens Prize Package” at Enter for your chance to win!
That’s it.  Feel free to enter as many times as you wish, as long as each comment is unique and substantive, and you tweet and/or Facebook post each time you enter.
The contest is open from now until 11:59p.m. EST on Saturday, March 26, 2011.  At that time, a random entry will be chosen using  The winner will be announced on Monday, March 28, 2011 via blog post, Twitter, and Facebook. 
And while the winner will be chosen at random, I will use some of my favorite responses in future blog posts.  Best of luck, and have fun!


  1. I read Sherlock Holmes for the intensity of his mind, but also for his heart, that enigmatic heart. However infuriating at times, Holmes would not be loved by Dr. Watson and his innumerable readers were it not for Holmes' furtive compassion and great-souled integrity. People of any age, at any time, are better for such company.

  2. Why do I read Sherlock? Elementary, my dear Watson: for the stellar examples of both deductive and inductive reasoning--in other words, his ability to understand human beings.

  3. I initially read Sherlock Holmes for the intriguing mysteries. I subsequently re-read all of them for the humanity lessons, taught by the least likely person of all - Sherlock Holmes, the only person who is able to cast all biases aside for the ultimate truth.

  4. The Sherlock Holmes stories - more than being mysteries - are truly a textbook of friendship. To view how the relationship of Holmes and Watson evolved over time is probably one of the most fascinating elements of the Canon.

    Scott Monty
    I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere

  5. Amazing literature. Amazing puzzles. Amazing characters.

  6. I find the more cerebral nature of the accounts relaxing. They (both the characters and surroundings) are very comfortable (as long as I am not myself in 19th-century London). A foggy or rainy day, a cup of Darjeeling, and *poof!* I'm now occupying an armchair in a warm room with two friends at 211B Baker Street.

  7. Mr. Holmes once said of Watson's accounts, “You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales". The “should” is where Mr. Holmes is mistaken. When it comes right down to it, I don’t read the tales for the magnificent (and sometimes credibility stretching) deductions, though they are certainly an essential part of the whole. I read them because they are, at the heart, adventure stories featuring one of the most fascinating characters of literature. The complexities of Holmes are mesmerizing, and Watson pulls us along with him (or directs us as we eagerly rush forward) while acting as an anchor in humanity for both Holmes and the reader. The blend of analytical reasoning and romanticism make for pure delight.

  8. Just tweeted your contest. How can anyone NOT read Sherlock Holmes? I mean really, where else can you get such fun in literature? I started reading the stories when I was about ten, shortly after seeing a Basil Rathbone/Holmes movie. I was hooked.

  9. Why? Because I'm a teenager who doesn't much care for the world she was born into. Life isn't all bad by any means, but there are definitely times when I want to rip my hair out and go and show the world that there are things that matter more than just which celebrity is wearing what, or who's sleeping with who. And at these times, I escape into Baker Street. I sit down and for a few hours, I'm not here. I'm chasing criminals, solving puzzles and delving deep into chilling mysteries. I wouldn't be exaggerating to say that Holmes and Watson have become dear friends to me (whether they'd like that or not!), and that I feel at home in their home.

    Lovely idea, by the way. Just tweeted it :) (JamRolls on Twitter.)

  10. Well, this is could be difficult in english.. Mr.Sherlock Holmes is a hero, a real wannabe. His insight, his arrogance, his humor, the dislike of woman, but then again his charme, intelligence and most impotstant, his way to complain the case, the kind of sollution is absolutely marvellous. And all of this mostly in such a short story, so brilliant. You simply start with a simple plot, its getting more and more difficult and it will end so simple, least he thinks so...

  11. I read Sherlock Holmes because the first time I opened "A Study in Scarlet" some 15 years ago, I immediately fell in love with this man of amazing intellect and his best friend. The love has not diminished ever since.
    The other reason is the moment in The Three Garridebs:
    "It was worth a wound -- it was worth many wounds -- to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation. "

    I tear up each and every time I read it. That in my opinion is a true sign of a masterpiece.

  12. Oh, I am @abitof on Twitter.