Sunday, 28 June 2015

Captivating Criminality conference at Bath Spa University

I have just returned from a really inspiring crime fiction conference held at the beautiful Corsham Court, Captivating Criminality: Crime Fiction, Traditions and Transgressions, organised by my prolific colleagues in the field at Bath Spa, Fiona Peters and Rebecca Stewart.  They did a fantastic job!  For more information about the conference and speakers, follow this link:  

I gave a paper on Australian true crime, and am hoping to develop it into a publication before long.  I also chaired a panel earlier that day.  Am still buzzing from hearing the excellent papers on offer at the conference, and from taking part in the many interesting and thought-provoking discussions with colleagues that happened over the course of the two days I was there. Here is a picture of one of the handsome and friendly peacocks at Corsham Court!  They were a colourful presence and even provided enthusiastic audience participation at times, as they voiced their appreciation of our efforts.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Sherlock Holmes article

While I'm working on perfecting the layout and design of The Beyer Page, I thought I'd write a bit about an article I published back in February on the topic of contemporary recastings of Sherlock Holmes. The article is called:  "Sherlock Holmes Reimagined: An Exploration of Selected Short Stories from A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon", and it was published in the journal Oscholars in a special issue devoted to Conan Doyle.

The short story collection A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon was published in 2011, and edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger.  I examined selected short stories from this collection, and really enjoyed engaging with the texts and their contexts, working on finding an angle or a prism through which to read them which would help me highlight the ideas and textual strategies I thought were most pertinent.  Writing this article was very enjoyable, and I learned a lot from it.  You can read the article, along with the other excellent essays on Conan Doyle, in the journal here:

In the article, I concentrated on the stories by Tony Broadbent, Gayle Lynds & John Sheldon, Lee Child, Laura Lippman, and Jacqueline Winspear.  I focused on three main areas of enquiry which seemed to me to highlight some of the enduring tensions and challenges of reimagining Sherlock Holmes:  contemporary pastiche, changing the tone to hard-boiled, and gender.  The challenge was researching and writing about texts that have received little prior critical attention, but as a contemporary literature expert that is quite commonplace for me.  The essay on A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon was my first published venture so far into Sherlock territory.  I hope there'll be more.  I also hope to make use of some of this material in my teaching next year, on my Crime Fiction module.