Back in the early 1900’s George Bernard Shaw said that the three most famous names in history were Jesus Christ, Sherlock Holmes and Houdini.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, is almost as famous as the characters he created, but have any of you heard of a novel entitled The Narrative of John Smith? This was a first novel by Doyle, found in family papers and published 128 years after it was written. John Smith exhibited exceptional observational skills and the early novel hints broadly at other now familiar characters including a doctor who partners in adventures, a long suffering housekeeper and even London detectives.
Of course Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell who mentored Conan Doyle in his early years of medical study. Bell’s keen observational skills of his patients helped him in his diagnosis and formed the basis for those uncanny observations we now call Sherlockian.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned 60 stories featuring Sherlock Holmes (4 novels, 56 short stories). Other not so famous characters by Doyle include: Professor Challenger series (5 novels); Brigadier Gerard series (18 short stories); and other miscellany (19 novels, 115 short stories, 13 plays [2 co-written], 81 poems, 12 pamphlets).
Sherlock has since been re-created innumerable times in a pastiche of books, plays, movies, art and museum exhibits and most recently a few different television series, all of which are testimony to the enduring creativity of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Sherlock Holmes: The Maple Leaf Murder is a perfect example of such as pastiche. Inspired by the work of playwright Chris Stancich, whose plays have entertained our Sherlock fans for the past 4 seasons; The Maple Leaf Murder finds Sherlock unwillingly thrust into an 1890s ranch house in the mountains near Calgary, Canada helping out his friend Wyatt Earp to solve the murder of a wealthy ranch owner.